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access_time March 30, 2012 at 9:09 AM in Previews by Ramon Aranda

PS Home Game Previews – Cutthroats, Mercia, No Man’s Land

Sony has been pushing PlayStation Home as a gaming platform over the course of the last few months.  After a recent update that overhauled PS Home to allow for specific genre-based areas to explore and with the inclusion of quests and more, Sony is ready to introduce three brand new free to play titles that are aimed at adding a full gaming experience to its growing community.

Earlier this week, we visited with Sony to get a first look at three PS Home based titles: Cutthroats: Battle for Black Powder Cove, Mercia and No Man’s Land – each with their own unique flavor.

First up was Cutthroats: Battle for Black Powder Cove, which should already be available on PSN by the time you read this.  The game is a pirate-themed multiplayer game that lets players jump on board one of six ships, with up to four players per ship.  Each ship will be manned by a captain, who will steer his crew, while the other crew members are gunners, and will be in charge of firing off canons.  The point of the game is simply to engage in battle and bring down the opposing teams.  Each team will look to pick up pirate’s booty upon sinking a ship, which includes perks such as temporary invincibility and weapons upgrades. XP will also be collected while you play which you can then use for additional upgrades and customization.

Multiplayer battles will be waged with up to 24 players (6 ships, 4 players each) and while each ship will be captained by a player, the crew can actually perform a mutiny if they’re not happy with how things are playing out.  Getting some time to go hands-on with the game, we found it to be quite entertaining.  As simple as the game seems, we can easily see this being a game that goes from being played for a few minutes at a time, to one that lasts much longer.  If your ship gets sunk, you’ll respawn shortly, keeping the action hot and heavy.  There is no end to the game unless you quit out, though Sony says they’re also working on implementing some new game modes.  When manning a canon, you simply light one up, then use the analog stick to aim in the direction you want to fire.  If the canons are taking damage, each gunner can fix his or her canon, while the captain can perform full ship repairs.

Though the game appears relatively simplistic, the demo proved to be very entertaining and we found ourselves wanting to play for a few more minutes every time we sunk a ship or found ourselves down under.  We highly recommend downloading this game this week and there’s no reason not to give it a try.  The game is a part of the new Adventure District which has a very Uncharted-like feel to it.

Next up was No Man’s Land which is a third person, 4v4 team-based shooter.  The game is set in a post-apocalyptic backdrop that features team deathmatch and salvage modes.  As you progress through the game,  you’re able to upgrade your weapons as well as your armor, which you’ll want to do quickly unless you don’t mind being shot up and left for dead easily.

Players can sprint, roll and take cover; even set up a chain of cover points when you’re trying to get strategic.  The game felt and played like a typical shooter that didn’t at all look cheap.  No Man’s Land starts up with two maps; one taking place outside and the other inside a large building for close quarter combat.  Again, you can purchase upgrades if you don’t feel like taking the time to earn them  A main hub will be provided for matchmaking, allowing players to choose rules, game types and more.  The game is still in development and won’t see a release until the summer.

Finally we took a look at Mercia, an RPG title that had us excited after a lengthy demo.  Being developed by Lockwood, the game puts gamers into a fantasy land that not only looks great, but plays well.  Players will be tasked in completing a host of quests, while battling your way through different types of enemies and solving puzzles.  Enemies will become more difficult as you progress as will the overall difficulty of the game.

As expected, there will be a character editor and you can then upgrade your skills, magic and weapons as you go along.

In terms of gameplay, Mercia luckily uses auto-targeting for combat, so whichever enemy you’re closest to, will be the one you’re attacking.  You can of course switch your attention to someone else. Hotkeys will also be present that will make it easier to unload things like fire and lighting attacks, though we only saw a small portion of what gamers can expect.

What impressed us most was the game’s dynamic loading which seamlessly loads the game.  For instance, when traversing from one area to the next via a door, the game will be loading the next room in the process so you’ll never be taken to an actual load screen – something that should definitely please RPG fans.

Sony says that they will be adding multiplayer as well though they have not yet settled on how it will work.  Updates will also come regularly to the game so new quests, items, enemies, etc., can be expected in the months to follow the game’s release.

When does it come out you ask?  You’ll have to wait until the summer.


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