Supercell Announces Closed Beta of New MMOG, Gunshine

Supercell came out of stealth-mode today with the announcement of Gunshine, an isometric MMORPG/FPS that runs not so much in Facebook as through Facebook. With a AAA-list of company developers and execs, the bar is raised rather high for the title but initial impressions don’t fail to meet expectations.

Gunshine is most accurately described as a traditional point and click MMOG. The player picks one of three classes – bodyguard, hunter or doctor – and an avatar before entering an instanced area which leads the player through the opening of the game. Here the player learns that the world is not what it seems.

Reminiscent of the Matrix and Running Man films, all members of society have begun a pilgrimage to Dawn City (under the care of Labycore) for a better life. To enter Dawn City, each must don a permanent bracelet.  Through a series of unclear reasons – there is a lot of exposition and quest but it is not yet fleshed out – the player becomes one of the few who enters Dawn City unadorned. And so begins the story.

All of the familiar MMOG tropes are extant: a mini-map; NPCs with ?s and !s above their heads; main and optional quest lines; and in an interesting turn, the ability to choose henchmen based upon varying skills and price (both currencies) when friends are not available.

Allowing for synchronous play with friends, it also allows one to play asynchronously with Facebook friends by calling on them as psedo-henchmen. The characters will then play as they would were they actually there, according to their stats, abilities, and equipment.

Still in closed beta, the movement through the instanced world is seamless from room to room. The visuals are stunning. The reaction time impressive. The game feels like a lightweight MMOG. The writing needs work as the quests are still quite vanilla and though I had little time to interact with players most seemed to have a handle on the mechanics presented.

It is a dystopian world but one that gives a hint of intrigue and perhaps… perhaps the ability for the players to move the story. Look for an interview with the developers in the next several weeks.