WildStar and Firefly
“You can’t take the sky from me…”
Those simple words drum up a plethora of memories for many who consider themselves well-informed in geek culture. The famous line from Firefly conjures up feelings of freedom, defiance, and a belief that there is something more out there. Listening to the quiet hum of guitar and the gruff voice as it sings the words, one can’t help but picture a group of travelers huddled around a campfire after a long day of voyaging. As a series, Firefly painted a picture of a future that more closely resembled the Wild West than the tall, silver-sheen buildings of more modern sci-fi movies. The series had humor, grit, and heart, and it appeals to just about anyone who considers themselves to be a geek (and many who do not). The attitude and personality made the show.
It is for this same reason that I have taken a very keen interest in WildStar. This shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone; WildStar has been on the radar of many gamers ever since we’ve gotten extended peeks at what the game has in store. Everywhere I go, there seems to be at least a few people who are extremely pumped up for this game, so it seems only natural that I hop on the bandwagon and get pumped as well. In many ways, Firefly and WildStar seem similar; they have a bit of grit, a bit of humor, and a bit of heart. Let me explain why that’s so important.
For me, the most crucial thing that a game can nail is the feel of its universe. A game can be polished as all get-out and have all sorts of nifty features up its sleeves, but when it comes down to what makes or breaks an MMO experience for me, it comes down to attitude and feel. World of Warcraft worked for me because the game felt like Warcraft. The same goes for Neverwinter, and why I’ve enjoyed it so much. City of Heroes (let us each reserve a quick moment of silence at our keyboards) felt like the sort of place where heroes existed and were part of everyday life. I love each of those games, and it has to do with the fact that they make me understand the attitude of the game.
WildStar looks to share that same sort of trait. Everything sort of fits with how the company is advertising it. I believe it has the potential to be something special, because Carbine is totally embracing what the game is. I love the sense of humor they’ve added to it; you can’t have a race like the Granok or the Aurin without being able to poke fun at yourself a bit. In addition, the game does have its dark side. The Aurin, a race of “furies,” had their home world ravaged and destroyed by Dominion forces. Beyond that, the game possesses some real complexity and character diversity. If you haven’t read up on the Path system, I highly suggest you take a gander.
I may not have been quite clear enough with how this all relates to Firefly. When I watch any of the WildStar videos, I get a very real Firefly vibe from it. The game seems a bit “Wild-West-In-Space” to me, which is what Firefly was. If Carbine can capture that same sort of whimsical nature, I think they have a real hit on their hands. This is one to keep your eye on, folks.