Fury is a massively muliplayer online role-playing game, but it has fast action like a first-person shooter. I was able to speak with the CEO of Auran, Tony Hilliam, who showed me the current state of Fury. Tony stated that the number one goal of Fury was to create a great PvP game, as most PvP games are an afterthought for an existing single-player game (such as Quake, Half-Life, and Far Cry). He described it as World of Warcraft on steroids, mixed with a healthy dose of Unreal Tournament.
In focusing on PvP, there are no tradeoffs on PvE Elements. As you level up and aquire more goodies, fighting is still about the skill of the player. Part of the skill is matching the appropriate power-ups and using them appropriately. There are over 400 abilities available to the characters, and you can only equip a certain number of them at any one time (based on your current level).
Twitch gamers may be in for a schooling when it comes to team play. Part of your success depends on how your team coordinates its abilities and uses them, which adds a stregic element to the battle system. If you plan on going offensive, then your team will benefit from more offensive abilities. Likewise, your team should select defensive abilities when guarding, but you can mix and match your team’s abilities to fine-tune how they play.
You can’t just throw a bunch of characters together and hope they’ll fight… you have to have a compelling story for all the carnage. You play as one of the Chosen, who are heroes that have lived a thousand lives and fought previous epic wars. You have been reborn to save the realm from destruction, and you have the Fury Essence as your ally (alot like the “Force”, I gather). Fury Essence is the most powerful magical force, and is used to battle the Fade, which is a Decay Essence (like “The Nothing” from the Neverending Story).
When asked about the game’s name, Tony replied that (from a marketing perspective), they wanted the game to have a strong one-word title. Historically, most MMO and role-playing games have very lengthy titles (World of Warcraft: Wrath of the Witch King, Guild Wars: Eye of the North, etc.), and most FPS action games have short titles (Halo, Quake, Half-Life, etc.). Auron feels that the strongest aspect of the gameplay is in action, and they wanted to portray that in the title. Tony said that you can look at Fury as an “MMO without all the swamp rats”, or as “Unreal Tournament with swords and auctions”, depending on how you want to play.
Your character can be built up and progress as you get better at fighting. To create your character, you first “roll” on different items, much like the character creation of any MMO. As you complete battles, you are ranked on several aspects of the battle, and this ranking system gives you different rewards (in the form of Essence) based on your performance. This Essence is then used to unlock “ancient memories” from your past lives (a way of saying you can buy new abilities with the rewards from battle). So the formula to “level up” your character is to fight, earn Essence, unlock abilities.
Based on your level, you will have a certain amount of Equip points. Theoretically, you can unlock as many “ancient memories” as you want, but you will only be able to equip a limited number based on your current level. Before you enter a battle, you can equip your character with the abilities you want to use (by simply dragging and dropping the ability’s icons to your Equip slots).
The graphics already look very good based on today’s comptuer standards, and uses the Unreal Engine 3. Tony pointed out that this beta build is four months old, and the new version has improved visuals. Fury will ship with four game types, with each one offering a different style of gameplay. You can play a solo event, group with other players for a versus battle, a medium-sized team event and a large scale team conquest event.
The basics of Fury are very easy to pick up and learn. The controls should be second-nature to anyone who has played a FPS. In battle, the Elemental Energy system comes into play, which is a factor in how you strategize. Players can use special abilities at the cost of elemental charges. These abilities range from fireballs (dealing splash damange) to deathblows. There are a significant amount a play choices based on your selected abilities: you can either maximize charges to deliver a more efficient attack, or focus all of your charges to deal a larger amount of damage.
When creating your avatar (character) Fury is much like any other RPG with the option of selecting the gender, body type, hair, face, colors and so on. In addition, you will start the game with a number of basic archetypes allowing you to play as a healer, champion, destroyer, and invoker or to create your own custom mixture. Archetypes are a brief description of a specific incarnation. Archetypes help other realm members identify what kind of role your current incarnation is likely to play in a group or fight. Your character will have an archetype determined by the memories you have recovered and the equipment and abilities you have equipped on your current incarnation.
The world of Fury is divided into different war zones. The sanctuaries are the peaceful areas where players socialize, buy and sell, undertake trials, train, and customize their equipment. The war zones are the combat areas where players fight others to win rewards, and thus enhance their characters.
Fury has an interesting prescription plan, depending on how you want to play. You can purchase the game for $49.99 and never buy another thing ever again: you can unlock every ability and play all you want. A $10 monthly subscription will get you additional benefits, such as additional rolls and priority on gaming servers. Tony stated that if you want to play like an MMO, then you can pay like an MMO. If you want to play as a PvP, then you pay like a PvP and never have to buy a subscription.
On September 15th, Auron is promoting Fury with over $1 million in prizes. Many of the prizes will be in Fury game cards, which gives players in-game gold (you can buy Fury game cards with real money, which then translates to game currency). A typical game card can be purchased for $10, which translates to roughly 120 gold pieces in the game.