Probably my favorite television series of all time, the iconic X-Files. If for some reason you’re unaware of what the X-Files is about, I’ll explain the basics for you, although to be totally unaware of it can only mean you were abducted by aliens as a child and dumped back into society sometime in 2010.
The story follows 2 FBI agents Fox Mulder and Dana Scully as they explore unsolved cases relating to paranormal phenomena. The main appeal to the series was the polar personalities of the two main characters. Mulder is obsessed with the paranormal and convinces himself about the existence of intelligent extraterrestrial life while Scully uses science to support her realistic theories and nonacceptance of the extraterrestrial.
It wouldn’t be a typical MMO as there was rarely any combat and the majority of the series revolved around investigation. However, there are very few online games that support an intelligent investigative approach; unless you consider hidden object games (which I don’t).
Obviously it wouldn’t feature regular MMO mechanics, mainly the massively part. I’d like to see an online game that supports communication among small groups of players, maybe 2-3 at a time.
The game would work on a case-by-case basis, with new cases released regularly. Imagine L.A Noire, with the interrogation and investigation, but with a supernatural twist.
Certain aspects of MMO gaming wouldn’t really work, such as character progression, but I crave a new MMO experience that doesn’t rely on endless levels and grind in order to keep players entertained. I thoroughly enjoyed L.A Noire except it finished too quickly and the cases were restricted by realistic boundaries.
They could even combine features from the CSI titles, giving players the opportunity to gather and examine evidence for clues. In reality, the current market doesn’t really allow for any true innovation in the industry. Developers and publishers are restricted by the norm, with many too afraid to invest heavily into a genre that isn’t already established.
The potential of an MMO that revolves around challenging game play is debatable, but it would be great to see a developer that’s willing to approach the industry with some fresh ideas.