Anarchy Online

One of my housemates, Mark, became completely addicted and rarely sleeps anymore. He will talk of nothing but Anarchy Online, and we hear him in his room sometimes murmuring about Rollerrats and nano enhancements. He stopped washing and only goes out of the house to buy more biscuits. He told us that he gets extra credits buy whoring his avatar, a young girl, to other male characters. He scares us.

Anarchy Online was developed and published by Funcom. Funcom has been around for eight years developing products for different publishing partners. They released Anarchy Online on June 27th 2001 in the US and at a later date in the UK. Anarchy Online costs £20 with a monthly fee of $12.

Anarchy Online is a science fiction online role-playing game, more commonly known as a MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game). If you've played a MMORPG like Ultima Online or Asherons Call before then you can skip the next bit.

So what is a MMORPG? Well, it's massive, multiplayer, online and a role-playing game. This means when you join the game you have to be on the Internet and you have to connect to one of Funcoms servers. When you play, you play in a massive world with thousands of other players. Ultima Online was the first MUD to become a commercial success. It was fully graphical. Ultima Online became massively popular when it was released in September 1997 because it offered a unique playing experience and was much more accessible than the text based MUDs of the past.

The developers of Anarchy Online have worked hard to ensure that there is a rich storyline to accompany the game. The year is 29.475 A.D, and the game takes place on the planet known as 'Rubi-Ka'. Rubi-Ka is rich in a substance called 'Notum', which is used for powering nano-technology - the magic of anarchy online. Omni-Tek, an intergalactic corporation, colonized the planet to mine the Notum and enslaved the population. The clans rose up against Omni-Tek, and the war began. The player can choose to join Omni-Tek, the clans, or stay neutral and decide their alignment later. The storyline is told in a pre-rendered 3D introduction sequence, and there are new downloadable storyline movies available on the Anarchy Online website.

The story will progress in the game world too. The game was constructed so the players can participate in story-based missions, and interact with characters who are important in the storyline. The world will also accommodate for changes in the story, which Funcom intend to last for the next four years.

The world graphics are fairly high detail in comparison to other games available at the moment. The trees gently sway in the breeze, you can see birds flying and butterflies flutter in the long grass. The cities are large and have many shops, all of which can be entered. Other player avatars are visually very varied. Items such as clothing, armour and weapons are shown on your player model. It is quite easy to tell new players from experienced players. The experienced, high level players will quite often be wearing huge suites of power armour and carry massive weapons with them, whereas the new players will have the default starting clothes.