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Preview: Mimesis Online
by Erich Becker
November 21, 2001


(Preview screenshots are at the bottom)

The first thing you notice when reading about, and playing, Mimesis Online (MO) is the engaging story line. Seemingly ripped from a Hollywood production of the multimillion dollar sense, this new massively multiplayer online RPG from newcomer Tannhauser Gate could be the Half-Life of the online world.

Reading my past articles, and even some of my reviews, you’ll see I am a sucker for a game with a great story. In fact, in this day and age, I think it is almost essential for a game to have a story line for the player to interact with and shape. The story behind MO is one of a great war that spanned the entire galaxy. After a planetary life stripping event, civilization begins anew on this planet, with many different species and races inhabiting its continents. The game’s back-story is a must-read, as it is better than some of the garbage movie studios are putting out these days.

Different than RPGs of the similar vein, Mimesis doesn’t follow the same server structure as the others; therefore, players have the opportunity to change conditions that will effect more than the players on their own server. With the world split up into different sections, every player is playing on the same plane, and his or her decisions will impact the rest of the natural world. Tannhauser Gate believes in giving the player the ability to change the playing world; that is why as the player explores the surroundings of his or her environment, they will learn more of the past and the circumstances that lead up to the cosmic event that wiped the earth clean of life. Through use of a special Web site, various forms of media (stories, newsletters, and reports of events) will help to shape the future of the world, perhaps by learning from the past.

Not utilizing the traditional magic system, players in Mimesis can us psionic powers, genetic alterations, and cybernetic augmentations to make up for the lack of mana induced particle effects. Tannhauser Gate is also leaving the tight class-binding gameplay by the wayside as it develops more rounded characters that give the players ultimate customization and control.

A player will choose a race and specific skills they want to improve upon. Like in real life, when you don’t use a skill for a period of time, you become less skillful, and almost downright bad at it. The player will have to keep at themselves in order to keep their skills at usable levels.

The character creation system is standard among RPGs, and MO’s is certainly no different. Players can customize height, weight, apparel, tattoos and scars. Let’s just say there could be some very interesting people running around this world when the game is released in early December.

Tannhauser Gate is putting big emphasis on the fact that the players must find out what happened in the past, and brought upon the future that they live in now, perhaps avoiding the same events that lead to the destruction of the world once. By doing this, the developing characters will learn about their surroundings. The more they learn, the more they will have the opportunity to understand the world.

Like most of the recent RPGs, Mimesis drops the standard Dungeons and Dragons dwarves, elves, knights and sorcerers for completely unique races and animals. The world-ending event turned the earth into a melting pot of different species who must learn to live with each other and co-exist. Like today’s world, that is easier said than done.

Players will have the opportunity to own property, have a bank account and shop for better items and weapons. Owning property could be the purchase of an existing base, or the contracting of a Non-Player Character (NPC) to create on for you on a plot of land you buy. While not outlawed, Player Killing (PKing) is a way of life you might want to stray from, or at least not make a habit of engaging in. Invoking strict penalties for Player Killers, you will soon ascertain the label of criminal, and could be shot on sight when trying to enter a sentinel protected town. To discourage random killings of newbies, Tannhauser Gate has created arenas on each of the different sections (servers) of the world to house tournaments.

Eventually you will die, and if my experience with Asheron’s Call is any clue, you will lose some of you best stuff at the bottom of a dungeon you shouldn’t have been in the first place. When you do die in Mimesis you do lose some of your items, but unlike Diablo II’s hardcore mode, you won’t lose your character. Let’s just hope you don’t lose your stuff at a place that would be hard for you to get back to.

The biggest advantage is you can play the full version of the game for nothing, zero, nada, MC Hammer’s net worth, zippo! The game can be downloaded for free or mailed to you with a nominal charge, and the standard $10 per month fee is charged. This was a very smart idea, in my opinion, as many publishers are developing games that can be downloaded, but paid per month to play, and with the new high speed internet technology making it’s way into the common consumers house, games on demand could be a very cost effective way of distributing software.

Up until a few weeks ago I had never heard of Tannhauser Gate or Mimesis Online. Given the opportunity to beta test the game, and give it the usual, stringent ESCmag reaming that we give to all of our games we test, I can honestly say that MO looks to be a fresh splash in the face of a genre that is fast becoming overcrowded and stagnant. I know after looking at the game I thought to myself, they are trying to do what Funcom did with Anarchy Online. And while the two games do share the futuristic RPG sense to them, they are very different, and if Mimesis’ beta is any indication, this could be one of the big online games of next year. The game is released on the third of December, and as always, we will be back with a full review. For now enjoy the screen shots and check out the pre-order packages at Tannhauser Gate’s homepage, you can get up to eight free weeks of play, and I will see you online…

Click on thumbnail to enlarge preview shots.
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