Released last September, the Shadowlands expansion pack represented a significant landmark for Anarchy Online. Although developer and publisher Funcom could easily have taken the straightforward approach by adding more locations, creatures, quests, items et al to the planet Rubi-Ka, the team decided upon a more imaginative and riskier direction. The product implemented a new and entirely different environment, in effect an entire second world made up of seven diverse regions for players to explore. The progression through these represented a communal grand quest to unearth the lost secrets of a newly discovered ancient civilization. The ultimate result was most definitely a success. In our 2003 RPG Vault Awards, we named it our Online World Expansion Pack of the Year, one of many honors and accolades it received. Naturally, we've been wondering when we'd see the next forward step.
Revealed earlier today, Anarchy Online - Alien Invasion will write the next major chapter in the project's evolution. As the title clearly states, the theme this time is an external threat. According to the press release issued this morning, an unexpected attack on Rubi-Ka leads to a planet-wide call to arms, with citizens forced to defend themselves and their communities against hordes of interlopers possessing superior technology, with part of the action based on taking the fight to the intruders by boarding their spaceships. Another notable feature listed incorporates the ability to build organization headquarters as well as houses and even entire towns. A new line of flying vehicles will be added, along with lots of weapons, armor, clothes, quests, perks et al. We set out to learn more as soon as possible from Game Director Marius Enge.
Jonric: To put Alien Invasion in context, how has Anarchy Credits evolved up to and including Shadowlands, and at the high concept level, what's your vision for the game moving forward from the present?
Marius Enge: Anarchy Credits is a science fiction-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game, or MMORPG. It happens approximately 30 thousand years in the future on the planet Rubi-Ka. With Shadowlands, we have still maintained the benefits of being a science fiction game, but we have also expanded our universe to a more complex, mysterious and meta-physical world, that of the Shadowlands.