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Shared-World Shooters:
The New Genre on the Gaming Block!
SyFy have started an ambitious new project of which many Wikia users may already be aware of, with the advertisement of various treats for SyFy’s new franchise, Defiance! Defiance is a dual-media franchise encompassing the new science fiction Defiance series (coincidently premiering tonight!) and a new science fiction Defiance console game featuring a brand new genre, the aptly named shared-world shooter. However, Defiance (the game), whilst new and exciting, is not the only ambitious franchise to be premiering this new genre this year as Bungie’s new game, Destiny, will also be featuring this novel genre. So what is this new genre? And why are new games pushing towards it?

Defiance 6Defiance's post-apocalyptic world seems reminiscent of Fallout 3.

To put it bluntly shared-world shooters are essentially the World of Warcraft of the console industry, allowing players to enter online servers and share their usual shooter campaign experience with friends or strangers from across the world on large online maps. No more so is this World of Warcraftesque gaming experience seen than in Destiny, where players are able to join parties to attend raids. With shooter genres and MMO genres accounting for vast majority of the senior gaming market, it seems only logical to take the advantages and best features of both genres and combine them; thus resulting in shared-world shooters.

So what does this mean for shooters? Fear not, your run-of the mill offline linear campaign shooters which feature online multiplayer or co-op, such as Halo or Call of Duty, will always be around. However, this new genre will add new perspective to shooters and allow for social gaming features such as "live party" (which is pretty much desolate these days).

Halo franchiseSome franchises will never die, even when they need too ...

Shared-world shooters also offer more bang for your buck; at the same price as other linear shooters shared-world shooters offer many more hours of play with their open-world quests, raids, and boss battles giving your more game time per dollar. Due to this extended campaign/gameplay time it also prevents the stagnancy that many franchises see today, such as the Halo campaign which when completed on Legendary has very few attractions to returning and playing it again, forcing players to resort to its multiplayer features. Shared-world shooters offer a different experience every time you log on with different users being part of your gaming experience or live updates to the map you are playing on!

I love the idea of shared-world shooters and can’t wait to start playing/watching defiance, and definitely can’t wait for Destiny’s release - though, with the MMO features of these games, I fear that the great RuneScape addiction of ’06 may make it’s dark return! What do you think of shared-world shooters? And will you be buying new franchises which include this genre?
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