Turn-based strategy games are already a rare breed but a turn-based MMO is even rarer. Ankama kind of turns the MMO concept on its head with their latest free-to-play title, Wakfu. The game has finally left the closed testing phase and has entered into open beta for all to play.
The company sent out word today that the transmedia property is finally available to wide audience, for free. The game falls into part of a much larger media property involving the DOFUS universe, with other games, animated television series and comic books helping to flesh out the overall arc.
Olivier Comte, managing director and chief operating officer, Ankama Group commented about the game entering open beta, saying...
“As we open the updated world of WAKFU to an even broader set of fans, we will continue to focus on the core and essence of our gameplay – the players,” ... “In addition to a broad range of classes to suit varying tastes, colorful environments and our well-known sense of humor, WAKFU gives players a chance to impact the entire game world through their strategic and even political decisions.”
Some time ago I actually managed to get some hands-on time with the game back when Square Enix was heading up the publishing and distribution, and it was an okay game. I didn't make it very far into the experience but from what I remember it was a little like a turn-based version of Bastion.
Ankama Group seems to be getting back in control over the destiny of their properties and they want people to know that the games still exist. They recently sent out a new trailer detailing the Dragoturkey mount, which you can view below.
Turn-based strategy MMO games have always been a bit hit or miss for me, mostly given that it's hard to capture the intensity of strategic combat when you're sort of put in a position to rush with your decisions and mostly rely on other players to make the proper calls, too. Playing with friends or people you know you can rely on to make decent combat decisions can make for an entertaining experience, but the opposite is all too true as well.
Nevertheless, the game's isometric gameplay and colorful art-style might be just enough to appeal to some gamers. If you're looking for a free-to-play title that isn't terribly hard on your PC (or rather, is actually light on your hardware), then Wakfu kind of fits the bill.
The focus on changing the game world with decisions that affect the larger scheme of things seems like an interesting feature but I never played far enough into the game to make any of those world-changing decisions. Supposedly the game will be shaped by the community, and that means the sooner you get in on the action the sooner you can see the world shape around the decisions you make.
You can learn more or start playing by visiting the official website.