You wouldn’t have to turn the clock back too many years to go back to a time when MMO (Massively Multiplayer Online) games was the dominant genre in gaming. In the mid 2000s, games like ‘World of Warcraft’ ruled the roost, peaking at over 12 million subscribers in 2010 and earning a mind-boggling $9.2 billion in revenue by 2017.
Gaming has moved on since then, however, with Battle Royale games and open world action games fighting it out for the top spot currently, while MMOs are relegated to the sidelines. Despite the waning popularity of MMOs, newly formed development studio Visionary Realms is betting rekindling the love of MMOs among gamers with their brand new upcoming game ‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’.
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Plot: What is It About?
‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’ is set in the high fantasy world of Terminus, a multifarious world formed from the fragments of different realms and eras, each with their own unique culture, history and gods.
The webpage for the game describes the story as follows: “After nearly a thousand years of searching, Terminus has not surrendered her greatest secret. The inescapable shadow in the corner of every shimmering day, the tiny flame that flickers in the darkest night. The question beyond the question: “Why?” For this story is a book with countless authors, a narrative told by innumerable voices. But for every race whose ancestors were ripped from their native realms like children asleep in the night, there is that timeless dilemma.”
‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’ will feature nine unique races, namely – the Archai, a race of former slaves possessing elemental powers; the Dwarves, a race of arcane artificers and smiths; the Dark Myr, a race of mysterious water dwellers; the Ogres, a race of hulking behemoths famed for their brutality in battle; the Halflings, a youthful race of merry people hiding an ancient secret; the Elves, a race recovering from near extinction; the Gnomes, enigmatic masters of the arcane; the Skar, a destructive race of bloodthirsty savages and Humans, the most resilient, and hence the most influential race of all.
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Gameplay
‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’ is a modern MMORPG (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game) with a vintage heart; developer Visionary Realms has constantly emphasized how their new game will combine the best of modern graphics and gameplay features with some of the more conventional mechanics that defined the popular MMOs of old. ‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’ will be a deeply social experience, with a distinct focus on guilds, group raids and PvE (Player vs Environment) gameplay. Even the in game economy will be largely player driven.
Just like many old school MMOs, ‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’ will be a zone based game instead of succumbing to the modern fad of Open World mayhem. This is supposedly in an attempt to make the game feel more alive and to dodge the typical trappings of Open World games, which can tend to feel dull and lifeless sometimes. There will be numerous types of terrains and biomes for the player to discover and explore, including a fully underwater zone. At its essence, ‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’ encourages sandbox type gameplay where the player is encouraged to go out and explore and progress through the storyline in an organic and non-linear fashion.
The combat system is also inspired by classic MMO gameplay, featuring an auto attack system that automatically triggers passive abilities such as dodge, parry, etc. and lets the player focus on selecting the appropriate offensive abilities and spells in order to deal the most damage. These spells can include fireballs, deflections, magic missiles, etc. Additionally, ‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’ will utilize tab targeting in order to change targets or execute area of attack spells.
At the time of launch, the game will feature six distinct environments – Frigid, Scorching, Toxic, Anaerobic, Pressure and Wind Shear. The player character will require special acclimatization to each of the different environments in order to navigate them safely, a feat that can be achieved via equipment modification, using special equipment or applying special “Infusion” items to each of your body parts. Trying to navigate harsh environments without being acclimatized can lead to severe debuffs such as lower movement speed.
‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’ will feature twelve distinct class archetypes including the restorative Cleric, combat proficient Dire Lord, mystical Druid, thaumaturgical Enchanter, transcendent Monk, heavily armored Paladin, bow wielding Ranger, cunning Rogue, enlightened Shaman, eccentric Summoner, imperious Warrior and the sagacious Wizard.
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Developers: Who Are The People Behind It?
‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’ is being developed by neophyte developer Visionary Realms. Industry icon Brad McQuaid was also involved heavily in the project until his untimely death earlier this November. McQuaid is credited with pioneering the MMORPG genre with his work on 1999’s ‘EverQuest’ and subsequently ‘Vanguard: Saga of Heroes’ in 2007.
Visionary Realms is a studio comprised of numerous industry veterans who have worked on titles such as ‘Vanguard: Saga of Heroes’, ‘Star Wars Galaxies’ and more.
‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’ initially sought to fund the project via a Kickstarter campaign, but ultimately fell short of raising its target goal. Since then, the game is being funded by crowdfunded donations.
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Release Date: When And Where Can I Play It?
Currently, there is no concrete launch date for ‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’. However, the game has been in pre-alpha stage since 12 December 2017. Optimistically, we can see the beta of the game release sometime in late 2020 or early 2021.
‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’ is set to launch exclusively on PC initially, with a macOS client following soon after. The developers have not ruled out a possible console release thereafter.
Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Trailer
You can watch the trailer for ‘Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen’ right here:
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