We're happier than pigs in... uh...mud with the announcement of a brand spanking new Sony MMO for PCs and PS3. The Agency, an espionage and mercenary-centered MMO, sounds like just the thing to enliven the MMO world.
The game, according to Sony, is "a fast-paced online action shooter filled with espionage, intrigue and betrayal," where players "assume the role of elite agents in a modern-day world. Both solo players and groups will enjoy a wide variety of cooperative and competitive story-driven missions set in exotic locales across the globe."
The game features a slew of differences from "traditional" MMOs, including a lack of a class system, the opportunity to build your own "Agency" and "operative" NPCs to ai on missions.
Doesn't that sound rad? It does to us. We're tired of swords and shields and ready to rock some glocks with silencers and exploding eyeglass grenades and stuff.
Click the cut for the full details from Sony.
SAN DIEGO, Calif. – June 11, 2007 – Sony Online Entertainment, (SOE) a global leader in the online gaming industry, announced it is developing The Agency™, a fast-paced online action shooter filled with espionage, intrigue and betrayal. The Agency is being developed at SOE's Seattle studio for both the PC and the PLAYSTATION®3 computer entertainment system.
The Agency is a pick-up-and-play experience where players assume the role of elite agents in a modern-day world. Both solo players and groups will enjoy a wide variety of cooperative and competitive story-driven missions set in exotic locales across the globe.
"The inspiration for The Agency came from the spy and espionage genre. We want to put players in the heart of the action to experience what it's really like to live the life of an elite agent," said Hal Milton, Lead Designer, Sony Online Entertainment. "Players will jet set around this virtual world to exotic locales, infiltrate enemy organizations to steal secrets and perpetrate sabotage, all the while building their own agency with an eye towards global domination."
Persistent character development allows players to supplement their gear with exotic and powerful skills that make them feel like the elite agents they've always dreamt of becoming. Additionally, in lieu of the typical class systems in many other games, The Agency's approach is simply, "You Are What You Wear." Players will customize their character's attire based on the mission at hand, emphasizing combat, support, stealth, or even cover identities.
Players begin their experience by choosing to be a slick UNITE spy or a gritty ParaGON mercenary. Both factions will have players tangling in illicit activities such as drug smuggling, assassinations, espionage and counter intelligence. As they gain ranks within their chosen agency, players will increase their influence over the world while experiencing a deep story of action and intrigue. Along the way players will be able to build their own agencies, team with others to create joint agencies, and recruit a roster of useful Operatives.
Operatives are "living loot" characters that wait in the wings for orders to build that new sports car, gather intel for the next mission, or provide that satellite scan to expose the enemy. As players advance through the game, they will collect more powerful Operatives that will better assist them with missions. Players can use their roster to help themselves or their team and even trade Operatives with other players.
"SOE is looking to take the online gaming industry to new places with The Agency, not only in terms of its theme, but also in its design. It's accessible to all types of players, blending genres and changing up established conventions. It's different from anything SOE has released before," said Matt Wilson, Director of Development, SOE Seattle. "Our goal is to break from traditional online games and provide players with a 'fun now, no waiting' gameplay experience in a dynamic, ever-evolving online world."
About The Agency
The Agency is a fast-paced, online persistent shooter in a modern setting of bullets, bomb blasts, and betrayal. Live the life of an elite agent in a world of super spies and rugged mercenaries, who use both the highest technology and the lowest tactics to accomplish their goals. Featuring cooperative and competitive play, The Agency is designed to provide instant action and long-term strategy for all fans of espionage, intrigue, and explosive gameplay.
• Become An Elite Agent: The Agency offers hundreds of unique missions with varied end-goals requiring combat, stealth, and style. With gameplay ranging from sneaky assassinations to all out assaults, from vehicle challenges to casinos loaded with mini-games, there's something for every aspiring agent.
• Build Your Own Agency: As players advance through the ranks of their faction, they'll also begin building their own Agencies. Players will increase their power even further by creating Joint Agencies with others.
• Mercenary or spy, the choice is yours: In the Agency, collect the right weaponry, gadgets, vehicles, gear, attire and aliases to gain access to various locales and influence over the people within them.
• Put Operatives to work: Operatives are collectible non-player characters who provide the goods player's desire, the services to keep them alive, and allow them to concentrate on the mission at hand. Operatives work 24/7, regardless of whether players are logged in, and they can even keep them up-to-date through email and instant messages.
• Fun Now, No Waiting: The Agency is not about waiting for the fun to start. At any point, players can take a break from their high-flying career to engage in a number of other activities. Veterans and new players alike can take on other players at the card tables, the shooting range, or in head-to-head combat.