Huxley: The Dystopia Preview

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Huxley: The Dystopia Publisher: (NHN USA)
Developer: Webzen

Platform: PC
Official Site:

Radioactive pieces of Earth's moon have rained down onto the planet's surface, the irradiated fragments of Earth's only natural satellite destroying nearly all of humanity. A single city has survived, but the massive radiation has mutated the survivors, fragmenting the population along altered genetic lines. Now those groups are working to annihilate each other with the biggest guns available.

Projected Release: Late 2009
Kyle Ackerman

I'm a sucker for post-apocalyptic fiction, particularly as the background story for games. In that respect, Huxley: The Dystopia has me hooked. The name comes from Dr. Merwyn Huxley, the man who decoded the mutations that plague the remnants of humanity.

Those who look like pre-disaster humans are known as "One." Together with the pale elongated folks known as "Syn" they are the "Sapients." The "Alteraver" were more affected, and are stronger, brutish humanoids with reddish skin. The "Alternix" have grayish skin and pupil-less eyes. The Alteraver and Alternix are known as Alternatives, and have different internal organs and bone structure from the Sapients. When Alternatives and Sapients interbreed, they produce "Hybrids" – dramatically different creatures that can be truly monstrous. Players can battle as Sapients or Alternatives for control over Earth's remaining city, or fight the AI Hybrids to protect the city.

Multiplayer on Different Scales

The fiction is decidedly cool, but I have to admit to being a little confused concerning what will actually be present in Huxley. The game is in closed beta, right now, so shortly players will be able to experience the open beta for themselves, and the actual game launch shortly after. When NHN USA describes the game, it sounds like it will be everything to everyone, so let me start with what I'm sure of and have experienced.

Unquestionably, Huxley is a persistent online shooter that will feature both player-vs.-enemy-type questing and player-vs.-player battles. So far, I've experienced two styles of multiplayer combat in Huxley. Three years ago at an earlier E3, I participated in a vast, multiplayer battle with sixteen players on each side fighting for control points. I don't know to what extent that type of play is still in the game. It felt more like a tactical multiplayer experience, like a massive Battlefield map.

At E3 this year I got to play an eight-person deathmatch that felt entirely different – more like a pure-reflex-based Unreal shooter than a slower and more deliberate experience. I did see that there are now three classes, each with slightly different special skills that can be activated during battle, but it is still a decidedly skill-based shooter experience.

Promise the (Shattered and Radioactive) Moon

That's what I've seen. The game is built on Unreal technology, and all the battles I've played have been set up through matchmaking lobbies, so I haven't seen the rest of Huxley. So here's what NHN promises: Huxley should have social hubs capable of hosting 5,000 players at once, where banking, trading and crafting take place and player housing is located. There will be PvE questing, where players can wander out to go ahead and kill the 20 monsters of the moment. As players participate in combat, they will level up, obtaining new weapons, better armor and skills that will enhance their combat prowess.

When it comes to PvP, NHN promises battles ranging from "squad-size skirmishes to adrenalin-pumping mass-scale battles involving dozens of players" with "Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch and Capture the Flag modes" along with "Parts Pick-Up and Radar Domination" modes. NHN also says there will be specific squad skills that will allow for functioning four-person teams and even vehicular combat on certain maps.

It won't be long before we can all experience everything that Huxley has to offer, but for now I can vouch for the small-scale deathmatch experience. Here's hoping that NHN can deliver everything promised. If so, Huxley should be a must-play experience.

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This page contains a single entry by Editor published on June 8, 2009 11:01 PM.

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