Adventure time, come on grab your friends, it’s time to travel to Wildstar’s simulated lands, where fictional instanced scenarios unfold and a glowing green holographic overlord judges your group’s performance in Matrix-vision. Carbine has just revealed Adventures, a wackier take on instanced dungeon gameplay that eschews the confines of reality by virtue of that most convenient of sci-fi narrative devices, a fully featured holodeck.
Prison break-outs on deep space penal colonies, rival biker gangs bent on revenge following a hideout raid, a farmer uprising against Dominion urbanites, and even an Oregon Trail inspired trek across a hostile desert. Adventures are Carbine’s ticket to a level of unfettered storytelling unrestricted by canon, location or era, a means for them to spin out some wildly unlikely settings while remaining with feet firmly still inside Wildstar’s world.
Carbine chucked me the keys to a higher level character and walked me through one such Adventure, Riot in the Void, in which three maximum security prisoners are staging a breakout from the Astrovoid, the most impregnable space-gaol in the galaxy. Adventures are varied and heavily narrated things, over the course of an hour our group raced through a hailstorm of meteor strikes, while earlier in the Adventure we donned prisoner uniforms to infiltrate the prison walls, moving from cover to cover to avoid sniper fire. Hanging around caused mobs of rioting prisoners to spawn, prompting us to keep up the pace and move swiftly through the area.
The instances are branching too, with the ability for the group to vote on which of up to a handful of choices to make following critical NPC conversations. Depending on the path you take you’ll be taking on combat heavy quests or shutting down machinery to allow backup off-world security to arrive safely. Throughout there are clever touches, panels that trigger prisoner subduing electric stun-fields, crates that must be locked with Bop It style follow-the-light-pattern puzzles, all leading to the three boss crims, each with their own strengths and combat styles: some psychically wizardish, others commanding grassy roots to sprout right up you.
Being rubbish at Wildstar, I contributed heavily to our group’s failure. Adventures however, with their near infinite scope for variety, are writing Wildstar a blank cheque for unbridled creativity and unique game modes. Listen to Carbine explain it themselves.