Gunplay intermixed with MMO progression systems makes for an addicting action-packed time-sinker. In 2023, many games within the genre will see several rounds of new content while others approach their planned release dates.
This list won't cover every nook and cranny when it comes to these games but rather give you several titles to keep an eye on throughout the year, from AAA behemoths to the indie teams trying to fill big shoes.
Here are 8 Shooter MMO Games to keep an eye on in 2023:
Bungie's free-to-play sci-fi MMO shooter, Destiny 2, hardly needs any introduction. The game has maintained an explosive following, especially on PC via Steam, where it peaked at over 250,000 players last year. Also, Destiny 2's expansion releasing next month, "Lightfall," is reason enough to keep an eye on this game in 2023.
Players will be venturing to a neon metropolis known as "Neomuna," an expansive city filled with skyscrapers and serves as the battlegrounds for the incoming invasion by Calus. The new Darkness subclasses coming with the expansion for Titan, Hunter, and Warlock will give them brand-new ways to maneuver and clear out waves of enemies.
Warframe is another sci-fi shooter with a third-person perspective and features high-intensity combat that sees players dashing between ranged and melee. By donning Warframes, a unique and customizable suit controlled by the Tenno, players can use various abilities to slay their enemies with the assortment of weapons available.
The Day Before
Raw gameplay footage of Fntastic's upcoming open-world zombie shooter MMO, The Day Before, will showcase "the majority of the features and gameplay elements" sometime this month. Usually, this isn't uncommon for developers to do months out from an official release to hype up anticipations, but The Day Before is six weeks from launch, and this is our first real look at the game's state.
The most recent thing players saw was footage showing Nvidia's RTX running in the game on January 5th, which debuted almost a year after the last trailer. Some players are hopeful, judging from its immersive environments and how it fills a void for zombie MMOs in the current market, but there are way more skeptics. Regardless, this game still is worth keeping an eye on when it launches on March 1st and throughout 2023 to see what it becomes.
The Division: Heartland
Ubisoft's The Division: Heartland doesn't have a release date for 2023, but it's possible players could see new footage this year. Not to mention, you can sign up to play the free-to-play title's closed playtests by registering on the Heartland website.
The game intends to send players into the fictional rural town called "Silver Creek" in Middle America and introduce new characters and heroes from the overall Division universe. Moreover, players will unveil several ever-evolving mysteries around the rural area as they encounter a range of hostiles in this shooter MMO.
While Dysterra is an early access survival MMO shooter with a rough PvPvE gameplay loop, this one is bound to improve with time. Reality MagiQ has created a game where cooperation and competition between players is a focal point to saving humankind and has base-building and light RPG mechanics mixed in for added complexity.
Last week, the devs released a roadmap detailing plans for the first two quarters of 2023, bringing new story characters, weapons, armor, events, and more. The stale base layout is also getting fresh decorations and equipment, and Dysterra also will get at least two new PvE combat areas.
PlanetSide 2 has been around for quite some time, surpassing its 10th anniversary in 2022. And while it is an older game, the ceiling for improvements and revamped systems has been a core focus for Rogue Planet Games for months.
In the game, players will fight in epic large-scale battles across a nice handful of landscapes on a rotating day and night cycle. In total, areas can support up to 2,000 players, and among the three factions available, they have their own unique weapons, land and air vehicles, and abilities.
The Cycle: Frontier
Yager's PvPvE MMO shooter, The Cycle: Frontier, sends players to a hostile alien planet known as "Fortuna III" to scavenge for resources while battling or cooperating with others. Similar to Escape from Tarkov, you can claim loot, but getting killed during a run makes you lose everything you grabbed.
The game is very high stakes because of this, especially considering the environmental and sound design keeping you on your toes. For 2023, the devs are dropping Season 3 on March 29th, and The Cycle will likely see more events and fixes on significant issues throughout the year - making it a better game overall.
NCSoft's Project LLL is an open-world third-person shooter MMO that debuted through a gameplay trailer last November. The video showcased an immersive apocalyptic world with futuristic sci-fi elements with mutants, giant mechs, and more being adversaries to the player.
Details on whether it'll be a traditional MMO game or diverge from the current market are unknown. However, we do know it plans to release officially in 2024. Across 2023, we may see more of this one, so keep your eyes open for new footage or possible playtests if you're interested.
What games from this list will you keep tabs on in 2023? Let us know below!
About the Author
Anthony Jones is a gaming journalist and late 90s kid in love with retro games and the evolution of modern gaming. He started at Mega Visions as a news reporter covering the latest announcements, rumors, and fan-made projects. FFXIV has his heart in the MMORPGs scene, but he's always excited to analyze and lose hours to ambitious and ambiguous MMOs that gamers follow.
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