Update time：2021-08-02 20:01Tag: destiny 2 character customization
Palia, Singularity 6’s new MMO community sim, is a loving blend of familiar titles from Animal Crossing to World of Warcraft. Here are the details.
By Abram Buehner
Published Jun 03, 2021
Palia, the debut title from Singularity 6, is an amalgamation of games you’ve already fallen in love with. It’s a blend of influences that range from Animal Crossing and Stardew Valley to World of Warcraft and The Legend of Zelda. During a hands-off introduction to the game, it became clear that the success of Palia will not necessarily lie within its innovation, but instead within the pedigree of its team.
Singularity 6 is comprised of veteran talent that ranges from ex-Riot Games to ex-Sony team members. The studio’s combined expertise lends a lot of credence to Palia and motivates its otherwise familiar design. Iterative design is not uninteresting design though, and with this team’s experience, the game could end up being a hit on PC. Blending together various farming and sim elements in the context of an MMO space, the execution will be the difference between Palia sinking and swimming.
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Building on the boom in life simulators and adjacent genres, Palia is hoping to bring those design tenets to a grander scope. Palia is the eponymous setting for the adventure, and it situates its human player at the nexus of a high-fantasy mystery. Humanity mysteriously vanished and reappeared without pretext, leaving the larger Palia community to parcel out the truth about their world and their place in it.
This is an interesting, constantly unfolding narrative. Palia is positioned as a games as a service title, and the team promises that the story will continue to develop through new content drops over several years. Singularity 6 is not ready to speak about this facet of the experience in detail yet. Conceptually, this could lend a lot of weight to Palia, and keep players hooked in a manner similar to other persistent games like Destiny 2.
Palia’s appeal is certainly in its gameplay and social elements though. The narrative thrust is clearly secondary. Drawing on the aforementioned influences, Palia sits on the intersection of exploration, farming, decoration and social gaming. The explorative element was detailed the least, although Breath of the Wild was cited as a clear influence. So far, like Horizon Forbidden West, that has manifested itself chiefly through a paraglider. Hopefully, the influence runs deeper, and it likely will.
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One of Palia’s most impressive elements is certainly its world. Not only does it look like a rich fantasy setting to traverse, it’s filled with endearing characters and locales to engage with. It has a patina of familiarity again, sitting somewhere between modern Disney Animation and World of Warcraft in aesthetics, but it’s successful thus far. Palia and its cast are inviting, and that will go a long way.
Equally important is the extensive customization in the game. Interior and exterior decoration seems as organic and essential in Palia as it does in Animal Crossing: New Horizons. The character customization system alongside its fashion component are very robust too, and the general notion of customization was a clear through line during the presentation. This was paired with the usual mechanical suspects: cooking, fishing, mining and basic combat. All these gameplay facets underscore that continued feeling of familiarity.
However, Singularity 6 is clearly aware of the extent to which its game owes much of its identity to its predecessors. The team was very up front about which games it looked to for inspiration, telegraphing both an acute understanding for this source material, but also a mastery over its design philosophies. This speaks to the game’s potential magic lying in the execution. The studio does seem poised to put its experienced touch to these genre staples and tropes.
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The biggest new contribution the team brings is its multiplayer focus and infrastructure. Alongside customization, the other key through line for Palia was collaboration. The world is designed to be enjoyed solo but enriched through multiplayer. Tasks such as cooking yield more rewards when done with a friend. Groups can join Neighborhoods, Palia’s guild system, to partake in activities and earn rewards. This is Singularity 6’s focus, and a core reason to be interested in Palia. The game is intimately and emphatically designed as a conduit for social interaction. As the team demonstrated, Palia is an MMO, but not an MMORPG. The game’s focus is on its community sim trappings, and the fandom that will form around those.
Ultimately, the challenge for this game will be in justifying the player’s choice to invest time in Palia opposed to its inspirations. For those looking to play together on a massive scale, this may be the perfect avenue. Singularity 6 has the talent to make that proposition worthwhile. By drawing on its inspirations in service of a polished overall experience, Palia may just be the next big genre phenomenon after Stardew and New Horizons.
Only time will tell, and it seems like a lot of time will pass between now and Palia’s launch. The game is very early on. The team isn’t ready to comment on pricing structures or the idea of pivoting to consoles yet. Instead, Singularity 6 is laser-focused on creating a warm Palia community on PC. With a pre-Alpha sign-up underway on the official website, player feedback is going to be essential. In the meantime, Palia is certainly worth keeping an eye on, especially for fans of its many influences.
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About The Author
(209 Articles Published)
Abram Buehner is an editor, writer, gamer and all-around dork based on the East Coast of the United States. Hopping between Wheaton College in Massachusetts and his home in Midcoast Maine, Abram spends much of his time writing about video games, film, and comics… that is, when Abram isn’t playing games, watching film, or reading comics. When he’s not doing that, Abram is knee-deep in classwork, in pursuit of a B.A. in Film & New Media Studies with a minor in Journalism. You can connect with Abram on Twitter at @PnguinsWitCapes and email him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
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