Back in 2016, a trio of brothers who run the indie studio known as Team 21 Studio began working on a game that is now known as Ilysia. Ilysia was launched on Kickstarter and was touted to be a VR MMORPG. Now, the upcoming title has over 1,500 backers at the moment of writing, and nearly $160,000 have been pledged for the game’s development.
Last month, after how many years of being in the pipeline, Team 21 Studio released Ilysia for alpha testing. Seeing as it’s created to be a Virtual Reality game, Ilysia is capable of supporting real-life movements such as sitting and standing. Not only that, it offers play options and combat such as spellcasting, which can be achieved through button pressing or hand gestures.
Of course, one of the things that gamers love the most when it comes to MMORPGs is the ability to customize their characters however they want. This beloved feature will also be present in Ilysia, which is arguably one of its most anticipated gameplay mechanics.
Players will be able to embark on their VR journey not only as an adventurer; they also have the option to play as a tailor, innkeeper, or even a merchant. Not only that, there will be different races available too—some of the starting races available are humans, elves and dwarves.
Even though the three brothers running Team 21 Studio are fairly new to the world of video game development, a couple members of the team working on Ilysia are pretty much veterans at this point. For starters, there are two artists on the team who worked on the popular Ratchet & Clank series, as well as Joe Strout, who is a well-known senior software engineer.
Ilysia is certainly a massive project for a trio of development novices, but so far, the game’s alpha testers have been incredibly positive and optimistic. According to several alpha and pre-alpha testers, the state Ilysia is currently in is great—the game is running smoothly and its visuals look gorgeous too, even when being played on the Oculus Quest.
One tester even went so far as to say that the upcoming VR MMORPG has “a classic fantasy-era feel, with a dose of WoW nostalgia.” For a new game to be described that way is definitely no small feat.
That being said, many interested gamers are still holding off from expecting too much. Kickstarter games have had a lengthy history of disappointing fans, so this wariness and skepticism are quite understandable.
After all, genuine immersion in a VR MMORPG—one that can be likened to, say, Sword Art Online—doesn’t seem possible just yet in this point in time. Still, we can’t completely discredit Team 21 Studio and its efforts just yet.
The developer has a strong support system backing it up, and given the positive reviews so far, it’s highly possible that Ilysia will become an incredible one-of-a-kind VR experience that will bring back the “glory days of MMORPGs.”
Slated to release on PCVR and Oculus Quest, Ilysia is expected to launch some time during Q4 of 2021.