Things That Set Sky: Children of the Light Apart From Other MMOs

android, things that set sky: children of the light apart from other mmos

Things That Set Sky: Children of the Light Apart From Other MMOs

The studio’s approach to multiplayer appears even more bold this time around. That’s because Sky: Children of the Light is a fully-fledged MMO, the most social of all multiplayer genres, even if it’s a unique kind of MMO. Sky distinguishes itself from the crowd at every turn, from the near-complete lack of dialogue to the absence of RPG and action mechanics, so central to the genre.

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There Is No Written Dialogue

Except For Occasional Narration

For many players, MMOs are a social experience. For others, they are lavishly produced worlds to lose themselves in while surrounded by passersby players. Usually, a big part of those worlds, the one created by the in-game fiction and the one brought to life organically by the other players, is driven by dialogue.

Not so in Sky: Children of the Light. Quest givers, helpful NPCs, and not-always-helpful players don’t communicate with written or spoken dialogue. Most NPCs and fellow PCs don’t communicate at all, and those who do use mostly actions and mimicry. The exception is the narration, which sometimes voices characters from the story’s past, and players that have a high level of friendship with one another.

It’s Not An MMORPG

Sky Is An MMO Adventure Game

Most older MMOs like World of Warcraft and RuneScape are real-time RPGs with a focus on combat. Meanwhile, newer titles usually play more like action RPGs or, occasionally, survival games where progression is tied to materials instead of experience points. Either way, most MMOs seem to be built around mechanical progression. Not so with Sky.

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Sky: Children of the Light is instead a story-focused adventure game where cooperation with other players is part of both the narrative and the puzzle. More experienced players can help novices through the first areas of the game, but it’s their expertise that makes the difference, not their stats.

It’s Very Story-Focused

A Story Unlike Any Other MMO

MMOs usually have a story. They can be as complex as a constantly evolving narrative that unravels over decades, or as unintrusive as the mini-stories of a Disney Dreamlight Valley. But regardless, all of them risk being promptly ignored by many uninterested players, as well as everyone going through it for a second time.

On the other hand, it’s hard to ignore the story in Sky: Children of the Light. The reason is twofold. Every step taken through the narrative informs what the player is allowed to do: their current, unspoken objective; whether they can fly and during which section. But the game also directs the player in more immediate ways, taking control of the camera or simply impeding movement in the wrong direction.

It’s Designed To Be Completed

And It’s Not A Live Service Game

While it’s true that Sky: Children of the Light can be played over and over with no end in sight, it’s not trying to be a live service game. Meanwhile, the vast majority of MMOs reward players who put in countless hours. It’s refreshing, then, to notice that Sky can be completed in about five hours.

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That isn’t to say that players can’t take their time, or stick around after the main story is over to complete daily quests. Few of the players that can be found near the start area of the first kingdom are just starting their quest. Many are returning players running some errands and helping newcomers find their way.

It Doesn’t Feature Combat

It’s All About Exploration Instead

To say that Sky doesn’t feature combat is correct, but it can lead to misunderstanding. Not every minute of this game is as peaceful as the beginning makes it out to be, and conflict can occasionally take the spotlight for large sections of time. That said, direct conflict rarely involves the player character. Most of the story (and drama) is focused instead on uncovering this world’s past.

The reason why this makes Sky: Children of the Light stand out so much from other MMO games is evident: most games are built around trials and conflicts, and most of those conflicts are at least partially resolved through combat. MMORPGs and Action-MMOs are especially reliant on fights, making Sky’s lack of combat a big departure from the genre.

Making Online Friends Is Different

Think Journey, Not World Of Warcraft

Players in Sky: Children of the Light tend to help each other a lot, at least when compared to many of the busier MMOs. It’s not rare to be driven through the first sections of the game by a more experienced player, learning obscure mechanics by imitating their new friends. The curious part is that all of this happens without dialogue.

Players can talk with one another, but only after they reach a high friendship level. Even then, there is no global chat, only direct messages with big friends, and no voice chat. Nothing stops those players from exchanging contact information, obviously, but it’s clear that the game is trying to foster a different kind of connection between players and within its world.

Sky: Children of the Light

Platform(s)Nintendo Switch, PS5, PS4, PC, iOS, AndroidReleasedJuly 18, 2019Developer(s)ThatgamecompanyGenre(s)RPG, Adventure, Indie Games

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