How Soon Until Everything is an MMO?How Soon Until Everything is an MMO? columnist Justin Webb writes about the growing trend in single players and small group co-op games toward looking more and more like their MMORPG cousins.

This week I have mostly been playing Mass Effect 2, Borderlands, and Star Trek Online (and wondering how Scott is going to wrap up his epic two-parter tomorrow).

Doing so has highlighted, for me, a trend that has been slowly growing throughout all of gaming: RPGs are becoming more like shooters; and shooters are becoming more like RPGs.

For example, Mass Effect 2 is a wonderfully streamlined third-person shooter with a lot of its previous incarnation’s RPG-ness excised; while Borderlands is a joyful shooter that is almost indistinguishable from an MMO. It’s getting hard to know what MMORPG “means” nowadays. The lines between genres are blurring. Which one is the RPG: Mass Effect 2 or Borderlands?


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