Metaboli: Gaming on Demand

Written by Joe Martin

August 10, 2007 | 10:31

Tags: #awomo #beyond-good-and-evil #deus-ex #free #games-on-demand #gametap #subscribe #subscription

Companies: #steam

Games! I Demand!

So, the first thing any newcomer to Metaboli is going to look at is the list of available games. If there are too few then it will obviously not present much value for money, but saturating the list of games with too many out-dated or limp, casual games (the very notion of which still makes me shudder) isn’t going to be the answer either.

Any online games service like Metaboli or Steam needs to turn one of two ways; providing for a niche, or mass-appeal. Metaboli has settled on the latter and, as such, offers up a wide selection of games to suit nearly all tastes.

The available games are divided into six standard categories; Action, Strategy, Simulation/Race, Adventure/RPG, Family, Sport. On top of this the Metaboli site offers the option to view all games as one and games which will be coming soon.

The ability to see which games are on their way to Metaboli soon is a nice little touch and clicking takes customers through to a page which details what games are coming to the service and when. At the time of writing there were three games listed as coming soon to the Essential Collection, having been part of the Ultimate Collection long enough to qualify, and a series of titles which were in the pipeline.

Metaboli: Gaming on Demand Games! I Demand!
Metaboli will have access to games which previously have required Steam to run

Games in the pipeline are broadly divided into three categories again; those that Metaboli lists as Testing, Preparing or Approved. Games under the Testing tag will be available in only a little while, once Metaboli staff are sure the system works well enough. Games in the Preparing area are being processed for the service and will be available in “two to six weeks, depending on the game’s complexity”, finally the Approved games are those which have been approved by publishers to be added to the service but are not currently in a state to be worked on.

One of the most intriguing things about the Coming Soon are is that it lists games like Dark Messiah of Might and Magic, which have previously only been available with a Steam account, are listed as coming to Metaboli – putting the series in even more direct competition with Steam.

The list of games available in the main section is quite extensive and the Ultimate Collection allows access to over 180 games. Of these, 47 games are action games, 50 are strategy games and 43 are Adventure/RPG games, with the remainder falling mostly into the Simulation/Race category. However, some games cross over into multiple sections, such as the frustratingly buggy Boiling Point: Road to Hell which falls into both Adventure/RPG and Action categories due to it’s hybrid gameplay.

Metaboli: Gaming on Demand Games! I Demand!
Metaboli even gives access to massive games like S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl

All in all, the list of games is very well balanced and, while there are no really, really new games in the line-up, there are a fair few games included on the Ultimate Collection which are recent classics or AAA+ titles. S.T.A.L.K.E.R: Shadow of Chernobyl and Overlord are prime examples of fairly recent games that are already on the list, alongside games like Hitman: Contracts and Far Cry.

Most pleasing to me however is the number of older games which have a reputation for high quality. Anybody who reads my articles regularly will know the deep love I have for the work of Warren Spector and Michel Ancel, so it’s great to see that games like Beyond Good and Evil, Deus Ex and Thief: Deadly Shadows are on the list. I was personally deeply shocked at how many bit-tech regulars hadn’t tried Deus Ex in the past, so it’s great to see what is undoubtedly one of the best PC games ever being given a new lease of life in this subscription system.
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