Parabellum, the online FPS developed by ACONY is set for release early 2009 (circulated rumors point towards March) and is currently in the middle of its beta stages. Parabellum is a first person shooter that combines in depth character customization and game modes that consists of 5 vs 5 in "unique" match based games.
According to ACONY, players will be able to enter different game modes that can last anywhere from 15 minutes to over an hour where team members will try to finish certain mission objectives common to the FPS genre such as disarming or detonating bombs. Instead of a single map area for gamers to duke it out, Parabellum game modes each consist of a cluster of interconnected maps or areas where the decisions made by team members will result in the final outcome of their mission objective. As an example, in a recent interview with IGN, ACONY said players might pass by a subway and choose to use it (they did not say whether it was simply a loading step into another instanced area, or you actually get to ride it) instead of hoofing it on foot to disarming a nuclear bomb.
Across several gaming sites the term "MMOFPS" seems to be floating around when the game is mentioned. It is even described as such on the games homepage. The developers believe that what sets this shooter apart from other games in the genre is a larger focus on character customization and development. Parabellum does have goals above par when it comes to throwing that cosmetic splash on customization options. Yet the game still lacks what all MMO games have- and that is a persistently connected player environment. So don't be fooled by the claims. Players may be able to wear the same pink leopard skinned Kevlar helmet they wore the game before, but when your mission is accomplished get back in line to play the same thing over again or choose a different game mode. Point is, not an MMO.
Characters will level up and are able to be matched up according to their skill level or rank. While leveling up they will gain extra "styles" and "weapon skins" to give that extra tilt towards having your own unique character. ACONY has stated that these perks will not come with special attributes such as extra health points or more accurate aiming, it seems they believe it will come with gamer experience. This is something many FPS gamers can appreciate though. Nothing more frustrating than getting fragged every corner you turn the moment you log into a game. Though you may possess the skills of a Bosnian sniper; what is that going to do when you start with a pistol - and your opponent has a satellite laser beam mod attached to the side of his golden rocket launcher?
ACONY has also stated that in order to maintain free-to-play gaming, they will be funded through in-game advertisements and pay items. Again, these are just items to give you that "cosmetic splash"- not super human powers.
All in all, though the game does have a strong scent of independent development, it still appears to be promising and will be something for first person shooter fans to watch- especially because its free.
DISCLAIMER: It has not been confirmed from the developers that pink leopard skinned Kevlar helmets will be available.