I suspect the killer app for InstantAction will be Fallen Empire: Legions. It's described as "A team-based FPS featuring a jetpack that provides great freedom of movement in large, open terrains." Does that sound familiar to any Tribes fans out there? Need I really say more?

At the moment the games are free, and you can pay for ActionPoints which unlock additional content (e.g. maps and levels) or extra features like new Avatar icons for your profile. This business model may change once InstantAction leaves its current Beta phase, though nothing has been confirmed yet on costs. One option is that the core games will remain free but players will have to pay for additional content. Let's hope so, as free basic play is a major part of the appeal right now.

On first impressions, I'm reasonably impressed with InstantAction. It's fast, it's easy and it works. I suspect it could be the bane of many a big business. With no clients to download or programs to install employees will find the games easy to get going, and can quickly minimise the window when the boss-man comes around. I also like the way that it's easy to get other people involved (send them an invite and add them to your friends list) and that, having hosted a session and gathered your friends or colleagues, you can switch from game to game at will. It's practically perfect for a spot of after-work gaming in the office (should you have an understanding IT department) or a burst of action with PC owning mates from home. After all, with no box to buy and no compataibility issues or worries over files or patches, there's no reason not to have a go. This could be key if Garage Games wants to reach those who haven't previously got into PC games.

In a way, InstantAction is a taste of the future. Instant, on-demand services have obvious strengths; iD is already trialling a browser-based version of Quake 3, and some quite sensible industry figures are talking about a world where games become an Internet service more reliant on strong server technology than powerful console hardware. For now, the trick for InstantAction will be providing games that people want to come back to, and keeping things slick and speedy should a glut of new users arrive. I for one will be keeping a close eye on the service, and given the fact that it won't cost you anything to try it, I'd thoroughly recommend you do the same.

Link: InstantAction

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