Richard Garriott's Tabula Rasa
But it was no victory for planet Earth. Realizing that they couldn't overcome the resistance, the Bane set their ultimate weapon in motion: the shardship. Slowly moving towards earth it's mission was simply to crash on the surface and unleash it's deadly biological innards.
Unable to stop the ship, a top-secret organization began to evacuate the best of the surviving rest through wormholes created and hidden on Earth by unknown forces. But instead of fleeing to safety, the survivors joined other aliens in the fight against the Bane directly at the front line. Meanwhile Earth's fate is unknown but it is presumed that it doesn't exist anymore in the way we knew it.
After you've created a character you join the AFS and enter the game. When you create a character you can't select a class. Instead at the levels 5, 15 and 30 you need to choose between one of the available career paths. Each career paths gives you access to different abilities. At level 5 you can for example choose between being a soldier or a specialist. While the soldier can learn to use machine guns, the specialist acquires the knowledge to use tools like Healing Discs or Field Repair Tools. You get the points you need to unlock these new abilities at each level up including some points you can allocate into your basic attributes body, mind and spirit.
Also the decision of your career path is final for your character, you can use clone credits to make an exact copy of yourself at any time (preferably before you choose the next path). This copy will share the same last name as you and will also share the same allocation of attribute points up to this point but will loose all equipment. This way you can try out every possible path without going through all the hassle of leveling up to that point again.
There's another catch in the whole unlocking skills-mechanic. For some skills it isn't enough to just invest points but you also need to find the corresponding logo shrine which are scattered all over the land. Once you touch them, they'll transfer the knowledge directly to you and from that moment on you are free to use every skill that is associated with that logo.
The combat system is slightly also different from games like World of Warcraft. To hit an enemy you need to keep him in the focus or lock onto him and then shoot while keeping him in your sight. Depending on your current state (if you move, crouch or something like that), the distance to your target and the weapon you chose to attack with, you'll make more or less damage. The enemies are also particular vulnerable to different kinds of ammunition which you have to buy in the camps. Weapons like the shotgun also have spread damage which is of a good use when fighting a group of enemies.
The combat also features a few tricks like melee combat and finishing moves. If you made a serious amount of damage to a target it won't just fall down and die. It'll remain standing for a few seconds and allow you to make a finishing move. If the move was successful or you killed many enemies in a short order, you'll gain a temporary experience boost.
As in Ultima Online, Richard Garriott is represented by his very own unique character in the game. He's known as General British and acts as the leader of the AFS-forces.