Rift: Planes of Telara – Review
Explore Telara, a world torn apart by the epic struggle between the noble Guardians and the wielders of techno-magic, Defiants. Rift: Planes of Telara thrusts players into a fantasy world filled to the brim with innovative MMORPG features. Combining a vast array of intensive PvP features and extensive PvE activities. Rift: Planes of Telara is the latest premium MMO title to follow the popular trend of changing to a free to play model.
If you’re not familiar with our reviews here at XMMORPG, our first review for a game is usually a new player experience review. This is a unique approach to game reviews as we offer information relevant to new players such as the tutorial quests, the basic systems of the game as well as anything else we come across. Today I’ll be reviewing the hugely popular, Rift: Planes of Telara. The first thing that greets you when you load up the client is an engaging cut-scene that features characters from both Guardians and Defiants. It does a great job of giving you the basic foundations of the games story, without giving too much away. After you watch the short but breathtaking cut-scene, it’s character creation time. Your first choices lies with the two nations within Rift: Planes of Telara, Guardians and Defiants, from the brief descriptions, I was given the impression that Guardians are the “Light Side” faction of the game, and as I consider myself a good guy, I aligned with the Guardians. You’re then presented with 3 unique races, all of which have a male and female option. The following screen features character class options, with 4 available classes, each of which have sub archetypes such as damage, tanking, healing or support. Rift: Planes of Telara offers even further depth by providing players with another specialization choice. I was pretty impressed with the variety of the specialization options available for the Warrior but I’m a creature of habit and went with the Destroyer setting, that overly large weapon was just to hard to resist.
After another brief cut-scene you finally get chance to play the game. Within 30 seconds of leaving the Rebirth Sanctuary I was immediately impressed. The graphics really are astonishing, especially considering that Rift: Planes of Telara now offers a free to play model. The surrounding environment was bustling as NPC characters ran around attacking enemies, strange magical spells reigned from the skies and demonic creatures were terrorizing villagers. Thankfully the tutorial is very quick and simple and after completing a couple of basic quests, you’re free to progress as you please.
The combat is highly responsive and the animations blend perfectly, presenting one of the most well crafted combat systems I’ve ever seen in a MMORPG game. I only had 2 attacking abilities and a couple of buffs but I was charging down enemies and dispatching them within seconds. Chuckling away to myself as I swung my ridiculous huge sword I found myself ignoring the majority of the tutorial popups just to move on to the next enemy quicker, that was until I leveled up. Here I was, expecting a simple ability tree with a couple of choices here and there, but what I got instead was totally different. Rift: Planes of Telara boasts a custom progression system unlike anything I’ve seen in other MMO titles, I wasn’t just given 3 specialization options, each with unique ability trees, but I could also swap for the other specializations available at character creation. In effect, I was able to level 15 different classes as I saw fit. I wasn’t able to get too deep into this system during my new player experience but within 30 minutes of playing I’d tested out every specialization available and had chosen how to spend the next 50 skill points that I’d earn. You can use up to three specializations at once, creating a highly diverse list of possibilities for my character.
Overall, the new player experience in Rift: Planes of Telara is one of the best you can expect from a free to play title. The game provides a unique package consisting of great features, awesome graphics and a depth to character progression that you’re unlikely to see in any other MMORPG title. A must play game for any MMO fans.
by Blaine Smith
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