Vindictus – Review
Explore the shattered world of Erinn in Nexon’s action packed free online MMORPG game, Vindictus. Praised for its innovative approach to combat mechanics, Vindictus has been hailed as the next generation of combat MMORPGs. Our new player experience review will take a look at some of the features and aspects of the game that new players will be exposed to. I’ve heard a fair bit about Vindictus, most of it quite positive, but all of it refers to the combat and action-packed battle scenes. It’s rare that I approach a MMO title with such high expectations, but I do hope that Vindictus makes the grade.
So I booted up the Vindictus client, eagerly anticipating a high-octane combat experience, only to be smashed in the face with a regional restriction. Take note, the game is available in both EU and US but has a separate client for both, so make sure you pick the right one. Moments later I had the right client and logged in properly, and was greeted by a nice approach to character creation. Unlike other MMO titles that display classes with a simple biography, Vindictus has a video introduction for each of the available classes, giving a rundown on the classes abilities, strengths and weaknesses. After choosing your class, you begin the Prologue. The Prologue is actually really impressive, combining a tutorial introduction with a number of cut-scenes and story scenarios. I won’t go into detail and spoil it, but as far as MMO introductions go, this is easily among the best out there, and the fight with the rather giant baddie at the end demonstrates just how action packed the combat can be.
After finishing the Prologue, which you can skip if you wish, you find yourself in a house and are approached by the young girl. This is where you choose your characters name and appearance options. Although quite basic in options, only allowing you to choose your hair, the character creation screen is very well done. You can see your character in various armor sets and change facial expressions. It’s very limited for a game of it’s time, but it does a great job of showing off the graphics and armor designs.
After creating your character you enter Colhen, the starting town. Again I was impressed by the graphical appearance of the town, and although I suffered quite a severe drop in frame rate, the highest settings easily compete with any of today’s top MMORPG titles. Whilst exploring the town I was able to enter a number of the buildings and was surprised to see that Vindictus even has a new way of interacting with interiors. Instead of walking into a shop or building and exploring, you enter an interior and are given the choice of interacting with anyone inside, using a store or having a chitchat. It provides a feeling of immersion that I haven’t experienced in a MMO title before, offering an in-depth story with dozens of intricately developed NPC characters.
After having my fill of exploring the town I decided to head out to the docks and partake in my first quest. By this point I had almost expected to be surprised at every turn and the questing system didn’t disappoint. There was a quest board at the docks that had a list of available quests, but there was also a number of other exciting features. I was able to create my own party for the quest, name my group, choose a difficulty setting and add an Oath of Honor. The Oath of Honor is a bonus condition that adds extra rewards should you complete it, I had the choice of finishing the quest within 15 minutes or completing it without repairing, I chose the latter. I was then teleported to a small area with a boat and a dock, the waiting area for starting the quest. Unbeknown to me, a fellow traveler had joined me on my journey and we decided to set sail. A cool little feature appeared, giving a feel-good start to the quest. Battle music began and the camera encircled the boat and docks before focusing on both our characters displaying a name and cheering animation, it definitely set the tone for our upcoming challenge.
Once arriving at the quest location, I ran around for a few seconds before coming across my first enemies. I dispatched of them within seconds, slashing my swords around and using the combination attacks displayed in tutorial videos in the corner of the screen. After utterly destroying my first group, I moved on to the next, oozing with confidence. This group was far bigger but the tutorial prompt displayed an alternative weapon choice. It appeared that my class had access to a long range attack using a spear, but this wasn’t a simple auto-aim and fire attack, instead it took me into a first person type view, requiring me to aim it manually. I launched my spear at the furthest enemy and was amazed that the camera actually followed the projectile, and to amaze me even further, it sent the enemy flying backwards smashing everything it touched along the way.
I continued through the quest and eventually arrived at a boss fight. It was quite obvious as there was a large group of enemies with one of them being about 4x the size of the rest. I chose to remain at a distance and hit the boss with an awesomely placed headshot with my spear, which took it down to its knees. I then dispatched of a few of the others before hurtling another spear at the boss, using this technique I cleared the room pretty easily and was able to leave the dungeon. Upon leaving I was presented with a completion screen as well as a pretty attractive leveling up graphic. The completion screen gave me an overall rank based on my combo attacks, damage sustained and other stats.
That marked the end of my new player experience review in Vindictus, and I have to say, it’s by far the greatest new player experience I’ve ever had. I’ve played all of the top MMO games, from Aion and Guild Wars 2 to the recently released TERA Online, yet the combat and various features in Vindictus top them all. Smash your enemies with your sword, smash your enemies with a vase, hell, even smash your enemies using other enemies, Vindictus is the game every combat driven MMO fan has been waiting for. Check back soon for our full Vindictus Review.
by Blaine Smith