blade soul worth wait
After 3 years, NCSoft’s Blade and Soul has finally landed in North America and Europe. The game is known for combining martial arts type combat and busty vixens tossed into an MMORPG world oozing with options. It’s been a long time coming for this game,and several people were wondering if the delayed release would be the reason Blade and Soul would be tossed onto the back burner for good. After dumping countless hours into this game, I am confident in saying that Blade and Soul will be a go to MMORPG for many gamers.
You begin your journey by choosing between one of four races: the hulkish Gon, cute but intimidating Lyn, Amazonian Yun, or the human-esque Jin. However, races are limited to three classes each, but some of them overlap one another. For example, only Jin can play assassins, but Jin and Yun can choose blade master. Character creation allows you a wide variety of presets that can be adjusted through sliders. To my surprise you’re not confined to a predetermined aesthetic form. You can make your character as beautiful as a Victoria’s Secret model, or as gruesome looking as Medusa herself.
Treason has compromised the Hongmoon School, and it’s up to you to travel the world to seek vengeance. I usually am not entertained by MMORPG storylines, but Blade and Soul presents narrative through flashy cut scenes from familiar anime structures. Skills are bound to 1-4, across Z-V, and the mouse buttons. Your hand seems to be isolated to one area on the keyboard, bringing the gameplay in line with many other action MMORPGs.
As you gain new skills they can be chained together tactically to maximize damage. This system is engaging by keeping you on your toes as attacks become chained together. You don’t always move as you attack, but you can use your special abilities to counter and avoid enemies. You must weigh your options against different enemies and their chosen weapon. You know a two-handed axe can cause massive damage, but it is a slow attack. As an assassin you can dodge the swinging axe, barrel roll around your enemy, and stealthily stab his back penetrating his spine. All offensive attacks can be countered, but remember, so can defensive maneuvers.
Naturally in any MMORPG, leveling is a grind. It is broken up between open world PVP, linear story line progression, and dungeon crawling. There are plenty of systems to choose from, even at lower levels, to break up the tediousness of repeated quests. You can spend your time killing a world boss for a chance to spin the Wheel of Fate or you can upgrade your weapons by providing it with junk items picked up around the world.
Leveling is a huge exploration quest consisting of killing, retrieving, and finding new areas to repeat the former. The world in Blade and Soul is a sequence of linear paths interconnected by warp portals. While appealingly diverse, and beautiful to the eye, many elements feel recycled. Every dungeon crawl sends you down the same dark path and every village has a citizen who asks you to perform some pointless quest. However, performing these grinds with friends makes time go by faster. Who doesn’t love banter while traveling through a dark forest?
Blade and Soul does offer the option to buy cross game currency, called NCoins. You can spend your NCoins in the shop that offers a variety of items ranging from costumes, experience boosters, and materials used for crafting. Blade and Soul also offers Founder Packs for purchase. The highest, and of course, most expensive pack includes items like bag space, additional character slots, and enhancing the premium surface. You do get a good deal for the money you pay, but it is unfortunate that many exclusives included are only good for a single character. If for some reason you want to try out a new class or just reroll your character from the jump, your money essentially goes down the drain. Blade and Soul isn’t immune to the often irritating cash shop/pay to win option, but luckily base leveling isn’t hindered by this option. Yes, it is annoying to see the option blinking in the corner, but you will learn to ignore it if you choose not to engage the cash spending options.
Blade and Soul is going to be a game that a lot of MMORPG players in the West will want to dive into. It’s been a long time since I have seen a game this definitive. It’s finally the breath of fresh air MMORPG enthusiasts have been begging for; addictive play through, hypnotic combat, anime aesthetic design, and just an overall vibrant feel to the game. If you are looking to dive into a game with Eastern flare and an engaging combat system, then Blade and Soul is a no brainer. What are you waiting for? Click that download button now!
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