[VIN] Hands-On Preview: An Amazing Physics-Based MMO
For those of you saying that Dragon Nest is better than Vindictus or doubting that Vindictus is the #1 free MMO, maybe this will help convince you otherwise.
Destruction Never Looked So Good
Nexon and devCat’s unbelievably polished next-generation MMORPG sets a standard that even most console games can’t measure up to. What’s more is that the future of MMOs could definitely sway in a new direction if this game manages to attain a loyal enough following.
The first public, closed-beta test was held for the upcoming free-to-play MMO, Vindictus, shortly after the gameplay was on display at ComicCon, which reaped very positive results from most gaming media outlets. This Vindictus preview basically runs through what you can expect from the game and what some of the in-game features are like…and anyone who has been following this game since it debuted as Mabinogi Heroes will want to keep reading.
Cinematic Quality Graphics
The first thing anyone might notice about Vindictus once they boot it up is that the game pretty much looks like most cinematic sequences in common big budget games (with the graphic settings on high, of course). The opening sequence of the game entitled “Prologue” is a playable mission that helps acquaint players with the game’s next-generation play scheme that revolves primarily around physics-based gameplay…yes, physics-based gameplay.
Running on a modified version of Valve’s renowned Source Engine, the gameplay in Vindictus is strikingly solid to have such a rich visual atmosphere. The latest in bloom, high quality normal mapping and clothes physics (complete with tearing and shredding) is on full display, right at the start of the game. What’s more is that these amazing graphics aren’t just there as some ploy to get gamers to oogle and stare in awe at the amazing visuals, they actually serve in-game purposes. For instance, if a player kicks down a support beam whatever it was supporting will fall to the ground and if someone or something happens to be underneath it, they’ll get crushed…this even applies to boss battles.
Taking Physics To The Next Level
The key element to the gameplay in Vindictus is its reliance on physical interaction between the player and mobs, as well as the player, the mobs and the environment. Just about every visible object that isn’t part of the ground or composed of the walls can be picked up, broken down or used as a tool of destruction to whatever end the player desires.
But picking up and breaking things isn’t the only purpose they serve, it’s how players unlock titles, earn health bonuses or uncover hidden objects within an instance. The developers have done a remarkable job in ensuring that the interactivity levels are there to compel players to search, explore and ultimately, destroy everything in sight. In addition to this, players will have their armor damaged and visibly wrecked during combat, with the physics being used to display loose shreds of clothes and hanging plate mail.
Partying Through An Instance
Unfortunately, due to the game’s non-targeting gameplay procedures, all the combat is handled via instances. A handful of players can party up together on a boat, which is usually designated by the instance or battle selected, and then the party leader can choose to depart to that battle. Before leaving out there are additional achievement points that can be chosen for each unlocked stage to earn extra experience, skill points and gold. Players can only unlock new stages by advancing the storyline so the developers managed most of the match-making based on questlines rather than level, which adds a nice twist to the game, insofar that high levels and low levels aren’t immediately basked in the nepotism found in most other MMOs.
Keeping The NPCs Simple Makes It Better
In a lot of other RPGs you’ll head into the main square or a shop and it’s crowded with players, all jam-packed into an area trying to talk to the NPC as well as each other. Vindictus completely eliminates the NPC-crowding by getting rid of NPCs. Yes, this game has no 3D NPC avatars oftentimes found in most MMORPGs released in this day and age.
Instead, Vindictus opts for a more old-school effect for interacting with store owners, mercenary members and soldiers: 2D sprites. That may sound like a step backward in our modern age of super-advanced visual effects and high-end HDR lighting. However, for the game it makes perfect sense having 2D avatars because players can interact with them without the worry of being bombarded by a hundred other players all crowding around the character. Added to this, there are certain story related elements attached to these characters that only change after players individually access or unlock specific story-related quests.
Home Sweet Home
The towns in Vindictus, much like the battle scenarios, are instanced areas where players are grouped into various non-visible channel hubs. Within these towns players can talk to the 2D NPCs, acquire story quests or side-quests, as well as engage in crafting or trading/exchanging items with other players.
Considering that the game could easily fall into one of those “What the heck do I do next?” situations, the game has small icons on the ground indicating where players should go and what they should do next to either progress the story or unlock new content. Surprisingly enough, the game is extremely casual-friendly to be a hardcore, physics-based beat-e’m-up title.
More Classes To Come
While the closed beta gave gamers a lot to oogle and awe over, there was a strikingly limited supply of character classes to play, with only the Lann Warrior and the Fiona Warrior available to play. Their differences were mainly in that Lann uses dual swords and Fiona supplicates the second sword for a shield (turning the right mouse button action into a shield bash instead of an additional combo attack).
More classes will be revealed soon and hopefully will be available to play in the next phase of the game’s beta.
As it stands, Vindictus is shaping up to be an addictive, fun-filled action brawler that should keep most MMO gamers who are looking for something unique and different, quite busy for a very long time.
For further more information on Vindictus feel free to visit the Official Website.
For more action-oriented MMO games be sure to check out the complete MMO Action Game Directory here at Bright Hub.
Fast-paced Action Vindictus Interview: Hack-and-slash Gameplay
1. Please tell us more about your upcoming game, Vindictus.
Vindictus is a fast-paced, action-oriented MMO which will change the way players think about combat in online games. Built off of a modified version of Valve’s Source Engine, Vindictus features highly interactive environments, realistic physics and even destructible armor. On top of that, Vindictus boasts some really eye-catching graphics. All of this together gives Vindictus a feeling of what we like to call, “Brutal Elegance.”
2. Aside from the interactive environments, what can we expect in terms of gameplay?
Everything your character is doing on-screen will be a direct result of what you have done using your mouse and keyboard or your game controller. In other words, there are no auto-attacks or “click and wait for the enemy to fall down” moments in Vindictus. The style of gameplay is very similar to a hack-and-slash action title. Along with the interactive environments which you mentioned, players can also expect to see some high impact combos, cinematic grab attacks and a freedom to attack the enemies in a variety of fun and exciting ways.
3. Can you provide a brief description of the crafting system in the game? Also what special benefits can be gained by leveling your crafting skills?
Crafting is carried out by NPCs that a character visits in town. Completing different missions will cause these NPCs to learn the ability to craft new weapons and armor. Crafting is essential in Vindictus. Some of your enemies will drop items which can then be used as ingredients to create the best armor, equipment and weapons available in the game. There are also a few side quests which are specifically related to crafting specific items.
4. How many classes are planned for Vindictus’ CBT, OBT, and release?
During our Closed Beta, players are able to choose between Lann, a dual-sword wielder, and Fiona, who carries a sword and shield. Soon, we will introduce Evie, our mage character. We have others planned for the future, but we have not yet made any official announcements about them.
5. Are there character creation limitations? Gender lock? Or others?
The characters are gender locked for purposes relating to the lore on which both Vindictus and Mabinogi are based. Other than that, however, there is very little limitation to how a player can customize their character. Players in Closed Beta have already seen a variety of skin colors, hair colors, hairstyles and more which they can use to create the look they want. As we move on past Closed Beta, players will see even more of these options. On top of that, there is a ton of equipment a player can use to outfit their character and give them a unique look.
6. Will Vindictus be similar to Mabinogi where you would need a service to access a decent amount of bank space or to continue with the story?
We are still in the process of finalizing our decisions about what will be available for players, but we have no intention of blocking aspects of the story from any of our players.
7. Was it at all possible to allow Vindictus to be played in an open world, similar to Mabinogi?
While Vindictus does have some open world aspects, such as the town of Colhen, keeping the combat in instanced dungeons made the most sense particularly because of the destructible environments. Nobody wants to play in an area where someone else already destroyed everything!
8. What about Wars? Will be there Guild VS Guild wars or something special similar to that?
Currently, we haven’t made any announcements about this sort of thing. I would say that we have a lot of really fun and interesting things planned out for the future of Vindictus, so players should keep an eye out for updates and announcements.
9. Are there going to be different routes of specialization?
Characters in Vindictus will have tons of skills which they can learn and train. As players get stronger, they will find which skills work best for their style of play and they will likely focus on those skills. In other words, two high level Lanns might have completely different skill sets and will therefore play very differently from each other.
10. Will Vindictus be like Mabinogi where items don’t have a level requirement or will it be like at level 1 you get this item and at level 2 you get this item?
Some items will have a level requirement and some will have a skill requirement in order for a character to use them.
11. Will CBT characters be saved and usable for release?
Closed Beta characters will be erased at the end of the CBT.
12. Will players that buy items from Cash Shop will be more “powerful” than standard players without cash shop items?
Although we haven’t announced our Cash Shop plans, our goal has always been to focus on cosmetic items and items of convenience in the Cash Shop. We want all of our players to be able to experience all of the excitement of Vindictus regardless of whether they use the Cash Shop or not.