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Vindictus

Prologue 01I picked up on this game earlier, because there was some hurrah about its physical engine. In that time only North America and the Far East could play it, but today there is a European server too, so it came on and I tried it out, and since then I can’t really put it down. If I had to write a shortlist with the best MMOs of the world, Vindictus would be in the first ten. Maybe in the first five.

Yeah, I admit it; the first twenty or twenty-five levels come easily, you quickly grow above your enemies, but starting on the third location you must pull up your socks. Broadly speaking, a game of real challenges and solo or team tactics starts here.

Although character creation gives not much opportunities, the prologue is impressive. Its excellent quality is only one thing: besides, you can get an insight into gameplay and physical engine alike, and it lays the foundation of the main story – I don’t ask more from an intro. I would be glad if there are some more cutscenes in the continuation, but on the whole we can set this aside.

Prologue 03An interesting element of the game is that you get no quests but you take part in shorter or longer stories in a war situation. If you are interested only in action, perhaps you will find it boring that sometimes you have to walk in circles around the town just to talk a heap of NPCs and get to the next step of the story.

However, when it’s time for action, the real merit of Vindictus suddenly show itself. And it means indistinguishable levels of difficulty, an excellently working point system, and a nicely wrought physical engine.

Because it’s not the same if you fight a Battle either on normal or hard level of difficulty. On normal level you will have not much trouble with your opponents, but on hard level the damage and accuracy of their attacks is increased, so you have to pay attention to not to be hit by them. Bosses attacking fast or in unexpected directions won’t make it easy.

EvieAnd how can a point system work excellently? For example, it motivates the player. I found myself looking at the bonus tasks before every single battle, because I wanted more points. You can increase your Battle Points (BP) by playing the battles again and completing new bonus missions. Some of them need only luck, the others put the player’s skills to the test.

For example, you need luck for finding three rare crystals in a given battle. However, you must create a proper situation to defeat a boss with kicks, objects or secondary weapons. The game gives such tasks, and I found relatively few missions from the “get xy amount of something” type.

battle 01The frequently mentioned physical engine is so serious that many stand-alone game might be envious. Almost only the frames of the environment (ground and walls) are not destroyable, so you can ruin almost everything. What’s more, in one or more pieces you can use the objects of your environment against your opponents – even the golem of the magician is made of the debris of the environment.

Sometimes the game surprises the player with an extra battle on areas left behind earlier. Besides, there are special battles with a requirement of getting some items. Vindictus’ biggest fail is the unbearably low drop rate (a number which determines how frequently you will get some important item after you defeated your opponents). In some cases you have to fight a battle three or four times to get everything you need for the completion of your current tasks.

SuccessTalking about fails: A great many of players are making faces when they hear that party mates are seeing each other through P2P connection, where the party leader is the host. In my opinion, you shouldn’t be so prejudicial. I felt no problem with this; parties were not lagging, and anyway, this form of connection applies only to your companions, not to your opponents. It makes the load on the servers easier, just like the robes you see on other characters in mass locations (e.g.: in the starter town).

Good news is: the game is frequently updated. North American servers advanced further down the road, and perhaps Europe will never catch it, but it is reassuring that they try to keep the schedule. For example, new episodes are coming regularly, and the eighth one brings a new character into play, at least in theory. It’s still the future in Europe, but it gives hope that soon we can choose among four characters, because they differ from each other significantly (this article was written years ago —Garcius).

DethronedAnd here is a substantive momentum which makes the whole game playable at least one more time: game experience depends on the chosen character. This should be a basic requirement in every case when a company wanna put the “RPG” sticker on its game – unfortunately, it is an insuperable barrier for most development teams, so we should be glad for the very few who fought this creative problem down.

To sum it up, Vindictus is a very addictive game. You can feel the carefulness of the developers, and by spending some real world money you can get a few extras, the company is lead by no money centered policy. Of course, they need the income, but during 32 character levels I never felt that it would be better if I buy something. Maybe some storage space, but nothing else.

I recommend this game to those who like fantasy MMOs of high standard.

Garcius—

Vindictus_BoxPublisher: Nexon
Developer: devCAT
Homepage: http://vindictus.nexon.net/
In Europe: http://vindictus.nexoneu.com/
Style: hack’n’slash MMORPG

What I liked:
Basically, everything is all right

What I didn’t like:
Tiny, insignificant graphical bug

Low drop rate

5_45

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