5 Reasons Why Blade And Soul is Looking AWESOME
All aboard the hype train! Blade and Soul (BnS) has arrived to the West and looks great! Folks have been waiting for this game since its initial release back in 2012 and the train still hasn’t been derailed. But in case you jumped tracks long ago or have just been living under a gigantic rock these past 3 or so years, here are the only five reasons you will ever need to get all hot and bothered about Blade and Soul.
While there are plenty of other beautiful looking games that range from the cartoony stylistics of Wildstar, to the gritty and visceral feel of the upcoming Black Desert, or even the unique aesthete of the slightly older TERA, Blade and Soul can compete in that department more than you’d think.
In a massive and sprawling open world filled with lush greenery, soaring mountains, and Chinese-inspired aesthetics?, BnS manages to trigger every player’s wanderlust, urging them to dash through the intricate environment and soar through the vast airways of BnS’ world. The game world is so stunning that screenshots and videos about the game can do no justice to how gorgeous it is when seen firsthand.
Added to all that, BnS boasts one of the more intricate character creation optimizations in existence. While there may only be four races to choose from, the possibilities are almost endless in creating your very own, unique avatar. From bust size to booty size, the plethora of choices to make your avatar truly one of a kind is astounding. It boggles the mind as to why this game is even free-to-play in the first place. From the character creation screen alone, you can already tell that NCSoft went to great lengths to make these character models look as amazing as possible.
A Fair Cash Shop
Like all F2P MMOs, the BnS cash shop is perhaps the biggest concern that weighs on every gamer’s mind. After all, who wants to grind countless hours to obtain the relatively unobtainable just to encounter another player who got them all at once just because he’s got a fat wallet?
So, I know what you’re thinking – is BnS pay-to-win? It is definitely not.. Like most F2P MMOs these days, and especially with BnS developed by none other than NCSoft, you can definitely expect that the items sold on the cash shop are nothing more than vanity items, items of convenience, and even silly products that cater to the more discerning customer. None of which are capable of ever breaking the game with overpowered stats or other unfair advantages that we, as gamers, have come to loathe. People can buy Blade and Soul gold online, as well as accounts and items, but this doesn’t seem to affect the mechanics.
A Tale for Generations
While it may be becoming more and more common for MMOs to have some semblance of plot or storyline, it’s still rare to find an online game that takes story to the next level. Joining the ranks of such storytelling greats like Star Wars: The Old Republic and The Secret World is BnS’ own riveting tale of tragedy and vengeance. I wouldn’t want to give away too much by spilling the beans right here, but there are tons of cut-scenes in BnS that are replete with action and decent voice acting. The overall naturalness of the plot make tedious leveling into an exciting “what’s next!?” kind of experience.
Frankly, I was expecting to trudge through another experience grind but it has, instead, reinvigorated that old child-like longing for basic progression, similar to how most of us viewed leveling in the past. Tl;dr, leveling has become fun again.
A Great End Game
For three years, people have been clamoring for a western release but the long wait is finally over. But the wait has taken its toll on gamers everywhere. Some have decided to move on to other endeavors and others have just forgotten BnS entirely. Now, one might think of that as a bad thing, but it certainly isn’t when you consider that, for three years, BnS has been developing newer and newer content as the days go by, giving us a plethora of tasty game changes. These changes will most likely hit the western BnS rapidly, giving players a lot to do on our side of the planet.
With tons of gear, dungeons, a level cap increase, and the imminent arrival of the new Necromancer class, these developments won’t incur the same kind of launch woes that most MMOs have concerning content. And while all us in the west are gobbling down the already prepared content, the original BnS servers continue to get developed..
Take Me Down!
Finally, the true meat of the game – the one aspect that truly made the Blade and Soul hype train possible at all: The Combat System.
A lot of folks ask what game is be most similar to BnS’ combat and it is, frankly, a combination of many. I could list a billion different MMOs and explain why they’re alike, but perhaps the closest, in my opinion, would be Skyforge’s tab-targeting combined with the free-form combat stylistics of Guild Wars 2 and TERA, with a skill combo system and speed similar to the latter.
I know how some folks out there are easily bothered by the word “tab-targeting,” but it’s different from the way World of Warcraft or Final Fantasy XIV. Targeting here is only meant for checking health levels and auto-attacking. Everything else, however, is skill-shot based and will test your hand-eye coordination to the extreme. Combat here relies more on your own personal reflexes, tactical micromanagement, and knowledge of your characters inner-workings rather than derp-targetting and watching all your attacks hit without fail as it would normally be in games like WoW or WAR. To be honest… It’s all about skill over gear in BnS and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
In a Nut Shell
The skills here are flashy, seamless, and flow like water. There are an innumerable number of methods to take down your opponents that breathe an air of class into the action MMO genre, with the only limiting factor being one’s own creativity and imagination. Takedowns, sword acrobatics, Chinese martial arts-inspired strikes, and a whole lot more await the eager action gamer. I’m pretty biased towards melee-oriented classes because, as I know well, it’s usually the melee classes that have the coolest looking moves and heaviest hitting attacks in action MMOs. But ranged classes here, like the Force Master, are not too shoddy either, capable of devastating spells to decimate, control, and support in the battlefield, and they even have the ability to force choke and push opponents away like gnats.
And, yes, it’s just as Star Wars-inspired as it sounds. The combat is viscerally good and, frankly, there isn’t any game out right now that can match its grandeur, save for a few noteworthy games.
At the end of it all, even with all that I’ve said, there’s a simpler way to tell you why you should try out Blade and Soul; because it’s freaking awesome.