Nexon likes making MMOs. But they don’t like making MMOs that seem like the same old been there done that type of MMO. Yes, you are in a fantasy setting and yes, you are a person in shiny armor that hits goblins and dragons with big sharp swords and things. But trust me, the games, and to specify the games let me use the words Dragon Nest and Vindictus, feel different. Oh, they’re also free to play. Yeah. That got your attention.
First off, lets talk about Dragon Nest. It’s a neat action oriented MMO where you control a fantasy person trying to rescue princesses from dragons in dungeons. Yes, that sounds awfully stereotypical, but hang in there. It’s different from WOW in a few ways. First, the art style is more cartoony, bright and fun with lots of colors and big heads and big eyes. Its almost obscenely cheerful. Secondly, the game is controlled more like a console action game. You’ll be left clicking combos and right clicking kicks to the junk and using the number buttons to fling bitches into the air like nobody’s business. It was actually surprisingly fun. I have to admit, when I first saw the game I was thinking, “Oh good, another MMO.” But hey, this one was actually getting my attention. It also promises 8 vs. 8 PVP and tons of clothes and weapons and whatnot to find, so that should keep players busy for quite a while. Though, since the game is free to play expect much of it to be payed for through micro transactions. It also has a focus on story, something that more and more MMOs are going for. I saw a scene where the stereotypical asshole in black came and stole the princess that I had worked so hard to save away from me at the last minute. That jerk. So yeah, the game was pretty fun. Now now, to be fair, I have no idea if this thing would keep my attention for months and months on end. But a gameplay demo showed that it definitely has potential.
Next up was Vindictus, a distinctly more adult looking game that is also free to play. Instead of the cartoony look of Dragon Nest, this is more the stereotypical high adventure with shiny armor look. Such shiny, shiny armor. I saw them going through mountains in this demo, watching the player character kick all sorts of ass and taking down really creepy looking grinning goblin things. Now, quick complaint. Maybe they should have demoed a different level. Everything on this mountain was very brown. It wasn’t the most visually stunning thing I’ve ever seen. Just brown, brown everywhere. It was not the kind of thing you should demo after the almost brutally colorful Dragon Nest. But the game still was fun. It again focused more on console style combat. That seems to be their thing here. I also saw a battle against a big boss goblin thing, who I kind of felt bad for because that guy was just chillin’ and hanging out on his mountain when all of a sudden this hero comes and starts stabbing him in the shins. I mean, what the hell is that about? The hero also does this cool thing where he picks up a spear or something and chucks it right at the bad guys. It goes all slow motion and we travel along with the spear. I saw one go right into the poor boss’s eye. That has to smart.
Now the big bad thing about Vindictus, and this goes for Dragon Nest as well, is that there are only very limited character classes. In Dragon Nest there are four classes that are gender locked, while in Vindictus there are three characters. You can customize the crap out of them, playing pretty pretty dress me up to your heart’s content. But those are the guys you are playing as. It’s a much more streamlined experience as compared to other MMOs. I dunno how that will affect your purchasing decisions as I’m not that into the whole MMO subculture, but I’d guess that MMO players want more freedom to create their own unique player. But, again, the game is free to play. So its a little give and take here.
Vindictus is already out right now in the U.S. with a new expansion coming out soon to add new characters and an entirely new city to the game. Check them and everything else talked about in the screens and trailers below.