Blade and Soul MMORPG, NCSoft, Free to Play, Website
Reviewed by Craig Lockley
‘Blade and Soul’ is a new Martial Arts Massively Multiplayer Online Roleplaying Game from NCSoft. Set in a clearly Asian background, you get to choose one of seven classes and four races and travel through the world, destroying enemies and collecting gear, improving your skills as you go.
Blade and Soul differs from other similar MMO’s like Guild Wars 2 and World of Warcraft in its focus on story. Characters are led through each area and rather than a lot of random quests that usually involve killing ten rats, the story progresses at a pace keeping you engaged.
The game has a beautiful art style with incredibly smooth animations. Characters are able to jump and glide, as in Wushu movies like ‘Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon’ and this really sets it apart from other more traditional western fantasy MMO’s and the inclusion of a Kung Fu master class is hugely entertaining. The character creation system is also incredibly detailed allowing you to amend pretty much every physical element, right down to eyelashes.
Blade and Soul has come up with some very innovative systems for customising gear, new to genre but the way quests work and movement/attacking skills will be very familiar to players of this kind of game.
The game is also completely free to play, eschewing the subscription model that a lot of MMO’s favour, so anyone can jump in and play straight away, though optional packs can be bought to give you some level of convenience. Being multiplayer, you can play with friends and form guilds, or clans to play harder content as a team.
On the downside, the game, though not especially buggy, does have a lot of conversation set pieces where the characters have no speech, despite mouths moving and the subtitles are full of errors, though this is translated from the original Korean so can be forgiven and the game is so much fun, it becomes part of its charm.
Overall this in an incredibly fun game and levelling only to level 10 so far, I’ve barely scratched the surface of what the game has to offer, but I think this is well worth a try.