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Home > NEWSThe overall look of Blade and Soul is appealing

The overall look of Blade and Soul is appealing

It's easy to brush off Blade & Soul as yet another show in the vein of Ikkitousen or Queens Blade; when something you make is the most famous for containing the art of a certain Kim Hyung-tae -- who is famous for making quite detailed art of curvy, yet willowy beauties, its almost to be expected. Yet, Blade & Soul has things it wants to say, things that goes a little beyond the effort most cheesecake shows bother to make. Doesn't mean it does a particularly good job of it, but you gotta respect the effort, at least. Alka is our main protagonist, an almost handicapped silent woman who also happen to be an assassin.

Communities make or break an MMO and theres no doubting were a picky bunch. We want polish, content, balance and everything between and if it isnt there, we tend to shout loudly or march on to the next game. Im hoping for something different with Blade and Soul because the game itself feels rather different. Such an emphasis on PvP and personal skill is always welcome and at times Ive missed that in Guild Wars 2 (especially with their current Meta).

It often felt like 1 on 1s were based solely on your ability to bunker, often resulting in a need to constantly have someone else strapped to you to ensure you could actually participate. Im hoping things are vastly different here. Blade & Soul also allows you to customize your characters abilities through the training system. The training system is basically a talent tree style system which you will be familiar with from any other MMO or RPG which uses them. I never got the chance to play about with it too much as you only get access at level 15, but it seemed good. Being able to customize your character so it isn't the exact same as everyone else's is always a good thing, so I liked this system.

According to the official press release from NCSoft, the Blade And Soul NA release will give players unrestricted access to all content within Blade And Soul. NCoin, a currency already used for NCSOFT games such as Aion and Lineage 2, will enable players to purchase things like convenience items (food and experience potions), quality of life improvements (such as inventory and character slots) and cosmetic items (such as costumes and pet accessories). Our philosophy is not pay-to-win. No pay-to-win in this game. No slatted gear, no permanent stat boosts, none of those things that feel really unfair, Dariani said.

When it comes to graphics and the look of the game itself, I must say I am very impressed. The overall look of the game is just as appealing as everything else I just described. It is a beautiful landscape and my favorite part has to be even if you are on the same map, each section can have a different lighting and it changes as you move from section to section. You could be in a dark graveyard one minute, and then step over into a sunny field the next. I must say I havent been this impressed in graphics in a long time. But being an Aion player I knew that NC Soft would knock that part out of the park.

It's not a deal breaker, but nothing I saw of Blade & Soul convinced me to dive into a new MMO either. It convinced many others, though. Over 1.5 million concurrent players jumped on Blade & Soul as soon as it launched in China, almost 8,000 players already signed a petition to bring it to North America, and NCSoft told me that thousands more have been waiting for Western release.

If you're one of them, congrats. If you're just shopping for a new MMO, it looks like NCSoft is taking the localization effort seriously, with hours of English voice acting and gameplay tweaks. And while NCSoft hasn't discussed specific monetization strategies yet, it'll cost you nothing but time to try it.

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