I am (almost) beyond words (If i was completely out of ’em I couldn’t write a review could I?). One, because of the crazy amount of community outreach from Carbine Studios has given me a taste of the passion this company has for the game. Three, because the game is PHENOMENAL.
Notice how I said the GAME is phenomenal. I am actually pleasantly surprised to see so few negative reviews on such a large release, especially on Metacritic. I say this because the launch had quite a few issues, but most were expected (long server queues, login issues, serial problems, etc.). The ones that weren’t (Optimization problems, memory leaks, crashes, etc.) have been largely addressed by the community surrounding the game with people finding workarounds for the big problems while Carbine tries to get them sorted out. Usually the Negative Nancys come running at the smallest sign of weakness. But I know why they didn’t this time. Because this game, unlike the ones they usually complain about, is freakin’ amazing. They, against their better judgement, got a taste of it, and they can’t get away.
Currently, my highest level character is a level 20 Granok Warrior (Soldier path). I have done quite a bit of PvP, which is crazy fun and crazy deep, and have had my first taste of group PvE and I gotta say, I am having more than a blast. The leveling experience has been rewarding and fresh, with plenty of small things like secret areas, path missions, and the occasional Challenge (CHALLENGE BEGINS) to keep it from feeling like too much of a grind. Lore is positively SEEPING from every nook and cranny from this game and you can get a MOUTHFUL of it without even looking too hard. The polish of the visuals is nothing short of sublime (provided you have the hardware to do the good stuff). Its world is rich and full of charm (the kind of charm us grown-up-WoW-kids really want to see). It’s crazy when it wants to be(which is to say usually), wacky when it’s appropriate, and impactful when it needs to be. My face lit up when I first saw the blazing light and pyrotechnics flare up around my character accompanied with a giant LEVEL UP in an awesome heavy metal font, complete with a bad*** anouncer (HOLY $#!% YOU LEVELED UP) and a guitar riff. It hits all the right buttons and fires on all cylinders.
Not into all that craziness? Chill out in your house. A big plot of land that you can truly call your own. Floating in the sky (which you can change btw). By far the deepest and most robust housing system in an MMO to date. (wow im going to go over the character cap at this rate). Feeling bored? Buy a giant floating rock formation for a little jumping puzzle action with some rewards at the end for your trouble. Feeling lonely? Make your house public so anyone can see the abode you have created! Scared of strangers? Make it private and have a select few neighbors to see your creation. This and tons of other tradeskill bonuses and other things make it obvious why it was a selling point for the game.
I would now like to talk about that first dungeon. I played a lot of World of Warcraft. I raided, I dungeoned. I had some of the best gear. I come from a solid background of PvE in MMOs, having tried most of them in recent years. I’ve never seen its like, and that’s saying something. I was transported back to my first time in Wrath of the Lich King doing Ulduar for the first time. I was in Ventrillo with the tank and the three dps in our group (the healer was a random who turned out to be a hardcore raider from back in Vanilla WoW). For those of you unfamiliar with the lingo, do some reading. I had already heard these dungeons were hard (dying from trash, tough mechanics, etc.). I was prepared for a challenge. I was not disappointed. We died on the first pull. Then the second. Then the third. All the while, I’m grinning ear to ear. The feeling was awesome. After figuring out what we did wrong we got to the first boss. Thankfully, one of us had read-up on/done the fight already so we went in knowing what was going to happen. Now, as everyone knows, knowing whats about to happen and being ready for it are to different things. It took us an hour,(An HOUR), to beat the FIRST boss of the FIRST dungeon. The last time it took me an hour to do anything in an MMO was before I even knew the touch of a woman (well before it actually…Moving on). Needless to say I was as giddy as a kid on Christmas. In the end, we couldn’t finish the dungeon(othe obligations got in the way, as if there are any) and I DIDN’T EVEN CARE! It was that much fun. It’s all uphill from there.
If this sounds like your kind of game, strap in cupcake. You’re in for one hell of a ride. See you on Nexus.