I’ve been lucky to spend a lot of time over the past few days playing Vindictus’ Early Access to Open Beta. It’s one of those games that really impressed me at E3 and continues to do so now. It’s not super-complicated, it’s not a big open world MMO, it’s more about action, items, and storyline than anything else. If you think Diablo + God of War, you’d probably be along the right lines.
The physics and combat are top notch, even though the action can get a little repetitive this far into my career as a Crimson Blade (I’m only level 11). Basically the action with Lann (the dual-wielding speedy character) amounts to a lot of left and right mouse-clicking with a fair amount of dodging via the spacebar. But there’s no real skills like you may be used to. It’s all a little more twitchy, but doesn’t require as much aiming skill as a shooter.
Except when you want to really hone in a spear toss.
Oh yeah, you get spears, grappling hooks, bombs. It’s like a really violent Zelda game. In fact tossing spears and other ranged weapons wind up being the most important factor in boss fights. And until about level 9, you might not find yourself having much trouble with the game’s boss mobs.
At this point you’ll be tasked with the mission “A Decisive Battle”. There’s a main town hub in Vindictus where all players congregate, advance the story in, sell, craft, check mail, etc. But in order to see action, you’ll go to the docks, select a specific mission or “battle” and launch a ship to travel there. You can also see other players’ ships preparing to launch, and join their party if there’s room available. And for “A Decisive Battle”, unless you’re higher level or playing as Fiona, you might want to do just that.
Lann doesn’t have the shield to put up with the onslaught from the mission’s Gnoll Chieftan boss (or maybe I just suck hardcore). So eventually, though I’m generally a solo player, I realized it’d be best to join a party and take him on. I found one leaving at the same time I was looking for one, joined them and despite some lag, we trounced the bugger. Spears, hooks, and bombs stunned him from all angles and I think I was the only one who died after my helmet got busted off my head.
That’s the reason I titled this post as you see above. Maybe I just suck, or am too weak right now, but “A Decisive Battle” wound up being a battle that pretty much necessitated the help of some fellow players. Consider it like an “Elite Quest” from WoW’s glory days. Only in this case to advance the story line you actually needed to beat this particular battle.
But here’s the kicker.
Unlike in many MMOs, where grouping with strangers is a hassle, in Vindictus, thanks to the arcade action and perhaps simplified mechanics, I found it an absolute riot just as I did at E3. The game’s a lot of fun, even solo, but if you really want a blast you should at least find a partner to team up with. Even if only for the really hard tasks.