Sword of the New World has won many awards for game play and graphical quality in Korea, and has its sights set on making its mark in the U.S. with beautiful graphics and unique multi-character control. The game, which is published by HanbitSoft, is set in 17th century Europe and takes place in Grando Espada, a new city formed by a king in the west to save his people from war.
The game, while lacking in customization of hair, face, and body is, to say the least, very pretty. It was not the cartoonish norm of this type of game, and the characters and world are both beautiful. While I could not choose how my face or hair looked, I was able to choose from a variety of very unique and gorgeous outfits, and being a woman, the latter very easily soothed over my feelings on the former. Those who do not place avatar customization as a top priority should be happy with what they find. Players can also visit a tailor for new costumes as they gain levels. After I created my family, and I even threw in a male, I thought to myself, "Damn... this is one fine looking family!"
Once I zoned into the game, my eyes popped again. The world was just as beautiful as the people, although I shouldn't have been too shocked. After all, beautiful people deserve a beautiful place to live and play. Grando Espada is that place, and it could have very well been created by a world-renowned artist. In fact, throughout the game, if you take a close look at the artwork on the walls in some of the buildings, they are replicas of real life paintings. I am definitely a gamer who loves her eye candy, and this game had me intrigued from the start.
While Sword of the New World isn't a game that I can see myself playing in the long-term, I can most definitely say that I had fun with it in the time I was there. It's great to play when you need a break from the others and its strength is in short bursts. For the long term, it is too repetitive, and easy. It is so easy, in fact, that one can even go AFK and remain in an area filled with mobs (if they aren't too high in level) on auto fight, and upon returning, the mobs will be dead, and the family will still be fighting to live another day.
The game has five classes: Fighter, Wizard, Scout, Musketeer, and Elementalist. With the MCC (Multi-Character Control), each time you go out into the world, you can choose up to three family members to take with you, forming your own group. The MCC is new to the MMO world, and as a feature, brought me back to my days playing a game like Zelda, an old-school RPG.
The MCC gives players the ability to create their own family or, in other words, their own group. Players can also add NPCs to their group to help them complete quests or kill mobs. I did find that because I have a very well put together group at my disposal that I was less inclined to look for other people to play with. However, I did see families grouped together, so it isn't totally out of the question. It will always remain a personal preference, and those who like to solo will remain solo, and those who enjoy grouping will seek out other families to group with.
I found myself using a wizard, fighter, and musketeer almost every time I logged in. The wizard has always been my favorite class to play in any game. As for the fighter, every wizard needs a good tank but the musketeer, he was just awesome. I loved to watch the musketeer just blow mobs away. The game is very fast paced, and while out questing I found that my family is not only sexy, but they are pretty good ass kickers as well. I felt like my family was so beautiful and powerful that we could have probably conquered the world if we so chose to do so.
While fighting, the mobs came after my family in wave after wave, and yet in the end it was my family that was left standing. Nothing could take us down. This is not a game for those who prefer slow and steady game play. Sword of the New World keeps you on your toes. Players have to keep moving, and killing, until they are safe and in the clear. Mobs re-spawn very quickly and if you don't stay alert, you end up as mob fodder. While playing I felt very powerful, and had this feeling that my family was really needed to help this new world. This feeling of being needed, and the fast paced game play helped a lot in making this game fun.
Sword of the New World uses ability points and stances to promote your character and upgrade your items. When you reach 100 ability points, you can promote your character. Your character can be promoted up to five times. Each promotion awards a new title: Veteran, Expert, Mater, High Master, and Grand Master. Each time a character is promoted they also receive a stat point. The stat point can then be used to increase health, power, agility, etc. Promotions also unlock higher-level stances, which are the skills a character uses.
There are many options and styles available for PvP in Sword of the New World. Clans can take on other clans, beating all others until they are ranked the top clan in the game. For those who enjoy faction wars, players can choose to be Royalists or Republicans, and fight out their political differences. Those who enjoy PVP, but like to go it solo, can participate in arena play and make a name for themselves gladiator style by being the last one standing. The game has enjoyable aspects for people who enjoy PVE and those who enjoy PVP.
While I didn't see too many people roleplaying, the potential is definitely there. I was a little surprised not to find many players talking in-character or role-playing with one another. The game's official role-play forum is one of the busiest they have. I do think that those gamers who enjoy role-play can very easily find a home for themselves in Sword of the New World. The beautiful scenery, stunning costumes, and the setting of 17th century Europe just begs for role-players to come aboard and delve into what it has to offer.
The music wasn't bad and I did not find myself turning it off as I often do with this style of game. Instead, the music fit and flowed well with the game, and what I was currently doing in the game. The combat sounds are right on with the pistol making a popping sound when it should, and swords properly giving a swoosh at the right moment. When fighting, it is very easy to become absorbed in what is happening, and the sound fades into the background. I take that as a good thing, and find it much more pleasing than if the sound and music had been a distraction and needed to be turned off.
I am running the game with a Geforce 8800GTX, 5200+ X2 CPU with 4gb of ram, and cable Internet, so for me the game was lag free. In areas where there were a lot of other players and fighting happening, I did not have lag or performance issues at all. The game ran very smoothly with my set-up.
Each time I had an issue it was answered quickly and promptly by customer service. They were very polite and willing to help with any problems that I had. The Community Manager is also very active on the forums, and seems to address issues very quickly and informatively. They even have a sticky up about the naming policy, and those players with inappropriate names will be banned. This is unusual in this type of game, and it is very nice to see that it actually has some rules and regulations that are upheld.
Unlike most games of this type, I didn't come across the crowds of AFK players trying to sell items, money, or loitering. If I asked a question in local chat, I usually got a friendly answer, although often it would take 10-20 minutes. The community doesn't seem very talkative. When I did speak with someone, they always answered me in English, and politely. While out hunting, players were courteous and did not often steal kills, or in any way harass other players. I found that most often, if I was in an area killing mobs and another family came along, they promptly moved to the next area and did not try to kill the same mobs as me. The community seems to be pretty decent, if a bit quiet, but at least not full of bots.
The game costs $19.99 to purchase, and has a relatively low monthly price of $8.95. Overall, I do not think this is a very high price for an MMO, but I'm on the fence as to whether or not this game would get my money. SotNW is going to need a bit more depth and difficulty added to the fighting to justify the monthly fee. If you want to try something new, or happen to be looking for something new to play between other games, I would suggest signing up for a free 2 play account that allows subscribers to play the game up to level 20. Although players with free 2 play accounts cannot trade items or access customer support, it is a nice way to try out the game, and a level cap of 20 is pretty high compared to most free trials.
Sword of the New World is a huge step in the right direction for Asian MMOs looking to sell in the western market. It has beautiful graphics, unique game play, and a fast paced style that is great for those who don't have hours to sit and play an MMO. With the free 2 play account it is definitely worth giving a try.