Many people know Nexon as the company that brought us Maple Story. Nexon pioneered free-to-play and has a massive user base for 2D scroller games. Now their image is about to change with their latest offering, Vindictus. Vindictus has been seen at different shows throughout the summer and continues to make an impression on the gaming community. What is it about this game that makes players look up and take notice? Is it the action combat, the environment manipulation, or how about the fact that the game is just plain fun.
Many players have gone through games with background environments that are simply matte paintings. How many times have you seen axes or stones lying on the floor that you would love to pick up and throw at an opponent? Well the environment manipulation in Vindictus allows you to attack your tank opponents with just about anything, so much of the surroundings are useable by the players and can be picked up and thrown as an attack. Watching as the tank character knocks down a stone pillar and picks up the piece to throw at a bunch of charging Gnolls is a great feature in the game. The fast paced fighting and game play allows players to make quick decisions when choosing how they want to hit an opponent. It can get deadly really quickly. In the demo, we got to see stone, some vases, even a swinging log trap could be used as weapons. This gives the player plenty of options when going through a dungeon.
The only limitation at launch with Vindictus is that the two character classes which will be available are melee based. They have a tank style sword and shield fighter as well as a DPS two sword wielding dervish. Both classes are extremely fast paced to play and have some great skills to build up as you level your character. Other classes are being added in soon after launch with a magic class coming into the game soon.
In terms of overall design, Vindictus plays very much like an action game. You start off choosing your character and landing on a dock. There are some areas to check out and skills you can practice. Once you get your team together it’s off into the instances to work on battles, as well as some serious traps and puzzles. In the demo with a deadly trap almost knocking our party out, it begs the question if there will be a rogue class added to the game in order to try and diffuse such damage before entering into a serious fight.
As games go, we are seeing more and more cinematics added into game play. Some games take cut scenes way too seriously and make them way too long. Vindictus keeps them light and appropriate. After dropping the Gnoll boss in the instance we ran, there was a short cut scene that made the victory worth the battle. Sure the loot drops help as well, but the added scene of celebration is a fun element brought over from old school arcade as you watch the boss go down. This is something more and more MMOs are adding to the game, which brings a lot to player satisfaction after the hard earned win.
There are many features in Vindictus that look great. Overall the most important factor is that the game is fun and offers a more mature style of game for Nexon. Sure everyone loves MapleStory, but hardcore players will do well to check out Vindictus. Nexon is ramping up for Beta soon and seems to be getting things ready for launch. This is the first free-to-play game offered by Nexon that has a large amount of action to it and brings a level of excitement to the hardcore MMO player who will not even look at free to play games. Vindictus could bring a big change to the free to play market and give players something much more in depth than a browser style game.