Sword of the New World is the latest Asian MMO to hit the market. The game, published by HanbitSoft, has won best graphics and been given the Korean presidential award in 2006. It promises to bring a new and unique experience to the MMO market.
While SotNW is brought to us from Asia, the game itself is set in 17th century Europe. The world of Orpesia is at war. The King of the nation Opoluto realized that he would soon be conquered, so he sent an explorer across the sea to find new land, and took his subjects west across the sea to start a new world. Although this isn't too original and sounds vaguely familiar, it is a nice change of story for this type of game.
The game has a MCC feature, multi-character control. This is not the norm for MMOs, but it is very interesting indeed. At the beginning you start in the world with one character, and after going through the tutorial you may move back to your quarters to choose more characters to add to your team. When you create your character you must chose a family name. All of your characters will share this surname and your quarters will hold your family. Your quarters can house up to nine people, and each family can own up to four quarters. In the end you can have up to 36 characters.
Sword of the New World boasts five classes: fighter, wizard, scout, musketeer, and elementalist. With the MCC, each time you go out into the world, you can choose up to three family members to take with you, forming your own group. This is a very cool feature, and makes it easy to take on almost anything in the world, although I find that it pretty much eliminates the need to group up with anyone else unless you are PVPing. The MCC makes the game feel more like an old school RPG than an MMO.
Player vs Player
For those who do enjoy PVP they can join a clan and participate in clan vs. clan, climbing their way up the list to become the most powerful and well-known clan on the server. Players can choose a faction (royalists or republicans) and fight for their political rights, or climb the ranks and make a name for their character by delving into arena play. Arena play can be done in teams (capture the flag) or gladiator, last one standing style.
The game is very fast paced and the mobs respawn very quickly, forcing you to be quick on your feet (or rather, your mouse as the game is click to move). If you don't move out of the area quickly after killing mobs, you will probably end up dead yourself. The fast pace is easy to adjust to and in the end makes you feel quite powerful. I was able to blow through most mobs very quickly and easily if I didn't stay in one area too long. My favorite class has been the wizard and musketeer. The wizard seems to just reek of power and can pretty much crumble anything that comes its way, and the musketeer, well I just like the gun animation, and to see the mob go flying across the screen after it has been shot.
It is very easy to see why the game won an award for its graphics. It is very pleasing to look at. The clothing, for example, is interesting and stylish. The artists did a great job of taking old styles and creating something new and exciting. The biggest downfall is that it is not possible to choose hair color, facial features, and body type. Each class has an avatar and that is how everyone will look, however each class has a set of clothing players can choose from, and the clothing is pretty awesome.
Overall, this game is a huge step in the right direction for the Asian MMO market as far as appealing to players of traditional MMOs. It is much better than the recent Asian MMOs that have come out, and is a nice way to pass the time if you are looking for some fast-paced game play.