Perfect New World has been gearing up for the Equilibrious test for the past few weeks. IRONCORE Game Studio has taken a hefty dose of inspiration from the original Perfect World title and built a fantasy game that has a lot of promise but falls short of being Perfect or feeling New. With that said here are our in-depth impressions of the early game for Perfect New World.
Perfect World – the original, has transitioned into something far more than what it once was. There is Perfect World International, which is the closest thing to the original, just rebranded. Then you have Perfect World Mobile, a mediocre title, with updates still rolling out consistently. Now, we have Perfect New World, which is currently in testing on PC, built as more of a spiritual successor to Perfect World rather than an outright remake.
I was never a fan of the original, and it seems like the developers at IRONCORE Games have built an experience that doesn’t presuppose that you’re a Perfect World fan in order to “get” what’s going on in Perfect New World. The story revolves around the player-character taking on the role of a powerful Soul Tamer – considered to be “Prime”-worthy. You’re tasked with finding out what happened to Skytear, a mystical place that housed the Soul Tamers and Primes of years long past. It’s a simple plot device that explains your powers, but ultimately leaves a lot to be desired, with nary a choice along your journey.
Be A Soul Man (Or Woman)
Currently, there are only 4 character classes available for the test. There’s the Dragonspear, Berserker, Galeblade, and my choice for the test, the Mysticsword. The characters are unfortunately gender locked, and for the purpose of this test, none of the available characters were support types. Character customization was very limited in cosmetic styles, though sliders were available for each feature if you elected to spend some time really tweaking your character. At this stage in beta, the customization effectively does its job, but if you’re expecting to build a heavily bearded, overly dwarf looking Mysticsword, you would have been out of luck in this test.
Visually, the character models are appealing, though I couldn’t say that graphically the game is as impressive as some of the others currently in development. Cinematics were still beautiful, but during the test, many of the cinematics had horrible stuttering problems which were keenly edited out from our gameplay videos – not to hide them – but as a courtesy, because at times they were extremely frustrating. During some fights I would even get notified of low framerates, and considering that my PC far exceeds the recommended specifications, it seems that the team will need to optimize the game quite a bit before launch.
IRONCORE Studio was aware of these issues and notified players that they are looking into the problem, so it’s unlikely that this issue will persist on launch. Afterall this is the baseline expectation for testing a game ahead of release. You’re looking for problems. The stuttering transcended just cinematics and happened during gameplay as well. It’s important to also note that the servers were quite full during play time, so it’s understandable to some degree that issues like this would arise.
Combat was fast-paced and despite starting with a limited number of skills, as is the modus operandi of MMORPGs, I felt that there were some tactile requirements to keep my combos going and utilize my skills properly. At times, the Mysticsword had a few issues with the way certain abilities would connect to some enemies. There are two separate control modes which change how skills target your enemies and it could have just been my poor selection in targeting choices, but there were multiple attempts to use the skill Nameless, a powerful ability that gets charged using your flying swords and building sword fire, and the skill just totally whiffed on some enemies. Equally, the flying swords would sometime flitter off and miss a target from time to time.
Find Your Spirit Animal
It’s important to note that the Mysticsword is considered in the mid-difficulty of class ranges, based on the Perfect New World ranking system. As an old weathered MMO veteran it made sense to take on something a little more exciting and challenging, and for the most part, the aesthetics and gameplay of the Mysticsword felt unique, balancing ranged and melee play, but some of the abilities just didn’t connect like I had hoped.
As a Soul Tamer, one of your primary objectives is – you guessed it – taming souls. As you play through the game, you’ll encounter monsters whose souls you can tame and then you utilize their powers in battle. It’s a unique system and a fantastic way to flesh out your kit with abilities you may feel like you’re lacking. During combat, your spirit meter grows and once you’ve accumulated enough, you can call forth the power of the Spirit Beast you’ve tamed, and it will perform an attack in battle. The game teaches you that these attacks are as important as anything else in your combat toolkit early on. For example, the first Spirit Beast is an electric type that can stun your enemies, which is necessary to stop certain attacks. There’s some strategy there that players can utilize, and I’m interested to see how it evolves as you get further along in the game.
Despite some more modern strides in visuals and the flow of combat, questing still felt extremely derivative of most of the eastern games that Perfect New World is modeled after. There were some novel twists, such as the Talisman system. Throughout the world are Talismans where, once picked up, it grants you special movement abilities. There are other boosts around the world, such as jump boosts, and the inclusion of these Talismans makes exploration more interesting.
Of course, there are also particular encounters where you’ll need to use these boosts to your advantage, such as to speed across a bridge, or boost your jump at the right moment to bypass a gap. It’s a small added feature that I can see as being worthwhile in numerous situations, but by no means would it be considered a game changer. Questing during the early stages still feels quite lackluster, and the story isn’t very captivating during the early game. While this might change throughout the remainder of development ahead of launch, I wouldn’t get your hopes up too high.
After several hours of play under my belt, Perfect New World’s Equilibrious test delivered on its Eastern Fantasy inspired roots. IRONCORE games has certainly crafted some unique systems within Perfect New World that could resonate with the right gamers, given that the team capitalizes on its strengths. They primarily need to play up the unique Soul Taming abilities, the world exploration, and perhaps tighten the combat some, and give the abilities a little more oomph. While my wish would also be to remove genderlock from the classes, it may not be the worst thing in the world, given that games like Perfect New World thrive on variant class releases.
I can’t say that Perfect New World will appeal to everyone, but I feel like as far as Eastern MMORPGs go, this is one of the best showings I’ve seen in a long time. I’m excited to see where the game will go from here. You can wishlist the game now on Steam.