As many like minded gamers have done i have recently jumped into Rift. I’m Not going to bore you by trying to write a review of the game as so many bloggers do but I will tell you as honestly as possible what i think of the game, I’m going to do this as simply as possible.
Rift has borrowed all of the best things from every MMO ever made, its like the developers sat down and said ‘Hey lets use all the lessons learned from the MMO genre and make the best game possible’ in some places its shamelessly lifted from other games and in some places they have actively improved on an idea. However the result is a rock solid game with a familiar feel that i can see being a massive and long term hit. Rift is Excellent.
I loaded the game after buying it on something of a whim, ignoring my own rules about never buying a launch title and the first thing i saw was a traditional login kiosk (Launcher), now please remember i was going into this game with out playing the Beta so it was all new to me.
I patched up and hit the ‘Play’ button to be greeted with a rather nice video sequence that set the tone nicely.
The video reminded me of those blizzard Cut scenes and i rolled my eyes thinking that even thought i was entertained i had just dropped £29.99 for a WoW-Clone.
Then came the character creation screen I selected the Defiant Faction (after selecting the Blood-iron PvP Server) where i chose a human type (‘Eth’ i think they are called) and went on to choose a Cleric because i liked his outfit, not the best reason to choose a class i know but in any MMO i rarely keep my first character, i use my first for getting a feel for a game, then i role what i really want to play.
I was thrown in to a rather dingy mad science themed dungeon looking basement where i chatter to strangers and pocked things to see if they moved, none of this was what i was supposed to be doing but a popup that informed me some of my files where corrupt left me expecting a crash at any moment.
When my crash never occurred i did what every diligent MMO player would do and duly ignored the message and began following the objective arrow on my compass. i was given the option to select something called a ‘soul’ I had no idea what this meant so i selected a little icon of a tree and moved on wondering what that was all about.
I came to the outdoors and began whaling on sick looking bipeds who had a strange desire to kill me. the next hour was something of a blur as i smiled and giggles my way through the opening tutorial section, i realised quite quickly that this class was not for me. it was too serious and demanded more attention than i wanted to give it, i selected another soul this time was given a new ability, i had a twinkly little fairy pet why wanted to help me kill sick angry bipeds… the little fella irritated the hell out of me.
I did enjoy the last moment of the tutorial a great deal and came to understand that i had to go back in time to stop these events happening, the narrative was lost of me but i did end up ‘back’ in time where everything was pretty and clean. it was nice but i logged out and had a coffee.
Within an hour i was logged back in and this time knew i wanted to know more about this strange new world so i took the time to crank up the graphics and ‘recover’ my corrupt files to ensure maximum pleasure, the game instantly looked ten times nicer and the dynamic lighting was very impressive, there was none before so everything looked dull and lifeless.
i created a Mage this time a Bahmi and i made him look like a large angry purple Mr T and named him ‘Laird’ (my stock MMO character name) Laird and I then loaded up into the same dungeon my last character arrived in, this time i read every scrap of text and diligently mopped up every quest and again was impressed by the ending to the tutorial zone (this time correctly lit). I spent the next six hours questing and enjoying the wonderful environment that the game had to offer. When the first ‘rift’ opened almost above my head i was sure i was done for but many a helpful gamer came to aid me and thanks to a wonderful public group system we all got our due XP.
Rift does however have allot in common with other games, for instance the Public groups are taken almost verbatim from Warhammer online and the interface is a very refined version of the WoW UI.
The loot system and style of explanation has lots in common with LotRO as does the look of the buildings.
As a whole though the game benefits from this and at no point did i find its rehashed concepts tired or needless, they have as i said earlier improved on every aspect of the things they have nicked.
Rift is a wonderful system and has had a near perfect launch the real test is not in the mechanics of the game but in the world and story, will this place they have made be ‘full’ and rich enough to keep me away from my LotRO love affair? To be honest i don’t know but i will be keeping you informed.
If anyone in the EU is playing this game please tell me about your server and class as i may be jumping off this PvP one i am on and joining you as soon as the ganking starts
Also, before i forget, the queuing has been greatly over exaggerated, i only queued for 20 minuets to get into a ‘FULL’ PvP server and on launch week for a popular MMO that’s actually pretty good.