I’ve been lucky enough to get into the closed beta for Nexon’s upcoming action MMO Vindictus. Vindictus is designed as a free to play fantasy action-MMO and uses valves Source engine, so expect lots of in-game physics.
The game is designed to attract a western audience and show that it is possible to have a high quality massively multiplayer role-playing game that is also free to play. Currently, the only way to play the closed beta is to grab an early access beta code. The closed beta will last from September 15th, 2010 until October 6th, 2010. Even better if you do manage to get in, there isn’t a character wipe and all of your characters will remain intact on release.
Vindictus is known as Mabinogi Heroes in Korea and is being rebranded when it was brought over to the U.S. It’s the prequel to Nexon’s other popular free to play MMO, Mabinogi; thankfully no knowledge of Mabinogi is needed to have fun in Vindictus. The game is set centuries before Mabinogi but that is where the similarities stop.
My favorite part playing this game is the combat is very intense and visceral. It reminds me of a 3-d version of Streets of Rage or some of the more popular beat-em-ups that I would play co-op with a buddy in high school. Almost everything in the game is destructible and can be picked up, wielded, and used to smash baddies. For example, you can knock over a roman-style column in order to crush a horde of gnolls beneath the rubble. Perform grabs on enemies and punch, kick, and throw them into oblivion. When your armor breaks – which usually happens if you don’t manage to dodge a boss’s hammer – the armor tears and rips to shreds.
As of the time of this writing, there’s only one town that is explorable. The town comes with a dock which is where you can access the first two dungeons with a party of up to 4 people. Dungeons are instanced and can be repeated with harder difficulties, time limits, no potions etc. which net you increased rewards. Higher level dungeons run on a token system where each player starts with 50 tokens that are refilled Mondays and Fridays. The first dungeon is free, but the second area Hoarfrost Hollow costs two tokens each boat ride. The fee raises the more trips you take i.e. 7 trips costs 3 tokens, 14 trips costs 4 tokens per ride. This counter resets everyday.
This game’s combat is very similar to that of Phantasy Star Online or similar titles like Monster Hunter. Rather than using a point and click interface like in Diablo or standard MMO-fare, you can use the keyboard+mouse or even a usb controller to perform your characters skills. Combo normal and smash attacks, dodge, and block enemy attacks.
Upgrade your skills through quests or buy purchasing the respective skill book from a trainer. They are leveled up through AP points which can be earned in dungeons as well as an automatic AP regeneration that rewards around 1 point every hour even while offline.
Currently as of the time of this writing, only two classes are available in the American beta. The Korean version has a third character, Evie, with two more classes on the way. Classes are gender-locked but have fully customizable appearances ranging from everything to facial structure, hair color, scars, and even tattoos.
The Lann is your go-to DPS based dual-wielding swordsman class. His specialty is dealing quick, fast attacks while being able to dodge with lightning speed.
Fionas are the female sword and shield class that can wear heavy armor from the get-go. Pretty much the designated tank, with her Guard skills she’s able to take hits and withstand boss smashes that send other classes flying across the screen dropping chunks of their health, and can stun enemies.
If your a fan of old school beat-em-ups mixed with an mmo element definetely don’t miss this one. http://vindictus.nexon.net/
Alan Tippins, “Vindictus – A Visceral and Action Packed Upcoming MMO by Nexon” . Blog.