Amazon Games is a studio that may seem anonymous beyond the mere name of the American retail giant. And it's actually the former Double Helix, which includes people who once worked on games like Destiny, World of Warcraft and Diablo. And New World has a really good chance to make its mark on the MMO market for a long time.
During a virtual gaming session at New World, journalists were able to follow a presentation of the game by its director (Scot Lane), head of World Experience (Mike Willette) and head of Player Experience (Dave Verfaillie). Afterwards, players had a chance to play a 50/50 war session (participants were split into attackers and defenders), and play with New World for another week of public testing. How does it all turn out in the wash?
Let's start from the beginning. New World is an MMO set in an open world stylized on the 17th century with a colonial flavor, in which players must face the haunted wilderness of the mysterious island of Aeternum, where undead legions lurk, wanting to remove the living from their place of rule. Also important for the plot will be a mysterious substance that gives both supernatural abilities and is the source of the plague. Players will find themselves in the middle of a battle between factions, they will also fight with the ancient guardians protecting Aternum, create companies, build settlements and try to survive in a changing world. The game was originally supposed to come out in 2020, but the creators wanted to refine and add some elements, so the premiere was postponed to spring 2021. Of course, so far only on PC.
The title makes a really good first impression. The setting of the game can delight both in terms of style and richness of details and particle effects, although in the case of the character creator it is not yet crazy. At this point it is worth mentioning the changing seasons, which will affect how the world around us will look like. You can see that this is a project with a big budget.
MMO in action-RPG convention
New World - spells
I really liked the arcade combat system, which reminds games from the action-RPG genre. At times, I even had the impression that the creators were a bit inspired by the Souls series. So there is no question of conventionality or self-play. It's hard to say whether the fight in the long run will be skillful, but so far it seems to be so. In addition to punching, we often have to dodge, roll, block with a shield or attack with a ranged weapon. So the whole is a combination of melee and ranged attacks with powerful spells. We can carry as many as three weapons at once and of course change them without any problem. Each also allows us to use three abilities, so we have a total of nine at hand.
Of course, the character can be developed, increase the level of experience, improve specific attributes, but the division into classes has been abandoned so far. More important is the weapon - each with its own level of experience and skills, both offensive, defensive and passive, which we develop on special trees. They are quite modest at the moment, but there's still a lot of time until the premiere.
You can already see that crafting will play a very big role in the game. We can get materials by cutting down trees, collecting plants, killing animals. This will allow us to create new elements of equipment, because although it can be obtained in the quests, probably the best weapon will be created by ourselves. In the game we'll be able to cultivate the land, join groups, put up buildings and even whole settlements. It also seems that the PvP elements will come to the fore here, because the world has been divided into areas, and players will be associated in a company and will try to defend them or conquer them and then "settle". And by performing quests commissioned by NPCs, killing returns and completing further orders settlements will be bigger and bigger allowing us to create advanced crafting or trading points.
And here we come to the huge clashes of 50 vs. 50. Developers had the opportunity to present to journalists epic siege battles putting attackers against defenders, where the winner takes or keeps the area. If we defend an area we have priority in deploying defensive weapons or traps, attackers on the other hand have thirty minutes to take over the initial control points, which are gained by dividing into smaller groups, investing in various siege machines and cannons during the attack. There's no denying it - to make sense of such a battle you need some smart players, otherwise instead of a well-thought-out strategy we just have a huge chaos. However, at this stage of production the fun is already impressive.
As I mentioned earlier - the title puts more emphasis on cooperation with other players and the ensuing competition with other factions for more territories. PVE elements were pushed a bit to the side, so lone wolves may feel a bit disappointed. Though from what I've seen the story structure and the world as a whole really have a lot of potential. Both other players running around the map, as well as NPCs and monsters make it seem as if this universe lives at its own pace. And we still have half a year until the premiere. So if the MMO genre is close to you, and you also appreciate the combat, in which not only the boosted character counts, but also the arcade elements and skills, there's a good chance that in the spring you'll devote many hours of your precious life here.