Blade & Soul Closed Beta Review

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I got to try out Blade & Soul over the weekend.  Here are my thoughts.  I didn’t get to play much; I was able to get two characters around level 10 – so I didn’t get to experience the game as much as I would’ve liked.

Quests

The questing system in Blade & Soul felt like the same as any other mmorpg quest system.  Nothing really special.  Do this, do that, kill this, kill that, deliver this, deliver that, and so on.  I was able to skim through the npc dialogue as the game broke up the conversation into pieces – I had to press “F” to advance to the next sentence.  There also is voice acting in this game, but it wasn’t the greatest.

Overall the quests were simple, safe, and bland during the first 10 levels.

Grade: 3/5

Combat

Combat in Blade & Soul felt great overall and is very unique.  It felt very FPS-ish in that there was a cursor on my screen and whatever enemies I looked at, it became my target – I couldn’t really select my targets (no tab-targetting).  In order to shift my camera, all I had to do was move my mouse in that direction.

There is no active dodging like Guild Wars 2.  Instead, my Blade Master had a block skill, the Kungfu Master had a counter skill, etc…  These skills were timing based and kept me engaged/focused during each fight.  Other skills were layered and felt complex enough – these layered skills appeared when you met the pre-requisite.  You could probably spam buttons and get away with it, but you will most likely struggle.  Knowing how to combo and time your blocks/counters/dodge, I believe, would be key to mastering your class.

I first played a Force Master (closest class to a spell castor) and did not like the combat.  However, when I tried out a Blade Master (melee class), the combat felt great.

Grade: 4.3/5

PVP

My first open world kill.
My first open world kill.

I got to choose a faction early on and really liked the uniform, so I wore my faction’s uniform.  Little did I know that meant the other faction could target me.  I was  innocently going about my business when I saw a player with a RED NAME.  I instantly knew what that meant and I went in for the kill.  I barely survived… but I got my first PVP kill.  I did not know Blade and Soul had open world PVP until that point.

Later on, I got ganked by the same assassin three times in a row, so I decided to take off my beautiful uniform.  However, that was enough for me – PVP felt awesome and thrilling.  Would love to try more.

Grade: 4/5

Graphics/Models

I am not a fan of the art style on the characters.  The overly-exxaggerated breast and legs that go on for miles felt a little too much for my tastes.  Character creation, however, did help me mitigate some of those exaggerated characteristics and there were a lot of features that I could tweak.  Overall the character creation was great and had many features.

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The environment was beautiful and felt immersive enough.  However, my favorite were the outfits.  They were gorgeous and I was happy to do quests that gave me different clothings.  I can easily see myself collecting as many different outfits as possible for my characters.

Grade: 4/5

Running/Gliding

This was a cool feature of Blade & Soul.  I could run around like Naruto characters (but the stamina bar held me in check) and jump like one too.  I could also glide through the air and that felt great.  Could not do any of these during combat, however.

Conclusion

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While the combat and PvP felt great, the PvE felt very lacking.  Dungeons and questing was pretty boring.  While trying out the closed beta, I would occasionly go back to playing Tree of Savior’s closed beta.  I do not know what end-game will be like, but if you enjoy PvP, Blade & Soul might be for you.  If you are looking for great PvE content, however, this game may not be for you.

Once again, these are my own thoughts after having only played 10 levels or so on two different classes.

Final Grade: 4/5

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