I used to turn my nose up at MMORPG’s, I never though they would appeal to me since I was always more of a God of War, Batman: Arkham Knight, or Gran Turismo kind of guy. I also had been on console pretty well all my life, with a stopover in Sanctuary for Diablo II when it first released in 2001. New World and Amazon Games has changed all of that because I keep finding myself in the fictional land of Aeternum.
When I first heard about New World, I was very interested in what it was. So, I played the Beta, as one does. It was hard and I was unprepared for the distraction of different people’s characters running all over the place. I seriously spent longer than I care to admit waiting to talk to an NPC to further a quest because someone else was talking to them and I didn’t realise that it wasn’t a queue to talk to the NPC. I don’t want to talk about it. Despite my momentary lapse in brain function, I was hooked.
Once I got my in-game character created, which was on par with other RPG’s in terms of level of customization, I was off to the races. Landing in the first area and there was no shortage of action. A few fetch quests later and I was off to the first town with a jump in my step and a song in my heart. That song went away after a short time due to the near 20-minute walk it took me to get to the first town. This is one of my only issues with New World. There is no means of travelling faster than a brisk jog unless it’s fast travelling.
So, if you have a quest that’s a good distance away, you’re going to be spending 80% of the time for that quest running and the remainder questing. Normally I wouldn’t have an issue with a bit of countryside exploration, but the world of Aeternum is massive. A massive world is great, but it’s not conducive to quick travel between locations. Without mounts (horses, dragons, etc) to get you around, running is the only option until you discover a fast travel point nearby your destination.
I’m going to move on to combat, which I struggled with at the beginning. Not to say that I’m an expert now, but I have a working knowledge of how to attack and how to block so I’m not getting myself killed every 50 yards. Combat is simple enough to understand the premise of; point-and-click at whatever you want to die, and with enough point-and-click’s you’ll be dead, or they will. Where I had some issues was when I thought a little side exploration was in order, and soon found myself surrounded by enemies that were the same combat level as me, but there were many more of them and striking and/or blocking them all proved too large a task.
There are other methods of combat apart from a simple sword and shield. Muskets, spells, hatchets, axes, bows, etc. are all viable methods of fighting in New World. You’ll need to manage your inventory well though, between healing items, resources, and ammunition, you’ll find yourself over-encumbered and unable to run, fast-travel, or jump. Not that jumping is a great loss, but the inability to run and fast-travel was very aggravating at times.
There is no shortage of things to do in the world of Aeternum. I found myself often with no fewer than 6 different quests in my list of things to do. And this was all before I hit level 15. Gaining XP will not be the issue in New World. What you might struggle with (as I did) will be choosing what to do first. I’m a big “further the story” kind of RPG gamer, so I spent a fair bit if time on the main quest. Before long though, I found myself off chopping down trees, or gathering flint and boulders to level up my crafting.
“It’s very easy to get lost in side quests when playing New World.”
It’s very easy to get lost in side quests when playing New World. I could have spent the entire time playing and not touched the main quest once I reached the first town. There are so many things to see and do, that I was never left in a position where I had nothing to do.
I want to talk about Factions and what that means for the overall experience of New World. Once you do enough quests in the first town, you’ll be tasked with selecting a faction to join. This faction will be your “team” similar to Pokemon Go with their teams. Now, that is an oversimplification, but at its core, it’s pretty much the same.
The differences arise when you look at the map. The factions in New World (Convenant, Syndicate, and Marauders) can each control areas of the map, imposing tax, and other town-like requirements. Factions can wage war against one another for the land they occupy (this is part of the PvP aspect of the game) and requires 50 players on either side to commit to the war act. I ended up choosing Syndicate for my faction as the description given in the game aligned with my ideals the best. Many people will choose their faction based on how much land they occupy, and some will choose a faction based on what their friends choose. All of which are viable choices.
“I highly recommend New World…”
I am not a PvP type of person in these sorts of games. In Diablo II: Resurrected, you have to mark each player as hostile before you can attack them. In New World, you mark yourself as hostile, and then anyone else in Aeternum can attack you as long as they are also marked as hostile. Due to me not wanting to get constantly pummeled, I have never marked myself as hostile.
Like any other MMO, there are raids and dungeons you can do. In the world chat, I never had to look far before seeing people looking for other people to do raids or dungeons with. I never felt like I was high enough level or competent enough at the game to participate, so I have not had the experience of a dungeon yet. That time is coming soon though, the more I play.
The more I play new World, the more I like it. I do have to say that before level 15, the game is a little… fetch-quest-like. It wasn’t until I got to level 15 and was able to properly explore and defend myself that I saw some really impressive areas of Aeternum. The game is designed beautifully. There are so many different environments that nothing feels the same. Even the types of trees and bushes you find are different in other areas of the world.
I highly recommend New World, but you’ve got to give it some time at first. It takes a bit of playing to get through what is, essentially, the tutorial. Once you get past that, you can go anywhere and do anything you want. That’s the part I like most. I see myself in Aeternum for a long time, and that’s more than I can say for a lot games.