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‘New World’ review in progress

Our thoughts so far on the new Amazon MMO.

New World
Credit: Amazon Games

It’s great when a new MMO comes out, I love the feeling of exploring a whole new land that is entirely new to me. Adding to the buzz is the sudden influx of people all experiencing stuff together for the first time. New World was released on 28th Sept to much fanfare so let’s see what all the fuss is about.

I can’t write about New World without mentioning the mess on day one with regards to queue times to even get into the game. I’d managed to rack up 4 hours of game time on day one without even managing to log into a server. Amazon have since responded to this issue and I can report that things are a lot better than they were.

Watch the official New World trailer below:

To the game itself. First off New World looks gorgeous and there are lots of graphical options to tinker with to get it running as smoothly as possible. I’ve stuck with what the game recommended for my PC, everything on high with an i7700k and RTX2080, and other than a bit of lag in densely populated areas I haven’t run into any issues. I also feel the sound is worth a mention as it’s fantastic. I’ve taken to turning the music off and just letting the sounds of the world engulf me as I explore.

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As you would expect from any MMO there is an awful lot to do in New World. Other than questing there are multiple trade skills that you can level up in order to make better equipment or contribute to improving settlements. You’re likely to be spending as much time harvesting resources as you are questing in this game!

Questing is a very standard affair and if I’m honest lacks anything new. Quests are always go and kill this, talk to someone or collect that. Whilst this in and of itself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, there is nothing in the narrative that gives any importance to what I’m being asked to do, to the point where I’ve already stopped reading the quest descriptions and just head out to mindlessly complete yet more errands. Adding to the boredom is how quests are physically spread across the map. The distances you will need to cover really eat into your game time and make questing a slog.

New World
Credit: Amazon Games

To help with the large distances between settlements there are fast travel options but these cost Azoth, a resource you get from completing quests and occasionally from looting enemies. Azoth takes forever to build up, certainly in the early game and makes fast travel next to useless as you simply can’t afford it. I hope that it becomes easier to obtain Azoth later in the game especially as there are currently no mounts available in the game.

The combat mechanics are full of promise but don’t seem to have been fully realised. Rather than choosing a class, players can choose to specialise in different weapons and can equip two at a time and switch between them on the fly. As you progress with each weapon you will unlock new skills and abilities linked to it. Whilst this sounds great in theory it doesn’t give as much freedom as you might think.

Each weapon generally comes with three abilities to unlock with the other stuff being passive bonuses. Once you’ve found the weapon combo you like you’ll be stuck with these three abilities until max level unless you choose to respec. Another restriction is that each weapon is affected by your character stats giving you even less incentive to try new things, after all, why would you change to a weapon that isn’t supported by the core stats you’ve invested hours in?

New World
Credit: Amazon Games

To encourage PVP, which is entirely optional, there are three separate factions you can choose to represent in the game. Each have rewards you unlock as you complete quests for them and it is the faction that ultimately takes hold of an area giving other players of the same faction perks when in said area. As you may imagine, areas of control are likely to change hands resulting in all out war to keep hold of as much real estate as possible.

Despite its flaws, I’m still keen to keep playing. I’m close to being able to enter the PVE dungeons and still want to take part in the various wars that are gradually building up on my server. To sum up, I’m not sure if I’m either bored or just overwhelmed at how much there is still to do. Either way, I’m off to log in again.

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