MMORPG New World from Amazon Games has been in the spotlight for a long-closed beta session ahead of a September 28th release. Who knows where New World will end up on its release date after so many changes to its concept have taken place during production? The target audience is what type of player?
This is an MMORPG, but what kind? Perhaps the most critical question is whether or not it’s even worth your attention. After a demo session that brought me into the endgame with a fully-geared character, I’ve observed several underserved areas in the MMORPG field and some that might be extremely detrimental to the title. Let us discuss New World!
New World is set in a supernatural, alternate version of 18th-century North America. It’s the Age of Exploration, and explore you will, as you find yourself washed ashore on a fictional island called Aeternum. Tasked with colonizing this wild, cursed area, you must discover what’s behind the corruption that’s eked into every part of the island. You’ve also got a chance to make a name for yourself in this uninhabited wilderness as you work to raise new villages and landmarks. It’s MmoPixel that does lay the groundwork for some fun RPG elements if you’re interested in really diving in deep.
New World is all about making your way, from crafting your first rickety wooden sword, to scavenging torn clothing from enemies as you journey onward toward civilization. You’ll also duke it out with foes across a variety of meadows, forests, villages, shipwrecks, cliffsides, riverbeds and just about any landscape you can think of. Repeating these tasks feels like a well-balanced waltz: crafting, attacking and gathering.
It’s a good thing the gameplay loop doesn’t get old. You can also buy New World Gold. The game rewards you for everything you do. You constantly level up a corresponding stat, whether you stop to skin a wolf or chisel down a boulder. This leads to unlocking better crafting recipes and abilities. When you get back to town and need to create rations or a new set of armour, you can see the progress you’ve made in the hours you spent exploring.
What feels even better is that you aren’t restricted to a certain type of weapon or skillset just because you chose the wrong class at the beginning. You can wield a blade if you want, or you can respect your skills and make yourself a magic-user. You aren’t locked into any one identity, which alone puts New World ahead of the class in several ways. You can make a second character to experiment with if you want, but you can also change your primary avatar’s stats and specializations easily enough.
This kind of free-range customization is a constant throughout the game. You can join one of three different factions, become a homeowner in one of Aeternum’s settlements, and participate in New World’s optional player-versus-player (PvP) shenanigans. You’re never forced into playing with others. But if you want to, there are faction missions and full-scale wars for control over parts of the map. Or, you can fly solo while chatting it up with friends, thanks to proximity chat.
Visuals and Sound
New World is a great-looking game. During its beta, the title ran into some issues with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 GPUs, but the final release is smooth like butter. I played New World with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 build and enjoyed the reliably stutter-free performance and fast load times. Surprisingly, in all the time I spent in-game, I ran into only one bug: a banner proclaiming that I was leaving an event, which wouldn’t clear. A reboot resolved this easily.
For its first real game outing, Amazon outdid itself. New World is not just accessible and exciting; it’s genuinely fun to play. This MMO feels like an intimate, single-player crafting adventure, with PvP elements sprinkled in for good measure. Play for an hour, and watch it magically turn into two. Watch those few hours transform into an entire weekend.
Yes, this New World review ends with yet another gripe about mounts. An epic, winged creature — or even some horse — would make Aeternum Island an even more exciting locale to explore. But for now, the fact that we’re all willing to traverse the land on foot should speak to the game’s quality.
New World feels like the first MMO designed without World of Warcraft’s DNA as a core feature. It’s not concerned with killing Blizzard’s goliath, but rather, content to be something of its own. Early on, the game manages to capture the best part of embarking on a new adventure.