At this year’s E3 I got a chance to sit down with free-to-play MMO developer Perfect World for a demo of their newest title, Forsaken World, the first title from the company to be developed with a western audience in mind. So does the newest MMO on the block impress or does it get lost in a massively multiplayer ocean?
As mentioned Forsaken World is a 100% free to play game, there a no subscriptions fees and no monthly dues. The only things that can be purchased with real world dollars are items used for the player’s convenience (so maybe it’s 99% free) that don’t actually boost the player’s stats or attributes. So a player who just plays the game for free or a player who buys all the items in the virtual shop is still on the same level when it comes to stats. Actually this is a business model that Perfect World has adopted for all their games and one that I personally find very well suited to the free MMO genre.
The game features five races (Human, Elves, Dwarves, Stonemen and the Kindred) all of which feature their own distinct backstory and style. The complement these races are eight classes ranging from the ever present warrior, mage, priest, assassin, marksmen and newer types like vampire or bard. With this many classes and races it's easy that their will be many ways to experience Forsaken World.
The game also uses a unique system where it is the actual servers that get leveled up, this is designed to help stem activities like gold farming and forces players to actually play the game instead of grinding their way to better items and equipments. Another unique element is the Zodiac system, which uses the players actual birthday to determine what kind of rewards and rarities the player will receive when praying to the game world's gods.
Speaking of gods the game also places a high emphasis on the deities of the Forsaken World with a story that revolves around a war between the gods and the people who must inhabit this world. In the end it is also possible for your own character to reach the status of god and acquire powers far beyond the mortals of the world.
From the build that was shown at E3 we can already see a very detailed graphics engine running on Perfect World's proprietary 'Angelica' engine which allows for great 3D visuals, detailed characters and armor as well as a very impressive draw distance. However I did notice the art direction seemed a tad 'common' for the genre and it would really be a shame if players looked this game over because it looked similar to other MMORPGs. But they really shouldn't because Perfect World is crafting an epic and deep MMO and best of all, it's free to play. Be sure to check out Forsaken World when the game goes into beta this winter.