Blade & Soul is an Asian martial arts fantasy MMO from NCsoft bursting with knockout visuals and action-packed intrigue. Blade and Soul has been released in Korea and will be adapted to the Western market, as what NCsoft did to another online rpg, Aion.
Four races have been confirmed so far for the Western release of Blade & Soul – Gon, a proud race descended from the Dragons; Jin, an inquisitive race that embodies the wise Black Tortoise; Kun, an all-female race that seeks to preserve the natural order with the guidance of the Phoenix; and Lyn, a short, furry-eared race that can communicate with spirits.
Six classes have also been confirmed that are based around their designated weapons – the dagger-stabbing Assassin, the sword-slicing Blademaster, the axe-swinging Destroyer, the elemental-casting Force master and punch-comboing Kung Fu Master and the pet-using Summoner.
Since each Blade & Soul race will only have access to two to three classes. A Gon character, for instance, can only choose the path of a Kung Fu Master or a Destroyer. Certain classes are even restricted to a single race, such as the Destroyer for Gon, the Assassin for Jin and the Summoner for Lyn. This makes important for you to think about what kind of fighting style you want to use in battle.
Blade & Soul stays true to its promise of delivering exciting martial arts combat. The online rpg is one of the few that lets you counter, block and combo your opponents to afterlife. The game will also give players the air running ability – a mythical feat of fast travel – similar to what you may have seen in Chinese martial arts movies like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Players may even jump from high altitude areas and land safely because of this immersion-enhancing feature.
Action MMORPG fans will appreciate the slick visuals of Blade & Soul that look straight out of an arcade brawler. Lead artist for the game, the famous Korea manga and videogame artist Hyun-Tae Kim, has given attack animations are very stylized look so that swinging an axe will create visible air ripples. And the weapons seem to have two default settings: big and gigantic. The armor pieces you wear are equally ornate in design, hewing closely to Eastern codes of dress such as the ninja garb for Assassins and the samurai kimono for Blademasters.
Blade and Soul developers give PvE play slightly more attention, but PvP fans unlockable will have ample venues to practice their killing spree. All in all, Blade & Soul delivers an engrossing martial arts gameplay, and a memorable Asian fantasy story set in some of the most beautiful natural environments inspired by ancient Asia.
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