While gaming and Amazon haven't always gone hand-in-hand as seen with the launch of Crucible, there is another adventure that has been in the works for some time now that offers a very different experience. We recently sat down with the devs to dive in and immediately we knew that New World wasn't playing around when it comes to offering a solid competitive experience while not negating an immersive story.
For those that may not know, New World is set in the Age of Exploration during the 16th century. While on a quest to find the Fountain of Youth, players will instead be thrust into a world that stumbled upon the eerie supernatural and magick. As with any new valuable resource found, the world immediately dissolved into chaos, splitting society into three different factions in order to vie for control over this powerful discovery.
During our demo, we began our journey at max level, meaning we, unfortunately, didn't get a chance to explore what the story had to offer. That being said, we did get to experience the epic 50 vs. 50 War experience where two factions go head-to-head in order to control desirable territories.
The character creation is there, but very simple. A few presets are offered with not much else in the way of customization. That being said, the game let me be a purple-haired badass, so I can't complain:
I was placed on the Defending side; a huge mistake, really. While waiting for everyone to ready up, I took my time exploring the area outside of my town, taking on lower-level foes to get a feel for which combat style worked the best for me. Since in RPGs I tend to go the mage route, I opted into using magic with two staffs at my disposal: one for combat, and one for healing.
Leveling up the skills for this particular tree was easy to use, making it user-friendly and accessible when looking to tailor my combat style. Each character can equip up to three weapons so for me, I chose two staffs (since I was defending and wanted additional healing support) and a one-handed sword. Other options include Warhammer, bows, two-handed and one-handed swords, muskets, and the aforementioned staffs.
I didn't get as much time as I would have liked to explore the different armor interactions and crafting because of time but from what I saw, the crafting in-game seemed promising. Being able to mix certain elements together offered a freedom in-game that some titles opt-out of, making it easier to tailor combat and how each character navigates the world.
When the battle began, my team was safely locked behind the gates inside. We could venture out into the danger zones to take on a more offensive attack, which we did, but we quickly learned that this was a grievous mistake. With all of us going out of different gates, we were largely spread out, which made it really easy for the Attackers to pick us off one by one. The more your team dies, the longer respawn times are, so that penalty is a vital puzzle piece when it comes to whether a match is a win or a loss.
Eventually, my team and I wisened up and we regrouped towards the middle, which was key. The middle was marked by a glowing banner, offering a key position to defend while a small pocket of players were charged with repairing the damaged gates that the enemy was trying to demolish in order to conquer. We also laid traps at the entrances of each gate as well to prologue their entry and to offer us time to repair and take them out as well.
My attacks were killer, I mean killer. My R attack was a fire attack that rained fire from the skies, much like the Elementalist attack in Guild Wars 2. Fire rained down with a pretty significant AOE range, and the damage output was massive. That being said, the recovery time was rough and splintering using that attack with my other, less damaging, ones left me vulnerable more times than not. Luckily, I did have the sword, so if someone did come up too close and my cooldown was still active, I could swap to melee to beat them back.
Eventually, we lost. We were all new to the game, didn't know the value of strategy, and for me? I was a clusterheck. Sorry, team!
It was really enjoyable though, much more engaging than I was originally anticipating. The winner of this war earns control of the area and tax revenues from the region. Since the name of the game is to grow your power quickly and effectively, winning this PvP mode is crucial.
But just because we enjoyed PvP doesn't mean that's all there is to the game. There is a single-player storyline as well, or players can group up with friends. There are stories to uncover, new skills to learn, and gear to loot and the team over at Amazon did tell Prima Games that they are looking to update the game monthly in an effort to keep players engaged and actively compete with other titles of the genre.
Overall, I really enjoyed my time with the game. It's not my usual genre with so much strategy but it has an appeal that I think will do the Amazon name proud and help to redeem their developer induction after what happened with Crucible. Maybe next time I play I'll actually win, who knows?