The search for the best free mmo — Vindictus

Vin­dic­tus is an MMORPG built by Nexus, the same folks behind Mabinogi, and Maple Story – in fact, in Korea Vin­dic­tus is called Mabinogi: Heroes. Vin­dic­tus was built using the Source engine, the very same game engine used to cre­ate such games as Half-​​Life 2, and Dark Mes­siah: Of Might and Magic. That piqued my inter­est in this title, because I know just what the source engine is capa­ble of.

The graph­ics in Vin­dic­tus are some of the best of any MMO on the mar­ket today, look­ing at screen­shots and videos you prob­a­bly wouldn’t even guess it was an MMO game, there are physics-​​based inter­ac­tions, pil­lars crum­ble, walls break, and objects can be thrown at ene­mies for ranged dam­age as well. The fight­ing is fast and furi­ous, more rem­i­nis­cent of a top tier action game than any typ­i­cal MMO. Attacks can be chained together, and then topped off with a final strong attack, the exact attack you get dif­fers depend­ing on when in the weak attack combo string you acti­vate your strong attack, and other factors.

But now the bad news, the Source engine is a fine choice for any action game, but in an MMO it can be a bit restrict­ing. The engine wasn’t designed for wide open areas, so the game can feel a bit cramped at times, although the engine does an excel­lent job of con­vey­ing the feel­ing of being in a wide open area, you can’t actu­ally explore it as if it was one. There’s also quite a few load­ing screens, even in the mid­dle of instances, which detracts from the play expe­ri­ence. There is a vis­i­ble indi­ca­tor of where you’ll find load­ing screens in the instances, so it isn’t TOO jar­ring, but still an annoyance.


The com­bat can be repet­i­tive, although there are options to spice it up, so I don’t see that as a huge prob­lem, while they are wholly unnec­es­sary, and not always the most effec­tive approaches, play­ers can choose from many “sec­ondary” weapons, such as spears, and bombs that deal sig­nif­i­cant dam­age to ene­mies (usu­ally from a dis­tance), in addi­tion to the physics based play. That said, it’s still a whole lot bet­ter than click­ing your enemy, then click­ing attack and wait­ing till the fight is over.

The game has a strict theme park type design, the bat­tle zones often feel like some­thing you might be play­ing on Xbox 360, very lin­ear. The new player expe­ri­ence con­sists of run­ning the same dun­geon (albeit slightly dif­fer­ent tracts of it) sev­eral times in a row, this gets tire­some. Micro trans­ac­tions seem lim­ited to cos­metic changes such as hair­styles, or giv­ing an item with a spe­cific look the stats of another item (so you can go through the game look­ing as you want to, with­out sac­ri­fic­ing power), and con­ve­nience items, that, while nice (some­times very nice) should never be REQUIRED in your adven­tures. This is the proper way to han­dle micro transactions.

Over­all I give Vin­dic­tus a 3.5÷5, it’s quite fun, a beau­ti­ful game, but ulti­mately flawed, while any­one should be able to find enjoy­ment here, this is a tad too lin­ear to be called the BEST free MMO, how­ever, it does deserve a closer look, and will make it to the next stage in the review process, where high level con­tent will be reviewed.

Start your account free of charge at http://​vin​dic​tus​.nexon​.net/

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A combination of the reviewer's bias, and the objective score
Some games are more than the sum of their parts, this cat­e­gory allows the reviewer to reflect that in his over­all rating.
How fun is the game
How good does the game look?
Sound effects, music, etc.
How long can you play this game before you need to take a break?
An aver­age of the game­play, sound, graph­ics, and replaya­bil­ity categories.

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