Innovation is a funny thing. In this modern age game developers are often blasted by critics for their refusal to develop new, innovative ideas instead of continuously pumping out mass-produced soulless experiences designed to do one thing – convince as many people to spend as much money on a product as possible taking the fewest risks. Nosgoth proves to be an interesting beast that kind of flies in the face of typical convention and how we judge innovation. What’s up guys? This is Zac with Attack gaming bringing you a first impressions video for Nosgoth a new team-based third-person shooter published by SquareEnix and developed by Pysonix – a company specializing in outsourcing talent to work on multiplayer modes for games based out of the Unreal Engine.
As the name might suggestion, Nosgoth takes place in the famed Legacy of Kain universe. This is both the source of heightened interest and disgusted contempt, hence the rather interesting predicament Psyonix and SquareEnix have found themselves in with this title.
In a genre positively inundated with massive amounts of multiplayer everything, do we really need yet another cash-shop infused multiplayer shooter? Likewise, there hasn’t been a legitimate sequel to Legacy of Kain since Defiance and even that game was so far removed from the traditional titles in the series that some would argue it shouldn’t even be considered a part of the main series.
The decision to take a series known for its emphasis on exploration and story and to turn it into yet another multiplayer shooter rightfully sets off alarms in the head of many jaded gamers, but let’s think about that for a moment.
Innovation is defined by creativity and a willingness to take risks with no guaranteed payoff. I think it’s safe to say that morphing a third person adventure title into a multiplayer shooter is a pretty huge risk, and when you actually judge the game on its own merits, it’s pretty awesome.
Unlike generic modern military shooters such as Call of Duty and Battlefield, Nosgoth pits humans versus vampires in a battle for utter survival. Oh sure, you say. Tons of games offer multiple factions. Well, there’s huge variety in how the two factions play and within each faction, various classes excel at different things so the game remains fresh throughout. Some classes are good AoE damage, others excel at single target with others still specializing mainly in crowd control. Some of the vampires are illusive and can jump long distances. Others are huge tanks which can bulldoze through enemies. Others still are demon-like creatures which can fly in the air, snatching up humans and dropping them to the ground for massive damage.
The game is asymmetrically balanced which is basically a fancy way of saying there isn’t parity between the vampires and the humans. The vampires are ridiculously overpowered—at least you feel that way when you first start playing. Featuring the ability to run and jump across rooftops ala Assassin’s Creed and the ability to pounce on enemies from insane distances, vampires are a force to be reckoned with and tons of fun to play.
Playing as a human in many ways turns the game into survival horror as you are just trying to survive, keeping the score as close as possible until it’s your turn to play as the vampires. While Vampires can scatter across the map and often succeed at taking out multiple enemies at once, humans are forced to band together sticking close to shrines which grant ammo and health attempting to fend off as many waves of vampires as possible before finally becoming overpowered.
The individual classes in the game can be kitted out with special weapons, abilities, and perks. Each character can possess three abilities which function like special attacks in an MMO that are bound to various hotkeys. Perks are added bonuses like increased speed or increased health that last for a game or for a round.
The variation in play across each faction as well as the various ways in which you can min-max the individual classes leads to tons of theory-crafting and lets itself well to maximizing teamwork through strategies tailored for the strengths and weaknesses of each class.
There are essentially 2 game modes currently available – Team Deathmatch and Siege. Team Deathmatch is your standard 4v4 battle to the death. To keep things fair, both sides receive the opportunity to play as both factions, meaning you spend one round as a vampire and one as a human. The winning team has the most kills at the end of both rounds.
Siege mode is available after level 10 and offers different objectives for each faction. Humans must capture and hold various strategic objectives scattered throughout the map while vampires earn points for killing humans and preventing them from capturing objectives.
Like I mentioned previously, the game does have a cash shop, although I wouldn’t clarify it as pay-to-win. While it’s true that you can spend real-money to purchase items, you can also do so with cash earned in-game. Some items like additional classes can’t be purchased with in-game currency but can be unlocked via artifact tokens which you receive every five levels.
Graphically, the game is beautiful. While it’s not as technically advanced as Killzone or Destiny, the art direction is excellent.
All in all though, after singing this game’s praises, it’s not all roses and sunshine as you just can’t escape the fact that while this is a very fun game, it just wasn’t the game that Legacy of Kain fans wanted, and I’m not sure the game has enough mainstream appeal to warrant much of a player base. Yes, I realize the game is still in beta, but it can be hard to find a match where often times you spend quite a while doing this……instead of doing this.
Still, I urge you to check the game out if you can find a beta key or if you’re willing to spend money on a Founder’s Pack through steam. It’s an excellent multiplayer shooter whose innovation breaks the mold for what a multiplayer shooter should be. This game is really an object lesson in how sometimes even if a game developer cranks out a title that absolutely no one saw coming, demand can’t be ignored. You know what though. Having never been a Legacy of Kain fan, the game does draw me into the game world and makes me want to learn a little bit more about it. After playing it, I feel compelled to check out some of the other games in the series, and that has to count for something right?
If you want to learn more about the game, check out its official website at Nosgoth.com.