Video Game Reviews: Vindictus

by Tsuuna

Have you been looking for an excellent free-to-play MMORPG? Vindictus just might be what you've been looking for.

Brought to you by Nexon, a company you may already know for creating such online games as Maplestory, GunZ, Dungeon Fighter and Mabinogi, Vindictus stands far apart from the crowd as not only a graphical powerhouse but also a game catering more to hardcore fans familiar to the Action genre. You as the player embark on an epic tale as a nameless mercenary in the middle of a war zone populated not just by men, but gnolls, large wolf-like creatures, giant monstrous spiders, and ultimately even great winged dragons. There are certainly no shortage of enemies to encounter in Vindictus, but what do you have to offer as a player to this?
There are five selectable characters as of now, with more on the horizon. The available characters are Lann, the "in your face" attacker, sporting dual swords or dual spears, Evie, the magical girl who also can split enemies literally in two with her massive scythe attacks, Fiona the offensive and defensive balance, being the only character using a shield, Karok a barbarian of sorts, attacking viciously with literally a pillar or pummeling enemies furiously with his fists using a cestus, and Kai the newest addition, pelting his foes with a hailstorm of arrows. Brimming with blood, violence and weapons galore, Vindictus more than shows us the audience it is appealing to , but is that enough to grab any gamer's attention from other online games?

Story

8/10

The plot surrounding vindictus runs pretty deep for an MMO, which generally have very thinly stretched plots ultimately leaving the player as simply one of the many participating. What this game does different in the story department, is weaves a fine series of quests with relevance to the entire game's outcome and eventual end while fully acknowledging the player's character as sort of a main character amidst everything that occurs. In a way, you actually are responsible for progressing any of the plot through certain quest series split up into 10 different "episodes". 
While this game may not be winning any oscars if it were turned into a film, this is easily one of the most in-depth stories for an Online Game I've ever played. Interestingly enough, Vindictus' original Korean name is Mabinogi Heroes and is actually the prequel to the other Nexon owned game Mabinogi.

 

Gang's all here

This is where your adventure begins.
This is where your adventure begins.
Evie, Kai, Lann, Karok and Fiona. (From left to right.)

Graphics

9/10

Vindictus does do more than set itself apart from many MMO's in just ways of canonical relevance, what it also does is absolutely take our breath away with it's high-end graphics. Using Valve's very own Source Engine, Vindictus looks and runs very smoothly in both minumum and maximum graphical outputs. Armor shimmers in light effects, water quivers and splashes when you run through it and the ocean ebbs and flows as you await your next mission while awaiting for the ship to set sail. There isn't much to be said here, it just looks great.

I hope you're ready to fight that.

Elchulus the dragon.
Elchulus the dragon.

Gameplay

9/10

This is where everything comes into a beautiful crescendo. VIndictus' gameplay is without a doubt the best part of it all. Comparable to other well known games such as Capcom's Monster Hunter coupled with the spirit of a console hack and slash game, fighting enemies in real-time combat feels exceptionally well done. Each character has a unique and distinct play-style setting each one apart from each other, and promoting varied teams to mix it up a little against difficult bosses. Whether it's Kai making monsters into Swiss cheese with volleys of arrows from afar, or Karok pounding enemies skulls in with his massive strength, the wide variety of abilities and attacks will keep players more than interested in investing time into characters from start to finish.

Boss encounters can be absolutely terrifying

Glas Ghaibhleann is not very friendly.
Glas Ghaibhleann is not very friendly.

Music

10/10

Last but most definitely not least, the soundtrack is absolutely stunning. Few games have tracks as powerful to represent the struggle through many boss fights like Vindictus can. I don't have enough words to describe the strength behind the musical composition of each and every battle, so here is a sample from a personal favorite boss of mine.

Theme of Glas Ghaibhleann

Kai, the Hunter

Obviously he takes things very seriously.
Obviously he takes things very seriously.

Lann, the Warrior

Sporting some very fancy armor.
Sporting some very fancy armor.

Evie, the Mage

She may be small, but she's as dangerous as everyone else.
She may be small, but she's as dangerous as everyone else.

Karok, the Barbarian.

A true brute force not to be reckoned with.
A true brute force not to be reckoned with.

Fiona, the Defender

With her shield in hand, she's got almost nothing to worry about.
With her shield in hand, she's got almost nothing to worry about.
Updated: 08/02/2012, Tsuuna
 
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