Does Rift live up to the hype? Is Rift a "WoW Killer"? Quite honestly, days after launch and several days after the "pre-purchase" headstart, it's too early to comment on this.
Rift takes place in a Telara, a world that sits at a junction of the elemental planes.
Because of its strategic location, different elemental forces have assaulted it and wiped out its people.
The gods of Telera intervened and resurrected the Guardians (aka your good guys) to fight the invasions. On the other hand, you have the Defiant, who reject the gods and choose technology as their path to fight the invasions.
First off, Rift is pretty. Prettier than what the World of Warcraft has ever been.
The visuals are great, the particle effects are beautiful and the character models are great on NPCs, creatures and Player Characters. Texture modelling and detailing looks superb with glinting armour, embossed designs on clothing and deep design on the models.
The sounds are pretty top-notch to any MMO. Theres not a huge variation between sound effects. Weapon hits and the battle do sound great, however.
I play on a Player versus Environment (PvE) server and not a Player versus Player (PvP) server. So I cannot speak too much about the second. PvE balance has always been an issue as well as PvP in any MMO. Now, I'm hearing a lot about Warfronts being mismatched with too many people on one-side or the other. Just days after launch there is plenty of balancing that needs to be done on both sides of the game.
Rift is highly accessible. If you've played any MMO, the controls will be familiar. Most of the key functions for opening the map, or your bags, as examples, are directly ported from your major MMOs like WoW or Lord of the Rings Online.
However, there are some really great touches.
My personal favourite is that bringing up the map blocks the screen, like any MMO, but when you move, it becomes 80 per cent transparent, allowing you to use the map while you move.
We have to talk about Rifts. Rifts are "invasions" that randomly spawn across the zones at, or around, a level commensurate to that zone.
If a Rift isn't closed quickly it can expand into a full-blown invasion that can quickly overwhelm parts of the area.
The creatures that spawn will ultimately begin to attack areas around the Rift and hamper your ability to complete quests.
Rift allows you, or your group, to quickly join into a Public Group, a short-term raid in essence, to combine your efforts and get credit and rewards for sealing the Rift.
You can then attack and seal the Rift with the help of everyone who wants to join.
Downside, if no one is around, these Rifts will basically make your life hell until the server spawns "Guardian" forces to help till it seals on its own.
Rift is a fun game, I recommend picking it up if you are looking to scratch your itch for a new MMO. Exciting combat, raiding, and lots of loot are always good things to look forward to.
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