Customer Review

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a legitimate contender to WoW, 12 Oct. 2011
= Fun:5.0 out of 5 stars 
This review is from: Rift - Standard Edition (PC DVD) (Video Game)
Like most MMO gamers out there I have played World of Warcraft for longer than I care to remember and for some time have been growing increasingly stagnated, seeking out new alternatives and beign constantly disappointed. Warhammer Online promised so much and delivered so little, LotrO again offered a nice example of an MMO but seemed to have a lot of gaps in game play where you had been used to having it.

Then along came Rift. At first I was sceptical, another fantasy based MMO with a ringing resemblance to what I was already playing.....but boy has this little beauty delivered. It is not without it's issues, but then neither is WoW now so it's about weighing up what matters most.

What is partially Rifts main flaw is also it's greatest strength. It is so like WoW at first glance that there is possibly a feeling of no originality, BUT, this is also what makes is much easier to pick up for seasoned WoW players - there is a familiarity there instinctively about interacting with characters, moving, combat etc that where other MMO's fall down in trying to compete with WoW by being different (and ultimately end up worse for it), Rift just says "yes we work the same...you dont need to spend time re-learning your game play - just get on and play the game".

As already said there are a number of similarities, but where WoW is beginning to slowly get dumbed down, Rift keeps the complexity and builds on it. Crafting may be very basic and leaves a lot of room for improvement, but the character customisation in terms of style of play leaves WoW for dead. Yes there are certain build which run the risk of leaving your character helpless and other which are optimal, but in general you feel like you can play the way YOU want to without ruining your chances of playing at higher levels.

The graphics in Rift are absolutely stunning. Gone are cartoony character models or clunky avatars, this delivers smooth graphics and stunning visuals and immediately immerses you in the world. The first time you see a rift appear (the quintisential essence of this game) you will be blown away, amazed by it's gorgeous rendering and you will be looking forward to the next one.

That brings us on to the Rifts. hile much of the game revolves around traditional questing (which admitedly does get a little boring at times with it's lack of originality) Rifts are there to break up the monotiny, a welcome relief from questing where you can join in with random players and defeat whatever comes at you from the gaping hole into the nether. The spawned entities gradually become stronger until you fight an Elite monster, with rewards upon the rifts closure going to all who took part. The PvP is simple and well worn (capture the flag etc) but just feel refreshing none-the-less, the character building process offering up healers, support, rdps, tanks and mdps who all have their role on the battlefield....and the best thing of all is you can get a PvP specific build totally separate from your PvE one, optimising your role on the PvP floor.

While the game does not bring too much originality, I have to say it is a breath of fresh air for seasoned WoW players, going back to the complexities of TBC-WoW rather than the point and click easy-mode of today incarnation. It is very complex which may cause newer players some issues and seem rather daunting if you have never played an MMO before, but that should make it all the more fun to explore, test out new features and see what happens rather than have everything laid out for your on a plate. There is a feeling of helplessness if a Rift spawns when the server is quiet since it does interrupt your gameplay when you cant get on and quest for fear of dieing, but these type of things don't happen very often and erhaps future patches can decrease the spawn rate when players numbers don't warrant it, but personally I hope not - it's nice to see them and know that you personally can't do anythign about them and must bide your time.

Certainly worth a look for any MMO fan looking for a change of scenery and some refreshing new outlooks on well worn themes. Not without it's problems but the support it top drawer, for such a new MMO is relatively bug free and should only get better as people keep playing.
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