New World is a massively multiplayer (MMO) online game that feels like your favorite third-person title, only with hordes of other people running around. It doesn’t ask players to limit themselves to classes, only to one of the three factions. Instead of a western fantasy setting, New World feels straight out of the pages of an alternate history book about the 1700s. You can challenge other players, but you’ll probably want to focus more on cleaning up the World of Corrupted Breaches: Blood red clouds that rise around you and spawn creatures that can blow your character off.
While it stubbornly clings to genre conventions by asking you to spend hours researching levels and resources, New World also flouts some of the more frustrating MMO mechanics. This does not force players to band together for raids, nor channel them into arbitrary jobs or subclasses. Instead, New World features a unique large sandbox, perfect for traveling on foot (a good thing, since there are no mounts), and a game loop that keeps you coming back for more.
For Amazon’s first major game release (if you don’t count the hapless Crucible), New World feels more like a title from a more experienced studio. It’s comfortable in every way you’d expect from an MMO like Final Fantasy XIV or World of Warcraft, but it even surpasses those mainstays in some ways. Granted, New World can be frustrating at times in the same way, but the excitement that comes over you as you level up or discover a new area takes those annoyances away in an instant.
New World really feels like exploring a wild land, top to bottom, despite retaining much of the same type of content that we typically see in other MMOs. Read on for our full review of the New World.
New World Review: Specifications
Price: 40 $
Release date: September 28, 2021
New World Review: History
New World is set in a supernatural alternate version of 18th-century North America. It’s the Age of Exploration, and you will, as you find yourself stranded on a fictional island called Aeternum. Tasked with colonizing this wild and cursed area, you must uncover what lies behind the corruption that has spread to every part of the island. You also have the opportunity to make a name for yourself in this uninhabited wilderness as you (and others) work to create new villages and monuments. It’s a pretty typical MMO fare, but it lays the groundwork for some fun RPG elements, if you really want to dive deep.
New World Review: Gameplay
If you have ever played survival game, where you have to collect food and gear to survive every night, then you will feel right at home in New World. Right after you’ve created your character (and picked from the worst hairstyle options I’ve ever seen in a game), you’re free to explore. This means collecting wood, flint, and other goods that you will need to be successful in this austere environment.
New World is all about creating your own path, from crafting your first rickety wooden sword, to collecting torn clothes from enemies on your way to civilization. You’ll also face enemies through a variety of grasslands, forests, villages, shipwrecks, cliffs, riverbeds, and just about any type of landscape you can think of. Repeating these tasks feels like a well-balanced waltz: craft, attack, and collect. It’s a good thing the gameplay loop doesn’t really age.
The game rewards you for everything you do. Whether you stop to skin a wolf or dig a rock, you are constantly improving a corresponding statistic. This leads to unlocking better recipes and crafting abilities. When you get back to town and need to craft rations or a new set of armor, you can see the progress you’ve made in the hours you’ve spent exploring.
Combat in New World is fast, smooth and responsive. More importantly, everything takes place in real time, so you can choose to escape corrupted zombie-like monsters or chase a runaway rabbit. When you swing your sword or ax, it feels like you are connecting with an enemy instead of colliding with air like in some other MMOs. You build combos with the abilities you unleash, much like Devil May Cry or some other sword-centric action game. Clicking on enemies to swing your weapon, cast a spell or shoot arrows feels Well. You don’t have to sit idly by waiting for your attacks to strike. When you score a kill, there is a wave of satisfaction at the end.
New World review: character customization
What’s even better is the fact that you’re not limited to a certain type of weapon or skill, just because you picked the wrong class at the start. You can wield a blade if you want, or you can respect your skills and become a magical user. You’re not locked into one identity, and that alone puts New World at the top of the class in several ways. You can create a second character to experiment with if you want, but you can also change your main avatar’s stats and specializations quite easily.
This kind of free customization is a constant throughout the game. You can join one of three different factions, own one of Aeternum’s settlements, and participate in the optional player-versus-player (PvP) shenanigans of New World. . You never have to play with other people. But if you want, there are faction missions and full scale wars to control certain parts of the map. Or, you can fly solo while chatting with friends, using proximity chat. You can form groups of up to five adventurers and explore Aeternum together. The camaraderie is reminiscent of games like Sea of Thieves. You are all there to work towards a common goal, and it is extremely refreshing.
We haven’t even touched on each town’s unique tax requirements, or the fact that you can set up camp and checkpoints all over the island, which helps ease the sting of death. New World is a richly detailed example of good game design, except when it comes to a frustrating issue. Traveling on foot is extremely slow.
Currently, New World does not have mounts, so you will have to travel on foot or use fast travel. Neither option is very fast. You can turn on AutoPlay and randomly “point” your character to where you need to go, but fast travel is only useful if you’ve a) been in an area before, or b) in an area where he is. available.
Otherwise, you will have to sabotage it. The abundance of walking eats up the time you have to devote to finding resources. A mount, or a faster way to travel, could have easily taken out some of the New World’s frustrations. This is one of the few missteps in the game, and a weird one, too.
New World Review: Visuals and Sounds
New World is a wonderful game. To be fair, the title encountered a few issues with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3090 GPUs during its beta, but the final version is smooth as butter. I played New World with an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 version and enjoyed reliable stutter-free performance and fast load times. Surprisingly, in all of my time in the game, I only encountered one bug – a banner proclaiming that I was leaving an event, which would not fade. A reboot fixed this easily.
The level of detail for customizing your starting character leaves a lot to be desired. However, you can outfit your avatar with a ton of different items. There is also a wide variety of biomes and areas to explore.
I wish the music was just as memorable, though. Frankly, it fades most of the time. I found the casual dubbing enjoyable, although you’ll spend more time listening to other players chat if you choose to use proximity chat.
New World Review: Verdict
For its first real game release, Amazon has outdone itself. New World is not only accessible and exciting; it’s really fun to play. This MMO feels like an intimate, one-player crafting adventure, with PvP elements dotted around for good measure. Play for an hour and watch it magically transform into two. Watch those few hours turn into a whole weekend. (Then ask yourself why you have to spend so much time automatically running from point A to point B, because you could have accomplished so much more with a faster run speed or a mount.)
Yes, this New World review ends with another criticism about mounts. An epic, winged creature – or even some sort of horse – would make Aeternum Island an even more exciting place to explore. But for now, the fact that we’re all willing to travel the country on foot should be a testament to the quality of the game.
New World is the most fun I’ve had in an MMO in years. It’s also a great starting point for newcomers to the genre, looking to dip their toes in and see how water feels.