Amazon's New World MMO Showcases New Dungeon Gameplay Ahead Of Launch
The new MMO from Amazon Games features a more action-oriented take on dungeon-crawling in an online game.
New World is the largest game set to be released from Amazon Games. In the same vein of World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XIV, New World is an online RPG where players can take on quests, take in lore, and collect loot in the world of Aeternum--essentially a high-fantasy setting that takes inspiration from the Americas during the Age of Exploration. With its August 31 launch approaching, the developers of the large-scale open-world MMO opened up New World to a final preview ahead of its release later this summer. One of the many constants in an MMO is the focus on dungeon-crawling, and we had the chance to dive into New World's take on group quests, called Excavations.
New World puts more of a focus on exploring a large-open world at your own pace, letting you take on trades, engage in PvP and PvE content, and build out your character how you see fit. This aspect of the game comes through in a big way during the Excavation missions. Similar to other online RPGs, you and a squad of other adventurers team up to engage in story-driven, standalone adventures located in instanced locales. In our recent hands-on, we got to explore one of the high-level Excavations set in the Armine ruins, which you can check out below in our new gameplay video.
As the name suggests, Excavations are about uncovering and exploring the lost ruins of Aeternum, which houses ancient treasures and hidden threats that have gone undisturbed before your arrival. This particular Excavation starts out in a network of mines before descending further into the ruins of a lost civilization. Tying back into the themes of New World, the MMO is about exploring an unfamiliar land and uncovering its lost history.
The actual gameplay loop of the Excavation follows the same tried and true formula of MMO dungeon-crawling missions. New World's action-focused combat, which has players manage stamina as they dodge attacks, parry strikes, and aim their ranged attacks in real-time, makes each fight feel like an active and thrilling engagement. With each player taking on a needed role, and with coordination being a must, these high-level, group-focused missions present a solid amount of fun and excitement--if a bit familiar compared to other MMOs. However, what really sets New World apart is the freeform and classless character system.
There are no traditional character classes in this MMO, but rather every player has access to all the weapon and magic skills available to them. By spending time to acquire skill points to invest in various weapon types and skills, such as bows, swords, magic wands, and rapiers, you can then unlock skills to flesh your build--which can be adjusted anytime. This flexible approach certainly came in handy during our particular dungeon run, which required some members to rethink their loadouts and skills.
In our previous chat with the developers last year, New World's head of player experience, Dave Verfaillie, spoke about the focus on freedom of choice in the game and how it incentives players to try different builds.
"One of the goals we've had all along is to give players more choice and freedom. For New World, it was about letting players create their gameplay, and that comes from the classless system that we have," said Verfaillie. "In most games, your starting class dictates how you play and what follows after. In our game, you create your class, and you can change it throughout your game. You may start as a melee player, but there's no reason that you couldn't switch to ranged combat or dabble more in magic. I think that the classless system is one way we allow players to express their agency. But things like the territory game, housing, where you can fully decorate your house, and even just choosing where you put your house is an important statement in a game like New World."
New World's approach to open-world gameplay and its style of character growth in an MMO certainly gives it an edge over other online games that go for a more traditional approach. However, the market for MMOs continues to be a challenging space--with all games vying to get the attention of their core audience. While New World certainly faces a tough battle at launch, the game's vision for a more unified and open approach to exploring an MMO's world at your own pace offers a more welcoming place to start an online adventure.