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e3 2010

Vindictus E3 Hands-On Brings Good News

by Adam Biessener on Jun 17, 2010 at 05:11 PM

Free-to-play giant Nexon is taking a shot at making a triple-A quality free-to-play action MMO for audiences on both sides of the Pacific. Any doubts about its gameplay chops were answered by fifteen minutes playing the game on the E3 show floor.

I’ve had my eye on Vindictus for a while. Its Source Engine-powered visuals are excellent, and I have always been on board with the idea of action-packed brawler combat in a physics-enabled MMO. I always thought that we were years away from seeing quality gameplay along those lines, though. Nexon proved me wrong.

Vindictus’ simple two-button combat isn’t the deepest thing I’ve ever played, but it doesn’t need to be. The presentation is outstanding, and I laughed out loud in childish delight at the shop I was wrecking within seconds of logging in. Whether I was chopping dudes in half with huge horizontal sweeps of my two swords, impaling them with mighty casts of enormous spears, or crushing them under giant chunks of rubble, I was having a grand time. I’ve never seen an online game in the same ballpark as Vindictus when it comes to depicting hilariously out-of-control violence.

The end of the demo level was a fight against a twelve-foot-tall gnoll chieftan. This boss battle required more in the way of strategy, needing dodging and situational awareness to avoid being obliterated by his larger-than-life maul. Still, this is hardly a contemplative tactical puzzle.

If Vindictus is as hands-down fun in the wild as it was on the E3 floor, I’ll be popping in from time to time for the sheer joy of blasting through hordes of enemies like a steel tornado. Nexon has the chance to make something truly special if it can get a variety of content, characters, and social interaction to match Vindictus’ thrilling gameplay.