Swordsman Review (Open Beta)
Here is my review of the new free MMORPG Swordsman open beta. A lot of MMOs nowadays tend to have the same theme or mechanics, but there are some, such as Swordsman that want to innovate and come up with something new. Swordsman is a martial arts MMO that tries to set aside the normal grinding which you can see in most online games, but instead wants to focus on the quality of combat and how the action fares on the experience provided to the player.
Even if Swordsman isn’t the most impressive game that you can see from a graphical standpoint, it does incorporate the latest graphical technologies and the graphical design is breathtaking. From towns to forests and dungeons, everything looks impressive and you will definitely be amazed by the shear amount of detail that is placed into such a large title.
Despite the fact that you have numerous places to explore, it’s sad that most of them are quite small and you won’t have that much space for exploration, unfortunately. It would be great if these developers would think about expanding these maps as time goes by.
There are three clans you can join after you reach level 20 in the game, the Wudang, Emei and Tang Clan. All of these offer some quests that are unique for each faction and, of course, each faction has a castle of its own which is quite small, but beautifully made. Clan interaction usually resides on PVP, but other than that even if you are a member of a clan you won’t really feel like one, as there aren’t that many options to make that stand out.
The soundtrack in Swordsman is very impressive, as it really brings you into that martial arts feel. There are lots of tracks which are played randomly.
Swordsman’s combat system is quite unique and it does live up to the hype. You have the option to select a martial arts style and stick with it, or you might want to use the classic sword system, it’s up to you. NPCs don’t attack you in packs, most of the time they will act individually, but even so they can pose a threat sometimes. Despite that, the gameplay by itself is very refreshing and it really stands out as being different, which is really great.
You might expect that the quests aren’t that many due to the fact that the maps are small, but there are lots of them that you need to complete as you play. Tracking those quests is very easy thanks to the impressive quest log.
The interface is cleverly designed and not cluttered, like in most MMOs. Instead you have a clear understanding where each feature is placed and accessing it involves just a single click most of the time. We would like to see this type of interface in many other MMOs as well.
In the end, Swordsman is a high quality online game that, despite its small problems, delivers a unique martial arts experience combined with great graphics and a stellar soundtrack. It’s not the best MMO on the market, but the interesting game world, fun combat and premise certainly makes it worthy of at least taking it out for a spin.