Blade & Soul
Top Critic Average
Blade and Soul's excellent PvP is buried beneath a mountain of tired MMO tropes that are sometimes frustrating and rarely innovative.
Blade & Soul's phenomenal combat isn't enough to make up for its dated quests.
Blade & Soul has the PVP pedigree to stand at the top of the MMO heap, which is why the rather rote PVE stands out. You'll have to go through some soulless grinding before you get to the great PVP. If martial arts-laden PVP isn't your thing, there are better MMOs out there.
Although Blade & Soul is rough around the corners with its outdated quests and PvE envrionment, its strength in action-based combat and PvP shines through. Nailing a 20-hit combo on a poor fool has rarely been this satisfying outside of the fighting genre. The in-game store for microtransactions is mainly for cosmetic items and premium membership which keeps this free-to-play title away from the pay-to-win model, with Daily Dash prizes as bonuses for daily logins. While gold spammers had taken over the global chat, the new block spammer button has neutralized the situation. With NCSoft's attentive support of the title as the US release continues to catch up with the Asian release, the remaining story acts, classes, and dungeons will hopefully fill in the gaps by way of the developer's aggressive post-launch schedule. For now, Blade & Soul has a swift but cautious kick of a recommendation.
Blade & Soul offers little of fun, beyond the combat. The only reasons to stick around are the visuals, which are exquisite, the late-game PVP and, rarely, PVE. However, the rigmarole of questing, the dull dungeons and general lack of challenge means that the journey is long, boring and, to be frank, not worth the time it takes.
High-flying martial arts action, excellent art, and years of polish and content updates make Blade & Soul's Western launch well worth the wait.
I've had fun with my time in Blade & Soul, but my desire to log in is waning as I sit at the cap and realize all that's left to do is more dailies and grinding for better gear… I'm pretty sure I've been here before. I'd be all about the world PVP if it was more meaningful, just as I'd play the arena PVP if I was at all good enough to make a go of it (I am not). In the end, Blade & Soul just feels like a game that's not for me and that's OK. It's still a very good game, quite competent at achieving its goals. It sometimes feels like its big MMO features are just tacked on to give people something to do between the next arena match, and that's OK too. If League of Legends or SMITE had a big open world campaign, I'd wager I'd play them more too. Blade & Soul can be content in having some of the best combat in MMO history, and I'll be content to pop my head in on the game from time to time to see what's new.
We waited a lot to play Balde & Soul, but NCSOFT's MMO arrives on the west market a little too late. The action oriented combat system is interesting and well designed, but PvP is still unbalanced and the endgame is tasteless and boring. The game, in conclusion, has very good intuitions but a very bad structure.
Review in Italian | Read full review
Blade & Soul is a great MMORPG experience. It's big in scope, easy to pick up and play, and it's fun as hell. It's not perfect, but it has a solid formula to possibly achieve such a feat.
Blade & Soul's combat system is a huge breath of fresh air in the MMO market.