New World First Impressions

New World is here and Amazon Game Studios have finally released their MMORPG, and so far the reception has been very positive. This is a great combination of crafting, leveling, PvE, and PVP and so far I’m really enjoying the experience.

New World had a tricky run to release. It was due to release back in March 2020, but went through some high-profile delays plus an alpha, closed beta, and then an open beta. I think the team must have learned a lot from the alpha and closed beta as plenty of changes and quality of life changes have been made. New World blends Runescape-like crafting with exploration, questing, loot plus there are massive PVP battles too, so there’s something in here for everyone.

In the early hours of the game, you’ll be put through your paces and introduced to all the systems that work with each other. You get given a sword, are then introduced to the zombie-like enemies and the Corruption, plus run through a few tutorials about hunting, gathering, and crafting. Once you complete the initial intro then it’s off to your main settlement to get your bearings.

The map in New World is very big and made up of about a dozen or so regions. When you start you’ll be randomly placed in a region, but each one has its settlement. This has an Inn and various vendors for you to get aquainted with.

The first thing you’ll notice with New World is the sheer satisfaction from gathering and crafting. Cutting down trees, mining for Iron, picking bushes, and hunting for animals all feels really good. This is one of the main elements of the game, as you have a bunch of skills you can level through gathering and crafting, and you’ll need to level up these skills to be able to get rarer items as you progress throughout the game. Hunting and gathering early on in the game is a great way to get your first pieces of gear. Then it’s simply a matter of taking these materials back to the settlement and turning them into something you can use whether that’s armor or weapons.

Once you’ve gathered the materials and turned them into something nice, you can then trade items with your fellow inhabitants of Aternum if you want. As you play you are going to be gathering plenty of loot, whether you find loot drops from killing animals or enemies, or you craft these items yourself. You are going to be gaining materials all the time, and this can either be stored at the settlement or traded via the trading post.

After a few hours in the game, you’ll get your bearings, getting accustomed to the various vendors in town and quests. Quests are going to be one of the main ways to level up in New World, which includes the main story quest, town quests, and also faction quests. After an hour or so you’ll be introduced to the three main factions in the game; Marauders, Syndicate and Covenant. Your faction will be another source of quests, so you’ll never really be short of things to do. Outside the main story quest, side quests are fairly standard MMO-style tasks that include gather 20 pieces of Iron Ore, or kill 5 sheep and skin them. There are fetch quests and also quests where you have to go to a location and read some scrolls. There’s a good amount of variety when it comes to quests, and so far in the early game, I haven’t got bored of these simple tasks.

Numbers going up is a phrase we use a lot in games these days, especially with the explosion of loot-based games over the past 5 years. New World implements this pretty well, always making you feel like your making progress towards something. More often than not you’ll be out on a quest, and you have a clear objective. Then you’ll be distracted by wanting to gather some items, or you’ll be tempted to go off a kill a rare enemy. There are also random spawns for the evil-red Corruption, which act as random public events.

PVP is a big part of New World, and probably the component I’m the least familiar with as Im still leveling up my character at the moment, getting battle ready. You don’t neccessarily have to engage in PVP if you don’t want to, when you are in your settlement you can set your PVP flag to be on or off. There is an incentive to turn your PVP flag on though, as you’ll get plenty of XP for killing enemy factions. At the moment it’s fairly novel, and having a little skirmish with the enemy faction is fun. But you do have to be careful because if you die you have to go back to either your camp or the nearest settlement and in theory that could be very far away. There’s no fast travel in New World at the moment, so if you die at the wrong moment you could be walking a lot.

PVP within your faction is one thing, but then there are massive 50 vs 50 wars, where a neighboring region will invade yours, and try to take over your settlement. I’ve only seen what these are like through YouTube videos at the moment and haven’t taken part in one myself, but it’s something I’m looking forward to and a major motivation to get leveled up as soon as possible so I can help out my faction (Syndicate by the way) and take the fight to my neighboring regions.

There’s plenty of weapons to get to grips with, and each one has its one leveling path. You have a Long Sword, Rapier, Fire Staff, Life Staff, Ice Gauntlet, Bow and Arrow, an Axe… there’s loads of variety and lots of opportunities to play the way you want to play. There’s close-range combat with the swords and there’s range combat with the fire staff and ice gauntlets. Combine these weapons with the ability to create your own armor then you could kit yourself out to be a Knight or a Wizard, it’s entirely up to you. Given the game is classless, you can pretty much choose how you want to play, although like any good MMO you’ll want to spec into a type of player like a tank, healer, rogue, ranger, etc.

I think there’s a lot to be excited about with New World. I was lucky and got to play in the Alpha in 2020, and then in the Closed Beta earlier this summer. It was one of my most anticipated games of 2021, and now it’s out I’m really enjoying my time with it. The game feels optimized now and has clearly been on a few rounds of feedback. At times the game does feel somewhat confused and about what it wants to be, and I’m interested to get to the endgame and feel out how the game plays then.

At the moment I am in the early game, somewhere between 5-10 hours and I am getting to grips with quests, items, leveling up. I still have a long way to go to hit the max level of 60, but I am looking forward to that journey. I want to join a Company, take part in more PVP, and level up so I can take part in the 50 vs 50 battles. I love my loot games, and New World appears to have plenty of it. Whether I’m finding it through loot drops from dungeons, or crafting it myself after a long day chopping down trees or farming for Iron or other precious metals.

I’d recommend New World to players who like loot-based games, and if you want to get stuck into a new MMO. I missed World of Warcraft and the hype surrounding that and Final Fantasy XIV at launch. It’s not often you get in on the ground floor of an MMO at the start, and I’m excited to see how this is going to evolve. The game has had a great start on Steam with a peak player count of about 760,000 players on launch day. The servers have buckled under the pressure of the first few days, but I am sure Amazon will get to grips with it. So far I’m having great fun, but I’m interested to see the longevity of the game and what it’s like to play in the endgame. I’ll be back again soon to let you know how I get on.