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Skyforge – Tales from the Xbox One Game Preview

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They say that with great power comes greater blockbuster films, or even some strange ethical dilemma that will challenge your running monologues. Or, you could be living inside of an MMO where there are countless others who have your powerset, and you’re just the new recruit.

That MMO is probably known to many as Skyforge, a game that takes place in a world where a god once lived, and his gift to the people on his departure was the gift of immortality. A select amount of people will be gifted this strange power, awakened to the sight of their fallen comrades as they come to the realization that they are one of the blessed. After they come to grips with their immortality, they head to a new city filled with immortals, before being sent out to be soldiers that will protect the lands of man from the rising forces of darkness. Along the way, they may find a pantheon being found under their name, and people will begin to flock to said pantheon. The more who worship an immortal, the stronger they grow, until they become powerful enough to step into the shoes of the old god and protect all of the planet from the strongest of enemies.

Skyforge starts out with you being a soldier sent to protect a town, and when that fails, evacuate it. The tutorial is very straightforward and it sets the game up for the inevitable: you die, tough luck. Except, when you die, you awaken in a pile of your fallen comrades, and you decide to fight your way out of the enemy stronghold. Now, it may seem a bit like Kingdoms of Amalur at this point, and it was certainly the vibe I got from the story’s setup, but the gameplay is much more like a Phantasy Star, in that there are only a few buttons that do anything, but you can assign skills to each of those, or their subsequent combinations, and that makes up all of the combat.

Now, that’s not to say that there isn’t some variety. Skyforge features quite a few classes, and each one is very different from the last. You’re not locked to playing just one class either. You can swap out to a different one later on in the game, unlocking new, much more powerful classes by playing through the campaign missions. Whether you decide to be a mage that specializes in ice magic, or Death’s #1 worker (Grim Reaper), you’ll probably find a class that suits your playstyle. I personally like to rock the gunner class, simply because I can decide to attack the enemy with a Gatling gun, a laser cannon, or a mortar cannon if I feel like standing in one spot. Each class has a role they’re supposed to fit, but you can do a lot of missions by yourself, so you don’t have to worry about playing in a group with people, or worry about being forced into a support role.

As far as stories go, the one found in Skyforge is pretty alright. It’s got your typical MMO writing where the story isn’t really important, but is still good enough to pass for a tale. There isn’t much to look forwards to when you’re running through the campaign though, and the thing that keeps you coming back is that the game is generally fun to play. Granted, Skyforge is still being developed – this is an Xbox Game Preview title after all – and so things are subject to change. The story can be touched up, and the above average visuals overhauled as the game becomes more stable on the Xbox.

However, I have had the chance to do a little bouncing around on the PC version of the game, and so far, it seems like a good port to Xbox One. Things are pretty consistent, in that there aren’t many bugs that will interrupt the flow of the gameplay. If you have spotty internet though, then I wouldn’t recommend playing the game right at this moment in time, simply because I’ve experienced some issues with the servers when it was out of any known maintenance times. It wasn’t an issue with my network, but the sheer amount of people I saw in the lobby could show that the game is popular, so it is obvious that the servers are going to have issues during peak hours. That just gives better data than I can give you with a simple preview – Skyforge is popular, and it’s interesting enough to keep gamers interested in playing it.

With that knowledge, it certainly is one to at least give a try. It is free to play, and does have premium benefits to those willing to pay, but those who decide to go down that route aren’t going to ruin your time with overpowered items, mostly because you can’t buy equipment from the stores with premium currency. You can get pretty darn close to it by buying consumables, but even then, they won’t give you the high ground during PvP.

As it stands though, it should definitely be worth your time to keep an eye on Skyforge – and don’t be afraid to find your place in the heavens!

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