Nosgoth is a bloodthirsty, free-to-play, competitive online multiplayer title from Square Enix and Psyonix, set in the Legacy of Kain universe.
Publisher: Square Enix
Type: Arena based shooter/combat
EXP Rate: Medium
Filesize: N/A (Development)
Pros: +Gritty and action packed, combat is fast and furious. +Very straight forward in what it offers in arena PVP. +Play as both sides! Combat is rounds where teams swap factions at the end of each round.
Cons: -Very niche; not many game modes at all. -The game feels terribly out of balance. -Other classes can only be unlocked by leveling or purchasing them; can take some time to experience more than the first two.
Nosgoth is a free-to-play, competitive online multiplayer game set in the Legacy of Kain universe. Choose between the ranged-specialized Humans or the brutal up-close carnage of the Vampires, and let the bloodshed begin.
Nosgoth’s iron-willed Emperor Kain has disappeared, leaving his throne empty and the world in the hands of his Lieutenants. Riven by jealousy and conflict, it was not long before the Vampire Clans began fighting among themselves. Only the threat of a newly resurgent Humanity launching a war of extinction against them could reunite the warring Clans. Now they turn their inhuman strengths on a common enemy, to stop the genocidal march of Humankind.
REAVER - CLAN DUMAHIM
The Reavers of Clan Dumahim are dexterous and stealthy predators, whose only focus is the subjugation of Humankind. As trained and talented killers, Reavers are both calculated and poised. Swift, silent and smart, these Vampires are natural hunters who can out-think and out-run the opposition.
TYRANT - CLAN TURELIM
The Tyrants are the frontline shock troops of the Vampire legions, dedicating each victory to the glory of Clan Turelim. Tyrants see themselves as ‘true’ warriors and despise those who cannot compete with them on the battlefield. Their fighting style is heavy-handed and punishing, soaking up damage as they smash a straight line to their prey.
SENTINEL - CLAN RAZIELIM
The Sentinels are devolved descendants and represent the last remnants of the once-proud Clan Razielim. Sentinels have developed large wings that allow them limited flight abilities and they use this mobility to scout and strike unsuspecting enemies from above. Dark and twisted, Sentinels are haters of Humanity.
SUMMONER – CLAN MELCHAHIM
The Summoner class is among the first definite evidence that Kain’s empire contained female vampires. Before the reveal of the summoner class only unseen character Lailah hinted at a female presence in the empire and previously it was unclear if the vampires of the Soul Reaver era were an entirely male society, though cut content for Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver does depict some Female vampires that have a somewhat similar appearance.
Thousands of years on from when their ancestors attempted to extinguish the race of Vampires from Nosgoth, the remaining Humans have been paying the price for that war ever since. Having risen from slavery and rebuilt their civilization, Humans have joined forces from all corners of the world to exterminate the Vampires once and for all. Growing in number, their rediscovery of lost expertise in weapon-crafting and new technologies in alchemy now makes them formidable warriors.
SCOUT - THE WATCHERS
Professional and pitiless, Scouts were among the first of a new generation of Humans to take up arms against Nosgoth’s Vampires. Armed with a precision bow, they are well used to hit-and-run tactics. Scouts swear loyalty to the Watchers, assassins skilled in picking off their enemies from the many hidden vantage points in the mountains of Dark Eden.
ALCHEMIST - THE RED SISTERS OF ANACROTHE
The Alchemists are cultists, sworn to an order of arcane chemists whose concoctions produce a variety of effects ranging from explosive cocktails to transformative potions. A female-only sect with a thirst for explosions, Alchemists carry a hand cannon that fires alchemical globes which detonate with devastating force on impact.
HUNTER - THE IRONGUARD
Vampire Hunters feel at home only in the midst of battle. They belong to the Ironguard, the last of an almost annihilated force and distant successors to the warrior class that have always lived, trained and fought for one thing – the eradication of every last Vampire from Nosgoth. Dedicated, ruthless and skilled, these warriors live for the hunt.
PROPHET – LOST SEERS OF AVERNUS
Prophets use tainted blood as a weapon, turning the source of their enemies’ very existence against them. Bullets dipped in the fluid carry wicked hexes. Dark blood can be spilled upon the ground to temporarily repel or weaken attackers. Their mutated bodies have an unhealthy attraction to other sources of stolen blood, giving them the ability to literally steal the life from nearby Vampires.
VANGUARD – THE DROWNING MEN OF MERIDIAN
Also known as Shield Bearers, are a class of Humans wielding a tower shield and throwing axes. They are part of a faction known as Drowning Men chiefly made up of former prisoners and prison-keepers from the Isle of the Dead.
Nosgoth – A world of Vampires and Humans – Hundreds of years of conflict and hatred. Each race pitted against the other for supremacy, for survival. This is the war for Nosgoth!
Nosgoth Featured Videos
Nosgoth – First Look
New Human Class: The Vanguard – First Look
Nosgoth – New Vampire Class: The Summoner – First Look
Nosgoth Open Beta Review
By Mohammad Abubakr
Nosgoth is a free-to-play competitive, team-based Humans vs. Vampire first person shooter by Psyonix and Square Enix. Though its hard to categorize into any particular genre, the Nosgoth is probably best described as a third person shooter, just with a much heavier emphasis on melee clashes with most ranged weapons offering limited effective range. This plays into its overall theme of medieval humans versus less technologically advanced but much faster and stronger vampires duking it out with nonparallel classes, all happening for the most part in small intense corridors to add a bit of horror thrill to their unique take on the genre.. The game has recently entered its open beta stages and continues to evolve rapidly, with new classes releasing on almost a monthly schedule. ApocaRUFF has recently covered the release of Nosgoth’s latest class, the Vanguard. Read on for my first impressions of Nosgoth’s open beta state.
Nosgoth is available on Steam and can easily be installed and played with just your Steam account. I really like this feature as I do not have to worry about creating another account and can simply link my Steam account to Square Enix and begin playing. At first I did have problems with the game complaining about my client being out of date and Steam not updating my game. However, a simple restart of the Steam client resolved this problem.
When I had finished updating and launched the game, I was presented with tutorials on both the Human and Vampire factions. These tutorials helped grasp the controls and functions of the human Hunter and vampire Reaver to a point that I was confident enough to jump straight into the PvP from there. There are additional tutorials available though to help you understand each class before going hands-on with them. These tutorials reward users with limited time equipment after their first completion as a bonus incentive to try to keep the uninitiated out of PvP. Not that it’s needed. The tutorials are very high quality and worth doing for every class to make sure you’re not missing any key nuances that might hold back your full potential.
Nosgoth features many tutorials allowing players to pick up and play the game with ease.
After having learned about the Hunter and Reaver, I was interested in what other variety the designers pulled from the Legacy of Kain IP. I quickly realized classes weren’t the only way to set yourself apart though. The in-game store allows players to purchase equipment, perks, skins, boosters, classes, and executions. All of these items, except skins and boosters, can be purchased with both in-game gold and artifacts as well as runestones purchased with real money. Items can be purchased permanently or rented for a week at a cheaper price. I am always against games that sell items with an expiration date, but this is not a big problem in Nosgoth with the option to purchase items permanently. It can be nice to try out items before committing to purchase them, especially when the rental prices are so reasonable.
If you are a frequent reader, you may know that I am also against in-game stores allowing players to purchase items that provide an advantage with real money. I hate to see free players start at a lower level due to not spending money, particularly in games fully focused on competitive arena battles. Games should rely on individual skill and not your willingness (and ability) to spend real money. Developers do need some return on their hard work, and I think that only selling cosmetic items (and boosts are also OK) is the ideal way to earn that revenue without destroying gameplay concepts. If you provide gamers with a fun and fair game, they will spend money.
While equipment and perks can be unlocked with gold, which is earned after every match, classes are only unlockable with artifacts. Artifacts are awarded to players every 5 levels. This system encourages players to spend their gold on equipment and perks instead of saving it all to unlock new classes. It is important to possess equipment and perks that resonate with your playstyle. These classes can also be unlocked with runestones, though you’ll be looking at spending roughly $15 per class. Classes are regularly released with the latest addition being the Vanguard. While there are some parallels between classes, rarely will gameplay on one faction feel similar to something from the other side.
You are able to change your loadout and class after each death.
Getting into an established MOBA type game can be rough if a proper matchmaking system isn’t in place. Thankfully Nosgoth features the New Recruit game mode. This mode ensures that only players under rank 15 play against each other, meaning that you will not have to worry about higher level and more experienced players being present with newer classes. However, users that rush their new class’ advancements and items by paying for them can still participate with a bit of an advantage. It’s not a perfect system but better than nothing.
Talking about game modes, players are able to play Team Deathmatch and Flashpoint in the open beta which pit four humans against four vampires. TDM is available for all players but Flashpoint unlocks at rank 5. Flashpoint is still in its beta stages and is similar to the traditional domination gamemode revolving around point captures. Humans have a limited amount of time to capture all objective points while the vampires work to prevent the humans from doing so. Unlike in TDM, kills do not contribute directly towards victory. In TDM, teams aim to reach 30 kills before the time limit, if no team is able to reach the target within the time limit, the team with more kills is victorious. Games are played in two rounds, allowing each team to play both the human and vampire side to ensure the most skillful team claims victory.
I personally found the Human side more enjoyable. At first I was expecting to enjoy the vampires a lot more but the long ranged style of the humans suited me better. This opinion could change after unlocking more classes but for now, I prefer the humans. Unlike most shooters, the human faction is incredibly reliant on team coordination and combined focus fire. Watching each other’s backs to limit vampire surprise attacks is vital to gaining an upper hand. Unfortunately the open beta did not include functional voice chat, making it impossible to call out incoming attacks when running with a general pug group. Voice chat is shown in the game settings and I expect it to become available by full release.
The alchemist’s attacks remind me of TF2’s demoman.
As a vampire I tended to sneak around and pick off single humans or jump into the fray once they were focusing on other vampires. The available vampire classes were all close ranged but there are additional vampires available that offer long ranged attacks. In all games I play, I prefer to attack from afar and only approach when I see a tactical advantage. Unlike the turtle tactic the humans utilize, vampires work best with scattered hit and run strikes, and can sustain hefty damage so long as someone on the enemy team dies off, since you can feed on their fallen corpse to recover a substantial amount of hp.
Both sides offer different playstyles and surprisingly it comes off as pretty balanced. At first I did find some vampires to be too strong but once you learn their abilities and playstyle, you are able to adjust your own playstyle to combat them. As mentioned above, you are able to purchase new abilities and perks to modify classes. These abilities and perks can aid you in multiple ways such as making escapes, sneaking up on enemies, limiting enemy movement options, and dealing damage.
Reavers can pounce on enemies from great lengths. Their lunge makes them a living missile.
In a game such as Nosgoth, I was hoping to be able to use sound cues to locate and hunt down my enemies. However, I was disappointed as it is very difficult to locate enemies with sound, even with a good headset. The dialogue and sound effects are pretty spot on, but they clearly weren’t designed with improving gameplay in mind. Instead, you must rely on your knowledge of maps and communication with your team to locate and slay enemies.
Overall, the maps are well designed. You can tell that you are in a battlefield between humans and vampires. Health stations are available across the map allowing humans to heal and refill ammunition. As a vampire, you are only able to heal by executing an enemy. Overall the human heal is the stronger of the two options as it isn’t reliant on executing a foe or leaving your guard down while feeding. All maps have quite a bit of vertical elements to them, allowing vampires both surprising angles to launch their attack from, as well as sneaky escape routes that humans can’t efficiently follow. Currently the only downside to their map design is the static nature of them. Maps feel pretty lifeless. The simply addition of environmental sounds, animals, or even weather could make a massive difference in atmosphere.
Vampires can execute fallen humans to restore health.
Conclusion: Potential for greatness
Overall Score: 4/5 (Great)
In conclusion, Nosgoth is great for a free game that’s just hit open beta. There are some issues present in the game such as lackluster sound, monetization decisions, and maps that feel so dead, even vampires don’t want to visit them. Since the game is still in its beta stages, I hope to see changes to the game before it hits the shelves. Overall the game is very well made and quite fun to play but little additions such as voice chat can make it a lot more fun for groups of friends. With the 4v4 gameplay, group communication can lead to both fun and success. All these improvements would add great support to the rock solid gameplay foundation already present.
I look forward to what Psyonix and Square Enix come up with for the game’s official release.
The game looks good and runs really well, especially for a free to play game. However, looking realistic is not everything when it comes to graphics. The maps could use some improvement in their environmental effects to make them feel more alive.
The controls in Nosgoth are very well done. Every action feels responsive, and I am never limited in my skill due to the controls. The game even offers the option for gamepad support if that is your thing, but the keyboard and mouse is best for these kinds of games.
In the open beta, Nosgoth offers a lot for players. It offers features such as replays and tutorials that are sometimes missing even in full games. Players are also able to view their stats to monitor their progression in Nosgoth. At the moment there are only two game modes which are found in most FPS games. It would be nice to see something unique to Nosgoth’s human vs. vampire combat.
Nosgoth offers a lot of customization for its players. Players can change their weapon, abilities, perks, and even skins. With the regularly added classes, players can play according to their playstyle. I only wish that customization options offering tactical advantages were not purchasable with real money.
In the open beta, it felt like I was playing with AI. Players never seem to communicate and only said “GG” at the end of each match. I think this issue is due to there being no voice communication available in an FPS game. It is very difficult to communicate by typing while in combat, especially since you often have less than five seconds to react to an attack before you’re dead on the floor. This issue should be addressed by launch.
Previous CB Look
Nosgoth Closed Beta Impressions Review
By Jason Parker (Ragachak)
Legacy of Miscommunication:
Once upon a time, Eidos Interactive created the Legacy of Kain franchise, set in the grimdark fantasy world of Nosgoth. Developed by Silicone Knights and released by Eidos, the company was taken over by Squaresoft/Square-Enix and re-released. Throughout the 2000s, there were rumblings, rumors of a reboot or sequel to the last Legacy of Kain title. This is not that game. Nosgoth is set in the same world, and while it may be fun to know some of the lore from the series, it isn’t necessary to get into this game. However, this is a far cry from the Kain series: it isn’t an action beat-‘em up or tactical espionage. This is Nosgoth, a MOBA published by Square-Enix and developed by Psyonix, and will be available on Steam.
Nosgoth’s battles are four on four arenas, set in a generally grim and unpleasant portion of the world. After waiting in a lobby for all eight players, everyone is swapped onto squads and assigned one of two factions: the brutal, wicked Vampires and the cunning, well-equipped Human hunters. The matches are set to end either on a time-limit, or the first to 30 kills, whichever comes first. After the round ends, the squads swap factions, and they rush into combat again! At the end of that round, whichever has the most total kills wins, and experience and other rewards are doled out. One of the joys of this game is that it is a free-to-play game; you do not ever have to buy things or pay for the game itself. However, paying for a “Founders Pack,” available on their website, allows you access immediately to the Closed Beta, and free stuff such as skins, early access to advanced classes and other fancy bonuses. You don’t have to do any of this, but it can sure make the game easier to get a head start on.
The premise of Nosgoth is simple and straightforward. You and your team explore the map, navigate around and over buildings, hills, and down dark alleys to destroy the other team, crippling them with kill after brutal kill. There is, thankfully, a tutorial that shows you how to play both sides, to get a feel for the controls. You can choose to use a keyboard and mouse, or you can use a controller to really dive into the action. Though I found the keyboard combo more than a little clunky, I feel like many players will still use it. The base buttons can be incredibly awkward, with Left-Shift being your run/climb button, and Q/F being your primary skills. It can be sort of hard to shift from left-shift to Q on the fly if things are all happening at the same time.
Currently, there are two factions with four classes each. New players who are not founders start with two of each faction’s classes: Hunter and Alchemist for Humans, while Vampires have Reavers and Tyrants. Each has its own kit of skills and equipment that one can unlock or purchase from the online store. Classes are acquired in one of two ways: You can use real-money currency to purchase them, or as your profile levels on 5, 10, 15 and 20 you can unlock them for free. You cannot use the “gold” currency that you earn via winning matches. As of this writing, it is about 12 dollars (US) to unlock a character class, since they all cost 3,000 runestones. For that price, I do sort of wish they would implement a sort of “Tryout” policy to see if you like the class before you purchase it.
Combat might seem unfair in Nosgoth. Humans are all ranged monsters, and Vampires are melee fighters, using their claws and darkness itself to their advantage. However, after numerous battles, I have found that this is not really a detriment. I won just as many on one faction as the other. While the Vampires do not have the power to shoot from a distance per se’, they make up for it in their ability to scale buildings and walls with ease. Some of them fly and swoop down, while others are horrifying tanks, running right into the fray to distract and throw Humans off their balance while the reavers swoop in from the shadows, mauling the poor hunters. It is all about position, strategy, and action-reaction. On the other hand, humans have crossbows with exploding, rapid-fire arrows, bottles that explode into sunlight or a wall of fire. They have bolas to stop combat, while the Reaver can create an aura that allows them to dodge ranged attacks. Ultimately there is a balance in this, and it will boil down to how you and your team function as a unit.
Though the classes are not all unlocked, they are all incredibly different in how they play, so it should not be too hard to find something that suits your personal play style. Vampire Sentinels swoop overhead, grab Humans and drop them from terrible heights, likely right into the path of a Tyrant or Reaver. Prophets wear horrifying masks and use tainted blood, theirs and others, to enchant the bullets of their dual-pistols to cause havoc. I feel like all of the classes are incredibly powerful, and “In a world where everyone is overpowered, nobody is overpowered.”
What are ya buyin’? What are ya sellin’?
Nosgoth is touted as a free game, and that’s all well and good. At its core it is free-to-play, despite the Founder Packs offering obvious aids to get above other players faster for a price. With exp/gold boosts, classes, and skins, it is very tempting if a player is going to be serious about this game. For example, the 20 dollar “Veteran Pack” gives you immediate access to the Closed Beta, 4,000 runestones (equaling one character class and maybe some other stuff), and a badge showing you spent money on the game. Each one gets progressively more expensive and better, all the way up to the 149 dollar “Immortal Pack.” It comes with early access to two classes, 30,000 runestones, reservation on a Warband (clan) name, an exclusive skin, and piles of other stuff. Personally, I cannot imagine spending that much on a game that isn’t even out yet, especially if I hadn’t played it yet. A serious concern to the free-to-play gamer is one player having an edge over one another and as such I am leery of most games that offer some kind of Founders Pack; if it is just cosmetic, little things to make your characters look cool or unique, that is one thing, but this game is offering a legitimate edge to players who drop money on it before the game is out. I have to say, that leaves a bit of a sour taste in my mouth.
The store is unique to me, at least. There are a variety of items that one can purchase, using gold (won in games) and runestones (bought with money), and for some of these items, there are two options. You can spend a small amount (say, 100-300) to purchase a piece of equipment for 7 days; alternately, you can spend more to buy them permanently. I think this is a really cool concept. As I mentioned earlier a try-before-you-buy policy would be fantastic, and this is probably the closest the game will offer. The charge difference is significant, but not unreasonable. Say for example, one of the shotguns is 100-200 in currency for 7 days, and the permanent purchase is about 1000-1200. These items can be equipped in one of a few loadouts that you can select from before combat begins, a’la Call of Duty. Occasionally an item is rewarded after a series of rounds is over, similar to DOTA2, but it is a rarity; I have only seen it once so far.
A lot of the alternate equipment, such as weapons, is useful. I was looking in particular at the Alchemist items, as that is my preferred Human class. There were three guns on offer to be purchased. One does more damage, but has a smaller clip, while another drops three bombs per shot, creating a great deal of AOE damage. The final gun shoots sticky orbs that cling to enemies and other targets, exploding for a more interesting strategy. The normal gun shoots orbs that bounce before triggering their bit of explosive damage, so each of these is different in their own way. However, Vampires do not get physical equipment such as crossbows and guns. They do get a variety of equipable changes to their skills which are just as useful. Humans also get skill changes, but not quite as many. Of course, you can also buy perks, boosts, skins, and bundles of the above for your perusal. Thankfully, the important things can be bought with in-game currency.
The Masquerade And You: 4/5: Great.
My first impressions of Nosgoth are a mixed bag, admittedly. I’m a fan of MOBAs. I really enjoy the concept of Nosgoth as a faction on faction MOBA where it is an interesting blend of the Legacy of Kain world, Unreal Tournament-esque action, and carnage – lots of carnage. I feel that it is a niche’ market though, which is why I am glad it is free to play. I get the feeling that if it had a retail price it would bomb horribly. I like that you have to play both sides of the game, and while there are players (like myself) that have a preference, it can really build a well-knowledged playerbase if everyone has no choice but to at least learn one or two classes on both sides. We can take this train of thought and find that now players are going to know what to expect of the other team, making more fast, exciting, insane action. And that’s what we’re going for! Violence, explosions, and blood! Nosgoth has that and more.
There are more things to come with Nosgoth, such as ranked/eSports play and a gifting/trading system. While again I feel this is a very niche’ title, there are still some things to iron out and work on. Of course, this is a beta, and to be expected. One final thought concerns matches/matchmaking. I have only had one or two games that had a full four versus four the entire time. It seems that as soon as the game is going the other way, people give up and quit because there are no consequences in place for that, leaving many four vs. two matchups, or even worse, four vs. one. But I do feel like for those interested in arena combat, big things are on the way.
This title does a fantastic job of painting a portrait; a mixture of grim, beat-down villages, dark and forboding, and lush green towns with bridges covered in moss and bright green grass or weeds. The backdrops are terrific and the settings offer a great deal of room to maneuver and occasionally, get distracted by just how pretty it is. I’m looking forward to more of these maps to see just what the team at Psyonix are capable of.
Admittedly, I am a little unhappy with the keyboard and mouse controls. They take quite a bit of work to get them just right. I found more of the time than not I would over shoot attacks, swinging away at the air because I moved the mouse just an inch too far over. I had this problem significantly less on a controller, but it still happened. The controls are strange, but changeable. The defaults felt to be very awkward to get used to, but I would rather learn to use them than adjust them. Maybe that’s just me. I feel that I’ll do better when I can get used to how the main buttons feel.
There are two modes that are available to me at this moment. The four vs. four beginner’s mode where people get used to the game up to Rank 10, and the normal Team Deathmatch. There is also the Siege Mode, which I have no information on just yet. I was hoping for more modes; however, I am certain that there will be, such as ranked matches, and perhaps some kind of other staples of team combat, similar to perhaps a kill secured/capture the flag style game? Overdone perhaps, but I think the team at Psyonix could probably do some really clever things with Vampires and Humans game modes.
The music really felt like it fit the game; it is suitably grim and forboding, and the scenes were set well with it. The character voices felt like they matched the archetypes, and all around I was very pleased. I’m hoping for more variety in music though; the more I heard, the more I want to hear. Perhaps some dialogue between characters other than respawn and kills would be interesting. It might not be noticed with how fast and furious the combat is, but it would have potential.
Nosgoth – First Look
New Human Class: The Vanguard – First Look
Nosgoth – New Vampire Class: The Summoner – First Look
Nosgoth – PAX East 2014 Dev Interview
Nosgoth Announcement Trailer
Nosgoth System Requirements
- Nosgoth Beta Review - Posted on March 2, 2015
Nosgoth is probably best described as a third person shooter, just with a much heavier emphasis on melee clashes with most ranged weapons offering limited effective range. This plays into its overall theme of medieval humans versus less technologically advanced but much faster and stronger vampires duking it out with nonparallel classes
- Nosgoth: Vanguard Class Now Available - Posted on February 26, 2015
The Vanguard survived the brutal assault on the Isle of Dead and now stands as part of a team of criminals, deserters, pirates, battle-scarred veterans, blood-soaked priests and haunted medics in the war against the Vampires. With his powerful throwing weapons and protective shield that blocks Vampires’ special attacks, no Human class is better equipped for close quarter contact than the Vanguard.
- Nosgoth Vanguard Class Preview - Posted on February 24, 2015
The Vanguard, as the name suggests, is meant to be at the forefront of the battle clearing a path for your allies. To accomplish this, you have a massive tower shield at your disposal.
- MMOHuts Livestream 2/13: World of Tanks, SMITE, and Nosgoth - Posted on February 13, 2015
JamesBl0nde is now live on Twitch.TV with a special Pre-Presidents Day Weekend stream. Join us for special giveaways including SMITE Jandroid skins!
- Nosgoth reaches one million downloads - Posted on February 3, 2015