Vindictus is a hack and slash style, MMORPG brawler that mixes instanced stages with persistent towns that act as hubs. Originally titled Mabinogi Heroes, Vindictus is developed by the same studio and is set in the same Celtic themed world. The game was uses the Source engine, which allows players to interact with the environment and also ensures smooth gameplay. Vindictus has high production value, including well translated dialogue, a clean interface, and cinematics.
Vella - A versatile character who mixes equal measures of offense and defense to deal damage and leap across the battlefield, escaping enemy attacks without a scratch.
Lann - Quick offensive character who wields dual swords.
Fiona - Defensive character who can block with her shield and perform powerful counter attacks.
Evie - A female mage who has access to a variety of offensive and supportive spells.
Karok - A giant who can swing large objects to crush opponents.
Kai - An archer who is in tune with nature.
Vindictus Featured Video
Vindictus – Review Update
By Taylor Lux
History of the Game
Vindictus (North America/Europe), also known as Mabinogi Heroes (Korea/China/Taiwan), is a hack and slash MMORPG created by devCAT and published by Nexon. It hails from Korea and was released there on December 16, 2009 where it was only accessible to Internet Café users. The game was released to the rest of Korea on January 21, 2010. It launched in North America on October 27, 2010, in Europe on October 5, 2011, and Australia allowing North American servers on November 15, 2012. Ever since it first launched, it has used Nexon’s free-to-play model and offers appearance changes, abilities, pets, armors, and more via an online shop. The game has had a few major updates featuring a new town and story arc, a new weapon for Kai, and a new character, Vella.
What can I say about the graphics? They are beautiful. The characters, enemies, and surroundings are quite stunning. When you compare cut scene quality with the rest of the game play, there really isn’t much difference between the two. The one main thing about the graphics, which falls somewhat into the story aspect is that when talking to pretty much any character inside a building, you do not walk around the inside, but instead you enter into a screen where the NPCs are all lined up towards the bottom of the screen. When you click on them, their manga style (Korean version?) profiles and a larger picture of them takes up the screen. During my stay on the game outside of other players, there were hardly any human NPCs around, making the town feel somewhat deserted to me. The NPC pictures inside the buildings were well done, but I believe I would have been a bit more appreciative of the graphics if it retained the normal MMO style of being able to go in buildings and compare my character to the NPCs I was working for.
I have placed classes in quotation marks for good reason. You get to play less of a class with races or gender choices that could potentially affect your game play and more of a specific character that you make into your own. The reason I say that is instead of the classic Warrior, Mage, and Rogue classes, the classes are simply named after the character. You have Lann and Vella, which are similar in that they both dual wield swords while having different ability trees. Then there’s Fiona, the sword and shield tank, Kai, the archery/range expert, Evie, the only spellcaster in the game, and Karok, the pillar-wielding and hand-to-whatever specialist. Sure, there are some customization that you have over each character, but it’s really limited to hair style/color, eye/skin color, how your eyebrows and colored and shaped, and body shape. Notice how I did not mention gender, which was something that turned me somewhat off about this “class” system. Anyone wanting to do the sword and shield tank is Fiona with a different name other than Fiona. You can’t have a female tossing a giant pillar around or a male spellcaster.
Naturally, as I discussed in the “Class” section above, a character’s class dictates their head (besides colors, eyebrows, and hair style) and gender, it also forces a character to specialize in one of two weapons for their characters. Playing typically as Mage or support type characters, I’m used to having my weapon selections quite limited, but this customization is somewhat restricting due to the fact that some of your skills are determined by the weapon in which you use. Playing as Evie, you have the choice of using a Staff (no surprise there) or a Battle Scythe (intriguing). The problem crops up that if you are using a Staff and have invested all your Ability Points (AP) into Staff Magic, but then decide to (or an epic Scythe drops) start using the other, all your points spent into the abilities with Staff become void. Granted, if you know you’re going to use Scythe from the beginning, then you’ll know not to spend your points on the other weapon’s abilities.
There is something that I found intriguing when I was customizing my first character; the height of your character directly affects things about your combat abilities. If you make a very tall character, as one would normally think, your character will have longer arms and can reach your enemies at a further distance. However, if you make a shorter character, your attacks will be faster than a taller character, but you’ll have to get in closer than you would otherwise. Other things, such as muscle mass, do not change anything about your combat abilities.
As I stated up in my graphics section, the buildings are a completely different feel compared to the rest of the game. It is in these buildings where you receive most of your missions from. They do make it quite easy to figure out where your next mission will be when on the mini map they place a large yellow or red speech bubble with a corresponding punctuation depending on what is going on in the story. Also, the character you need to talk to once you’re inside the building will have the same bright bubble to know that they have some sort of mission that you can go on. I find that to be quite helpful in my being new to the game. I don’t have to know where each quest is happening or run around countless villages picking up tons of different quests, they are easily accessible in the same small location.
Once you have found the next main mission, you go up to this board and select the instance you wish to go into. The instances are re-playable with the small problem of in order to complete some quests or side quests within an instance; you’ll need to run through it a couple of times. Overall not that big of a deal, since one can usually get everything they need (unless very unlucky) within the first few attempts at the level, making a grinding feel seem less so. Some of the instances borrow directly from other instances, but for as detailed as the graphics are, I can somewhat forgive that.
Action Packed Game Play
Since this has a very hack and slash feel to it, it’s a very active game. I found that for the most part, unless positioning yourself better, dodging seems to be fairly useless when it comes to regular minions. However, dodging is imperative when going against the various bosses at the end of each instance. If you can do a decent job of dodging, it’s only a matter of time until the bosses go down. If you’re not too keen on dodging, I highly suggest that you stick with either Kai or Evie since their specialization is ranged combat comparatively to the other characters.
Most can pick up various objects around the instance and use it as either a weapon or chunk it at you enemies. In fact, most enemies after defeated can be picked up and thrown at his former comrades. The melee oriented classes can actually grapple some enemies, most notably Karok who’s specialty lies there. These are quite enjoyable and remind me of old school wrestling games when you execute a grapple where it zooms in on the back breaker.
The action packed nature of Vindictus keeps me engaged during the combat, but the space between mobs compared to one’s actual speed seems a bit too far apart at times. Between dodging when the boss attacks and slashing as much as I can while the boss is charging up holds my attention. I also must admit that I enjoy the fact that the game goes through a series of screen shots of when the boss dies and offers you a button to save them if you liked them. It adds to the dramatic conclusion of each boss with the heroic final shots at the boss.
Verdict: Great! (Strong & Pretty)
It’s a visually stunning game. The customization lacks, but the quick real time of the combat -system is rather strong and appealing to me. For a game that has only been out for 2.5 years internationally, it can still easily pick up new players. The format the story is delivered is definitely different from any other MMO I’ve played where the mission-giver stands around someplace which was somewhat unsuspecting for me. I was rather impressed overall with everything except for the customization aspects of the game.
By Erhan Altay
*This is an older game review*
Vindictus was first announced soon after the release of Mabinogi. During its long development cycle, the game took on the name Vindictus after ditching the original title, which was Mabinogi Heroes. The game maintains the Celtic theme, but is in most respects is completely different than its anime-styled predecessor. Vindictus is a realistic, action-packed brawler with high quality graphics and high production value all around. No MMORPG gamer should miss it.
Not What You Expect
Korean MMORPGs have a reputation for being repetitive and shallow, but Nexon went all out with Vindictus. The game runs on the Source engine which allows for gorgeous graphics and extensive interaction with the environment. More important than the visuals is the overall production value. Vindictus has great voice acting, dialogue that actually makes sense, and enough detail to make the world feel as in-depth as a Bioware RPG. The game offers extensive display options, and the options menu should look familiar to anyone with experience in other Source games like Counter Strike or Left 4 Dead. Like other Nexon games, Vindictus must be launched from the official website. Once the game starts up, players can chose from five playable characters which each represent a different class and playstyle. The characters are gender locked, so the dual wielding warrior Lann is always a male and the defensive Fiona is always a woman. While only three characters are currently available, the others will be patched in later.
Giant Spiders are Always Trouble
Players get a taste of everything Vindictus has to offer in an optional prologue mission that doubles as the game’s tutorial. It can be skipped at any time, but players won’t be able to go back to it unless they create a new character. Accounts have plenty of character slots, so players can experience the different playstyle each character offers. Some classes are easier than others, but the game does a great job of explaining this during character creation through the use of text and short videos. Character creation in Vindictus is actually broken up between two parts. Players choose their character before logging in, but name their character and customize their appearance after completing (or skipping) the prologue. The prologue itself starts with a cinematic where a group of mercenaries are getting ready to do battle with a giant spider which is ransacking a nearby village. A sultry oracle tries to prevent the mercenaries from killing the spider, as it was formerly her pet and the town’s guardian. Unknown dark forces are at work driving the arachnid crazy and summoning a bunch of hostile gnolls in the process. Needless to say, things go awry and it falls on the player to defeat both the gnolls and the spider, while also saving the oracle lady from danger.
The Emerald Isle
After the prologue, players get a chance to customize the appearance of their character. There are plenty of options available including my favorite, the breast slider for the female characters. Hair color, hair styles, height, make up, eye brow, eye color, and more can be customized. Vindictus was developed by Devcat, the same studio behind Mabinogi and both games are based off Celtic mythology. While the animated style in Mabinogi was distinct, the more realistic feel of Vindictus does a much better job bringing the era to life. The town of Colhen where players begin their adventure is filled with wooden buildings, and small details like stray dogs that follow players around. Even the outfits players wear fit the medieval setting. The terrain is well rendered, and the interface is neat and organized. There’s a chat box located on the bottom right, but chat bubbles also appear over the speaker’s head. Like other brawlers, including Nexon’s own Dungeon Fighter Online, only the towns in Vindictus are persistent. Only in certain regions can players interact with others, form parties, trade, or chat. Even the buildings in Vindictus are instanced in a sense. Players can’t walk around inside them, instead they are greeted by a still image of the interior and can chat with the NPCs which appear as portraits. Its a bit odd at first, but gives the game an oldschool RPG feel. It is from these NPCs that players unlock new ‘battles’, which are the instanced stages in Vindictus.
Like most MMORPGs, players will be going solo for the first few levels. It is possible to experience most of what Vindictus has to offer alone, but it is much more fun when played cooperatively with a group of friends or even strangers. Rather than simply show a list of available stages or portals, Vindictus does a pretty decent job of incorporating the instanced aspects into the game world. Players board longboats and head off towards certain destinations and return when they’ve completed what ever task they had to do. Yes, it’s still instancing, but it feels more fluid than simply entering the same portal as everyone else yet ending up in different places. The deck of the longboat acts as the waiting room while a bulletin board near the docks serves as the lobby. Players can wait around on the ship and mess around by breaking crates, barrels, and throwing around fruit while waiting for others to join their ‘room.’ When ready to start the stage, the host can hit the appropriate button and the party can be on its way.
Hack and Slash to Victory
If the prologue wasn’t enough, the first mission in Vindictus also serves as a sort of introduction to the game. The redundancy can be excused because of how different the game is from most other MMORPGs. Like Divine Souls, Vindictus has fast-paced, hack and slash combat. This means players will be manually controlling each swing of the sword of each spell cast. Two control schemes are available, including mouse and keyboard movement. In this case, serious gamers should stick with the mouse option since that’s the one in which W,A,S,D control movement while the mouse controls the camera. In my humble opinion it gives players more precise controls. The left and right mouse buttons control the two main attack types, but other keyboard keys also play a role. The ‘e’ key grabs objects or opponents, and ‘r’ is used to deal finishing blows on enemies. There’s no way to jump in Vindictus, hitting the space bar causes the character to roll forward like Link from a Legend of Zelda title. Players only have to worry about fighting wooden dummies during the first level, and on-screen prompts do a good job explaining the controls as the stage progresses. A boss awaits at the end of each stage, and stages can be set at three difficulty settings. There are many variables that determine the reward at the end of a mission including Oaths of Honor, which are additional challenges players can take on to increase the BP (battle points) they receive. These oaths come in many shapes and sizes, but some simple ones include finishing the battle within a time limit or with a certain number of players.
One of the most original aspects of Vindictus (something that sets it apart even from other brawler MMORPGs), is the ability to interact so thoroughly with the environment. This feature is due in large part the the Source engine on which Vindictus was built. The crazy physics capabilities that the Source engine is capable of pulling off were first displayed in Half Life 2. Players can pick up and throw various objects, ranging from barrels, to broken pillars, and even monsters. That’s right, players can pick up one monster and chuck it towards another. Better still, its possible to grab one opponent and use it as a shield against arrows that another foe may be firing. Besides picking up and throwing stuff, Vindictus also has destructable environments. While this serves mainly a cosmetic purpose, it does allow players to take alternative paths or reach hidden items during some stages. Most monsters don’t drop loot in Vindictus, so there’s no ‘vendor trash’ that players have to unload at the end of each mission. Instead, loot is few and far between, but almost everything dropped is used in crafting. Empty bottles are used to make potions, while leather and other resources are used to fashion new equipment. The experience rate is pretty slow, but players earn AP by completing battles and can use them to upgrade their skills. Players cant max out every available skill and must choose how to specialize their character. The only fault I could find with the skill system is the need to purchase skill books. It’s a feature common to MMORPGs, but what’s the point?
A New Standard
There are other nitpicks to be made with Vindictus. It feels a bit odd when enemies seem to be equally hurt whether hit by a stone pillar and a wooden barrel lid – but these are small issues. Overall, Vindictus is a top notch game that can be enjoyed by fans of both traditional MMORPGs and action gamers who previously shied away from the genre due to the normally slow-paced gameplay. A common complaint with Asian MMORPGs in particular is the laughable English translations and lack of story, but that is not the case here. The dialogue flows smoothly, so much so that I actually found myself reading it! Text is kept to a minimum and only presented one line at a time to avoid wall-of-text syndrome. The story it self isn’t anything special, but it gets the job done. As with any free-to-play title, Vindictus is a constant work in progress. So far, I am pleased to say the foundations are strong. Where Nexon takes the game from here will determine how well it holds up.
Final Verdict: Excellent
Vindictus offers a fresh gameplay style combined with great graphics and a well crafted world to explore. Like other brawlers, Vindictus makes heavy use of instancing, but makes the process feel more realistic. The gameplay is fluid, and the ability to interact with the environment adds another layer of depth to a game that already oozes with production value.
Vindictus Official Teaser Trailer
Vindictus Gameplay – First Look HD
Vindictus System Requirements
OS: Windows XP
CPU: Single Core 2.4 GHZ
RAM: 512 MB
HDD: 5 GB
Graphics Card: GeForce 5600
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
CPU: 2.5 GHz Dual Core or better
RAM: 1024 MB (1GB)
HDD: 6 GB
Graphics Card: GeForce 7600+
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