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.
Hurk – A powerful warrior who is relentless in battle, even as it might harm himself.
Lynn – A princess armed with a glaive.
Vindictus Featured Video
2015 Re-Review by Michael Sagoe (mikedot)
It’s been several years since Nexon America unleashed their brutal action MORPG, Vindictus, onto the F2P gaming scene, and since then, the game has received several updates and expansions, including new heroes, new dungeons and even PvP content. With the most recent update featuring Arisha the spellsword, I figured it was about time to jump back into the world of Vindictus to see if this game is just as enjoyable as it was all those years ago.
With my time spent replaying this game, it certainly was, but it would also seem that a lot of past problems are still around with it.
Vindictus uses several control schemes, including Keyboard, Keyboard + Mouse and Gamepad. The one that I prefer the most would be the Keyboard and Mouse combo, but I also tried out the gamepad control scheme using an Xbox 360 controller, and both of these options work flawless, which is necessary since Vindictus’ combat requires a lot of twitch-based movement and precise attacks in order to handle the game’s intense boss battles. Using the Keyboard + Mouse option by default, players can move around using WASD, aim their attacks with mouse look, perform primary and secondary attacks with the mouse buttons, spacebar to dodge and block, F key to perform context sensitive commands and use the number keys for various items.
While this control scheme seems very simple, things really start to open up later on as players level up, allowing them to perform tons of different attacks easily and efficiently through different primary and secondary combo patterns. The only element of the game’s control scheme that may take a bit of getting used to is with aiming of spears/chains and other throwing objectives. There’s no crosshair available when aiming your spears and other similar items, and since some boss battles will require these weapons in order to reveal the boss’ weak points, it will be a bit disorienting figuring out where the center of your target’s vulnerable points will be.
From the get-go, initial character customization offers a ton of options for hairstyles, hair colors, face styles and more…. Or at least it seems that way, at first glance. Unfortunately, most of the hair and color options are locked behind a paywall, so free players will merely be teased as they’ll be forced to look like a generic copycat of every other free player. There’s also a dyeing system that allows players to change the color of their armor and outfits to suit their preferences, but again, this is primarily locked behind a paywall. Free players can try and get a dye or two off of the marketplace, but the amount of gold it costs to buy one can be hefty at times due to the player-run economy.
In terms of skill and stat customization, the options available are pretty standard in online RPGs, such as the enchant system that allows you to use specific scrolls in order to increase stats or add status effects on player equipment, but it’s nothing too in-depth since the scroll sets are definite and enchanting doesn’t allow for true personalization of stats. Players have the option to choose a path within the story to either become a holy paladin or a dark night, which allows players to transform into a beefed up version of themselves and gain various stats bonuses, and these bonuses differ between the two transformations. Extra stats can also be applied with titles, which can be earned from quests and missions, but other than that, there isn’t much else that can be customized in terms of stats.
Gameplay and Features
Combat is the crowning achievement that DevCat has bestowed upon Vindictus, as it takes a variety of nods from Capcom’s Monster Hunter series in terms of timing, positioning and patience. Players must hack, slash, crush, slam, bash, and blast their way through tons of different enemies. One of Vindictus’ best features is that the world can be used as a weapon: Grab enemy minions by their throats and slam them against the wall, kick them off cliffs or suplex them onto a bunch of broken glass/boxes/pots. It’s all fair game.
A lot of hardcore gamers may also appreciate just how brutal Vindictus can be from a challenge perspective, too. Unlike most action games where enemies spend a lot of time waiting for players to attack them before attacking themselves, bosses in Vindictus are keen on wrecking players up as soon as the battle starts. They’re quick to jump from one attack pattern to the next, and they leave very little room for error, even on the easiest settings. This is another reason why Vindictus’ combat is so satisfying, because when any player takes down any of the bosses in the game, players will feel a great sense of accomplishment, knowing that they earned that victory fair and square, because their skills helped defeated the beast. Stats and equipment in Vindictus only serve to enhance the player’s skill, rather than to bolster them. With that said, Vindictus’ continues to have one of the most satisfying combat systems in any MORPG, and perhaps any online game out there.
All the characters bring unique gameplay and combat roles to the table, such as the new spellsword wielder Arisha, who focuses on a mix between magic-based combat from close and mid-range, Hurk and Karok who are total beasts focused on crushing blows using greatswords and tolems (respectively), Lann and Vella with their fast and agile twin swords, and a handful of other heroes. Even a support character like Evie, who uses staves and magic books, can move in on enemies and do some damage. This isn’t like a typical MMORPG set where there’s a tank, DPS and healer role, so there’s almost no need for fancy party compositions. Everyone is free to play whichever hero they want, as well as free to solo more than half of the game’s content for those that are daring enough. Yes, even some early raids can be solo’d, as well (although, these would take a lot of time, a lot of patience, and often some trial and error.)
Despite all of this praise, It’s just a shame that Vindictus is just as tedious as it ever was several years ago when it comes to leveling up and earning equipment, since it also borrows one of the more negative aspects of Capcom’s Monster Hunter series when it comes to earning loot that can be used to build new weapons and such. Many equipment pieces require players to tread multiple bosses and defeat them multiple times, while dealing with the game’s painfully low drop rates, as they border along the lines of frustrating or just plain unfair for those that are looking to play casually. Of course, players can also try and buy the crafting materials they need off of the player-run marketplace, but some of the rarer ones sell for prices that are fairly high and will require some gold farming to earn, so it’s just an alternative from one tedious grind to another.
Not only that, but the game also borrows elements from its predecessor game “Mabinogi” where players can use ability points to level up their skills. These can be earned through completing battles and missions, or by having their characters rack up a limited amount of rested AP while offline. The amount of AP required to level up skills really starts to become ridiculously high in the later levels, and will require players to play constantly and on a regular basis in order to reach maximum potential, so again, players that are looking to play casually will have a hard time keeping up with dedicated players.
There’s also the PvP aspect which was included into Vindictus several updates ago, but is utterly forgettable due to the obvious gameplay imbalances between classes and imbalances with gear stats and skill levels. It can be hard to tell at times whose attacks should have priority over who’s due to frame data and latency issues, and most bouts end up as either a complete steamroll, anyway. While it may be fun for a distraction, PvP in Vindictus is clearly nothing more than that.
Visuals and Presentation
Powered by Valve’s Source Engine, the same engine used for such titles as Half Life 2, Portal 2, Team Fortress 2 and more, the visuals for Vindictus lie between “aged well” in some places and “aged poorly” in others. For instance: The character models for each and every hero are still incredibly well detailed with very realistic and uncanny facial expressions. The environmental textures, however, seem a bit muddy and have only a moderate level of quality, even with the game’s visual settings set to full. Not to mention that environments tend to look a bit blocky when compared with visuals found in most modern video games.
Despite all of this, the game’s presentation still holds up, thanks to the well animated movements and attacks that place emphasis on strong, impactful damage. By using subtle hit-pauses, each attack will make players feel like they’ve smacked their enemies around with the strength of a Celtic god, and it never gets old.
Along with very cinematic cutscenes that are available during certain storyline quests. Vindictus also carries a very triumphant soundtrack that hits all the right notes whenever players are traveling from town to town, or battling against giant monstrosities.
The game’s story uses a mix of traditional dialog accompanied by still images of character portraits, along with fully animated cutscenes during certain quests and missions, and this generally works out great due to the respectable storyline that brings it all together. There’s a handful of characters in Vindictus’ story that are worth liking, and a few others that are worth disliking. And while the quests in between these bits of story are your typical MMORPG fare, most players will likely be able to look past all of that just to see what happens next.
Finding active and dependable players around the player’s current level is very important in order to get through some of the game’s challenges. But sadly, due to the game’s age, most of the community is holed up at the endgame zones. For anyone that’s new to the game, it may be a bit difficult to find a full open quest session (which are called “boats” in Vindictus) unless you manage to pull some of your own friends along for the ride, or manage to find a guild to join. During my weeks playing the game on a new low level character, I was logged in during the game’s primetime hours and I could only find a handful of ships to play on, all of which did not have any more than two to three players on them.
The early leveling experience will be a dreadful one for anyone that’s solely looking for pick up groups. But on the bright side, most of the players that newcomers may run into are friendly and helpful, due to the game’s cooperative nature.
Vindictus is still an excellent action MORPG when it comes right down to it, despite some quirks here and there, and remains as one of my old favorites. While the gameplay is still solid, and the visuals are decent, it will ultimately come down to the tediousness of quests and missions that will determine whether or not Vindictus is a game for you. I suspect many hardcore gamers will not mind the grind if the gameplay is engaging enough, but everyone else may be turned off.
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 – Enter A World Beyond Trailer
Vindictus – Lynn Trailer
Vindictus Official Teaser Trailer
Vindictus Lore 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+
- Vindictus Review 2015 - Posted on January 22, 2015
It’s been several years since Nexon America unleashed their brutal action MORPG Vindictus onto the F2P gaming scene, and since then, the game has received several updates and expansions, including new heroes, new dungeons and even PvP content. With the most recent update featuring Arisha the spellsword, I figured it was about time to jump back into the world of Vindictus to see if this game is just as enjoyable as it was all those years ago.
- Vindictus (Europe): Arisha Announced - Posted on December 10, 2014
Today, Nexon Europe is thrilled to announce the arrival of a brand new character, Arisha, to the immensely popular action-packed MMORPG, Vindictus.
- Weekly MMOHuts Stream (10/3): Vindictus & Smite - Posted on October 3, 2014
Watch the team gaming it up and get a preview of upcoming First Look videos with us every Friday at 11am PST!
- Vindictus (Europe): Lynn now available - Posted on June 18, 2014
Today, Nexon Europe is thrilled to announce the arrival of a brand new, playable character to the enormously popular, visceral RPG, Vindictus.
- MMO Valentine’s Event Guide 2014 - Posted on February 13, 2014
MMOs from A to Z are celebrating Valentine's this year. Check in OnRPG and MMOHut's guide for the latest V-Day events!