Bless Unleashed – Review
Follow Genre: MMORPG, Action
Developers: Neowiz Games, Round 8 Studio
Publishers: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment, Neowiz Games
Platform: PS4, Xbox One, PC
Tested On: PS4

Bless Unleashed – Review

Site Score
7.0
Good: Fluid gameplay
Bad: Very standard, little innovation
User Score
6.5
(2 votes)
Click to vote
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)

Back in October, the complete version of the awaited MMO Bless Unleashed released on PS4. With an upcoming release for PC set for early 2021, there is no better time to take a look at the full game. We took a closer look at the PlayStation 4 version of the game to see how this one would fare for console play. We found the game somewhat entertaining, but not really renovating in its genre. 

Story

Bless Unleashed’s story is quite a common one: After ages sealed, Lumena, the goddess of darkness, has awoken and only a bearer of the Lantern may stop her. Players start as orphans on an island far away from the conflicts of the mainland, currently hosting a festival in honor of their patron god. Suddenly, amidst the festivities, the dark magician Gideon and his worshippers of Lumena invade the island, killing the high priestess Demea in the process. After being saved by the nobleman Don Diego, players see themselves in the mainland, ready to start their adventure.

As is common with MMOs, the story takes a backseat when compared to the gameplay. Players bounce mission to mission, completing menial tasks in order to uncover the plot, which is drip-fed throughout. Most of these missions are only tangentially related to the main story, serving as only a means to an end, that being moving players through the world. This is basically a staple in the genre and is often simply a lack of resources to have it fleshed out as much as, for example, a World of Warcraft.

Graphics

Bless Unleashed’s graphics seem to have improved since the PC version’s stress test, although that is not to say they are amazing. Most environments look rather dull, character models interact strangely with lighting and both lose great deals of quality outside of cutscenes. This is especially evident with the characters, which see their animations reduced to the minimum during dialogues. The game has a somewhat standardized appeal but it chooses to be functional, rather than pretty.

The game also seems to have issues rendering textures at times, often creating blurry messes as the actual image loads. This especially happens upon changing gear or costumes, but also applies to the environments and NPCs. While this doesn’t really affect the actual gameplay, texture popping can be annoying and does take you out of the immersive aspect of the game from time to time.

Sound

The game’s sound is quite competent, with well-made SFX and a decent soundtrack. That said, all the music featured in Bless Unleashed belongs to the repetitive “action” genre, mostly there to give players something to listen to while grinding levels. It does its job though, getting enough blood flowing to make the somewhat repetitive grind of these games a bit more intense or entertaining.

Similarly to the graphics, the sound department of the game shines particularly during cutscenes, although this indirectly makes the rest worse in comparison. This is the case particularly for the voice acting, featured completely throughout said cutscenes but gone during gameplay. While the latter is also a fairly common choice in games such as this, we do feel like it could have added a lot of value to the game to have the voice acting fleshed out a bit more.

Gameplay

Bless Unleashed’s gameplay is what can be expected from most MMORPGs; a classical hack n’ slash with abilities, although in this case the focus is placed on combos. The game features five different classes, each of them with different playstyles. Crusaders are mobile melee fighters, Berserkers soak up damage while dealing it, Rangers dash across the field while firing at enemies, Mages deal heavy damage with spells and Clerics alter the stats of both enemies and allies. It’s somewhat your standard cast of characters for a game such as this, presenting the player with the regular roles in an MMORPG of any sort.

Besides the basic combos, each of these classes has its own abilities. These are locked behind a system known as a “blessing”, which are unlocked through progression. Until one of these blessings is unlocked, players are limited to their starter abilities, which they can upgrade with the points obtained on level up. These upgrades entail effects such as more damage, range, reduced energy costs, etc.

The game’s world is completely connected and open for players to explore, although as it is standard, different areas will have monsters with different levels. Throughout this world, resources can be found by harvesting them where they spawn or from monster drops. Some field bosses may also be encountered, with generous respawn times in exchange for more balanced drops. The same applies to most dungeons, which are instanced through a matchmaking queue, dropping decent but balanced items on par with the player’s level.

Bless Unleashed also features the classical crafting systems: cooking, forging, etc. These serve to create new items with the drops obtained from monsters or resources foraged throughout the world. As players craft more and more, their level for the skill will increase, unlocking a few recipes on top of whichever they have purchased or obtained from quests. Again, a fairly standard system to entice players to keep coming back and grind in these areas as well.

Conclusion

There is not much to say about Bless Unleashed seeing it is as standard an MMORPG as it gets. It strides through well-trodden paths without deviating much. Even the new things it brings to the table are minor changes on the proven formula. Avid MMO players will know exactly what to expect, which can be good or bad based on preferences.

Personal Opinion

“I have played a lot of MMOs throughout the years and never really stuck with one for long. There have been exceptions to this, but Bless Unleashed won’t be one. Everything is incredibly standard, with little new to see and a small selection of classes. The graphics didn’t strike me as particularly good either, which doesn’t really matter to me but it’s still curious on a brand new game. Would I recommend Bless Unleashed personally? Sure, why not. If you have played things like Tera, 4Story or even the original Bless Online you’ll know what to expect. For those wondering, I didn’t experience PvP, thus I cannot speak about how P2W the game may get for those interested in that part.“

VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: 6.5/10 (2 votes cast)
VN:F [1.9.22_1171]
Rating: +1 (from 1 vote)
Bless Unleashed - Review, 6.5 out of 10 based on 2 ratings

No Comments

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.