Bless Unleashed – Preview
Follow Genre: Action, MMO
Developers: Round 8 Studio, Neowiz, R8S Entertainment Limited
Publishers: BANDAI NAMCO, Neowiz, Namco Bandai Games America Inc.
Platform: PC (Steam)
Tested On: PC (Steam)

Bless Unleashed – Preview

Good: Fluid combat
Bad: Very standard MMO
User Score
6.0
(1 votes)
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Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)

Bless Online released back in 2018 to get a very mixed reception and ultimately had its servers closed only a year later. After this, Neowiz started working on a remake of sorts, known as Bless Unleashed. Set to release later on October 22nd on PS4 and early next year on PC, the recent stress test was enough to give us some ideas of what is to come.

As far as the story goes, Bless Unleashed is nothing out of the ordinary: The god of darkness was sealed long ago but has risen again and only a chosen one will be able to seal it again. The player is an orphan in a haven island which is one day attacked by a group of worshippers of the god of darkness, leading them to start their adventure. From here on out, the player will follow the usual MMO style, bouncing from character to character doing quests and other stuff only laterally related to the main plotline.

The game’s graphics are quite underwhelming at the moment, even at max settings. For a game released in 2020, it looks worse than other games such as Black Desert Online, which released six years ago. Characters have few to no animations while talking, environments look unpolished, and at times the game as a whole can be blurry. Luckily these max settings don’t seem to require much out of the PC, running generally well on even lower-end machines.

Sound is pretty functional, although the music is mostly the kind of action-y one to be expected of the genre. SFX are quite satisfying in contrast, doing a good job at making hits feel sufficiently meaty in combination with the animations.

Gameplay is pretty well developed and smooth, relying on a combo system for its combat. The game as a whole plays in the classical hack n’ slash style so common in the genre with several different classes. Currently, these classes are limited to only 5 and all of them are locked to particular races. They are divided in Crusaders, Berserkers, Rangers, Mages and Clerics, each with their own unique abilities. After selecting which class to play, players will be thrown into a character creator with quite a wide range of options to choose from, where they’ll be able to make their own unique character.

All the classes play as it would be expected from similar games: Crusaders are melee versatile units, Berserkers deal high amounts of slow damage and can take a beating, Rangers move nimbly while shooting, Mages cast spells and Clerics support and debuff. Several skills are locked behind a blessing system, where more effects for each ability can be unlocked and a passive bonus is granted after mastery is achieved. More blessings can be obtained later into the game, unlocking more playstyles from which players will be able to pick.

Most of the game is instanced as a connected open world, where resources, enemies and field bosses can be found. Bless Unleashed also has a crafting system, locked behind recipes and materials and, in a seemingly minor way, levels. Gathering resources can be done at any level and anything can be crafted as long as the recipe is known.

Field bosses are generally rare occurrences appearing behind sidequests and requiring the collaboration of a lot of players at once. Drops from these can be good, though at times also underwhelming, the same going for dungeons. These dungeons do not appear on the map, being hidden behind matchmaking instead. After the player has found a party, they will be thrown into the dungeon with the rest of the team, ready to clear it.

Conclusion

Besides this, there is not much to say about Bless Unleashed; those who have played MMOs before know what they’re in for and newcomers will have no problem getting started. As far as MMOs go Bless Unleashed seems to be quite a standard one, not deviating much from the set formula. For those who have played Bless Online before, the opinions are mixed. Some consider Unleashed an upgrade and more enjoyable, while others prefer Online. A particular player, seemingly veteran of Online, described Unleashed as a “sidegrade”, changing and adding things while still maintaining some of the original feel.

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Rating: 6.0/10 (1 vote cast)
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Bless Unleashed - Preview, 6.0 out of 10 based on 1 rating

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