Amazon Games' New World has entered the closed beta, so a larger number of players can try out the MMORPG for the first time. On Steam, the title reached a peak of well over 100.000 in terms of the number of simultaneously active players. The urge to finally be able to tackle a completely new online role-playing game is apparently enormous.
If you had to compare New World with one of the currently popular genre representatives, The Elder Scrolls Online probably fits pretty well with the concept that Amazon Games presents to players, mixed with a good portion of Valheim's active combat system, a world located between fantasy and The new MMORPG offers medieval times, sandbox elements and large PvP battles. The developers do not rely on innovations, but rather use familiar features from other games. Nevertheless, the title brings a breath of fresh air into the genre, as it is now dominated by a few online games.
The closed beta player numbers on Steam are not indicative of the quality, but they do give an indication of how greedy gamers are for a really new MMO right now. So far, the project history of Amazon Games has not had a particularly good star, but the developers could land a hit with New World.
New World features sieges, expeditions, and more
The competition should have New World on the screen, because what is offered in the closed beta indicates quality. Yes, here and there are localization errors and placeholders, with a large number of players the frames go to their knees and the developers also have to polish the dynamic battles - but overall the MMO gives a good picture. Quest for quest you are introduced to the game and its story, learn to fight, collect and craft and get an insight into the skill system.
The latter in particular could turn out to be the big coup, because there is basically not much more role play: As with The Elder Scrolls Online, the character improves in those skills and abilities that he actively uses. Whoever draws the sword earns skill points with which new skills or passive bonuses can be unlocked in a - albeit comparatively rudimentary - talent tree. There are no restrictions: the plate helmet to the magic wand is just as possible a combination as a weapon duo of bow and spear. This invites you to experiment in order to find your favorite fighting style - and thus give the character a personal touch.
If you dare the cold start in New World, so you start without having informed yourself about the new MMO in advance, the usual online role-playing game feeling is missing in the first few hours: you will not defeat hordes of NPCs in battle, but in sections always against small groups of opponents. They gang up when you pull "Aggro" - that's challenging, otherwise you can face the opponents in one-on-one battles. They are often over quickly, here New World is based on what is known from other games. The world is pretty but barren. Some greenery, lots of scree, stretches of beach - and so you wander through the area, explore the areas, but especially devote yourself to the masses of resources. Gathering wood, skinning animals, cutting plants, stuffing stones into pockets - everything that lies loose in the game world goes into the inventory. You'll need the stuff as the crafting system is proving to be quite an intrusive feature. That means: At New World, crafting and resource mining are firmly part of the concept. You don't have to use it, but ignoring such a key gameplay element is unlikely to be a good idea to fully enjoy Amazon Games' MMO.
The start is simple. Even absolute beginners are not overwhelmed. There is a task, but the quests are rather standard food: Collect this, kill that, talk to them. It is not presented in a particularly exciting way, working through the quest hubs, so it will feel exactly like that. Unless the developers have a surprise up their sleeve. After all, the expeditions should provide variety and story.
It depends on your own initiative in the sandbox MMO - this will be necessary especially in the long term, because the pure story and quest content alone probably won't provide that. So you look for your goals as a player yourself, become an outstanding craftsman or throw yourself into PvP battles. The latter also seem to be an important feature. To ignore? Better not! In connection with dodging, blocking and countering, exciting combat situations could arise. The technology has to go along with this, and the developers will probably still work on optimizations here.
Because the combat system is comparatively fast-paced and dynamic, the player-versus-player battles will feel the same way. Again: Less like World of Warcraft, more like The Elder Scrolls Online. When it comes to the weapon system, New World feels quite similar. You carry what you want - but some weapons prove to be particularly fun. Spears, for example. Or wands because you have to aim. And even the classic sword and shield provides entertainment in combat. Archers need arrows, ideally from their own production - then again after collecting resources. The circle closes. Because weapons can have additional bonuses, nice elementary combos become possible.
The first impression is positive. New World has strengths, but also some weaknesses, but it is not foreseeable yet whether points of criticism will change in the course of the game. The gameplay fits in any case, the world invites you to explore and offers motivation again and again. Fights are central: there are some, but not innumerable. And: crafting, there are countless of them, not just a few. If Amazon Games succeeds in ensuring this also in the endgame area, New World could become the savior that many MMO fans are hoping for. A breath of fresh air in the genre should definitely be ensured.
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