Screenshot from Vindictus

When you take Sword Art Online and Skyrim and you mash them together, you get a free to play Steam game called Vindictus. Developed by devCAT and published by Nexon, TitanCity, and Garena, this game is years ahead of its age with an original release in January 2010. Vindictus is an MMORPG fantasy game, where you clear dungeons and go on raids. Yes, it sounds like every other MMORPG on steam, but there is really nothing like it.

First of all, you have the choice to play solo or multiplayer. Solo play is easy. You can rely heavily on yourself to have fun. The multiplayer is preferably more fun and efficient. You create your party, starting by yourself, and you wait for randoms (random people of the internet’s glory) to join in and play along side you.

If you’re in a guild, there is less awkwardness because everyone wants to know each other there and be friends. Guild parties are the best option because you can clear an entire territory with them and they are willing to help you move forward.

The game focuses on PvE (Player vs Everything) and no one really engages in PvP (Player vs Player). Balance is never really a problem. The learning/skill curve for this game depends on what character you play. There are ten customizable characters with different skills, weapons, and roles to fit your specific play-style whether you like fighting with twin swords, hammers, magic, even your bare hands. Everyone is unique. There is a vast variety of cosmetics and weapons for you to personalize your character so no one ever looks the same.

Vindictus gameplay is non-generic from the get-go. The tutorial is brief because learning how to make your character do what you want them to do is easy. The controls are simple and customizable. You can play keyboard only, mouse and keyboard, controller, as well as the capability to change your key bindings.

Gameplay is ridiculously satisfying. Though Vindictus uses the same maps for an area, you get to explore different part of that map and fight new enemies. Once you finish all the quests for that map, you get a new map. The enemies are pretty original also, and you can adjust the difficulty to make them smarter and harder. The combat is so smooth. You can jump from enemy to enemy cutting graciously, and the special skills are crazy.

It is a very immersive experience because the graphics are next gen material. For a 2010 game, Vindictus looks great. Prepare to be impressed. The more you play, the more environments you will unlock. You fight reapers in the desert, giant mutant bugs in the tropical rain forest, and undead pirates on a shipwreck in an ocean storm, 16-person dragon raids, and so much more.

I kid you not; there is at least ten years of content in this game. There are people who reached max level the first year of the release and many I interviewed claim that they’ve only completed 30-40% of the game. There is SO much to do. Main Story, sub-story, side missions, Season one mission, season two missions, season three missions, exploration/expeditions, the Labyrinth, raids, events, PvP, fishing, skill development, and plenty more.

To put it into perspective, I’ve played 120 hours but I’ve only completed around 5-10% of the entire game. The soundtrack is basically every MMORPG opera-classical theme, so not worth mentioning. The game runs very smoothly, so expect consistent performance.

Now that I’ve finished praising, it’s time for the roast. This game, like any other, has problems. Bugs-I wouldn’t say. More like issues. The game has such bad connectivity issues. No—severe connectivity issues. I play Planetside 2—an open world sandbox game where around 1,500 people are fighting across four continents on foot, in planes, and in tanks—all in one server.

No problem, yet Vindictus will crash a lot, freeze a lot, time out a lot. Maybe it’s because they are using the Source 1 engine and the game five years later has been forsaken by most of the developers, but these are minor problems that have been neglected for years and keep getting worse as they release more and more content. It’s pathetic really, considering that not many people even play this game and if you and three other party members have the fastest Wi-Fi in the world and one scrub has terrible Wi-Fi, you will suffer the consequences of their bad connection.

Vindictus has a great in-game market. Everything is purely cosmetic so it’s not pay to win of pay to play (different from purchase and play). The game is extremely innovative. The classes are fun to play, each with completely different abilities, strengths, and weaknesses. The combat is fluid.

The story line, however, is terrible. Nothing makes you want to care about the story and you will find yourself practicing for the cookie clicker world championship as blocks of text after text appear with each click explaining to you the story. You can definitely play this game for hours on end. It has so much to offer, and you can plan your hours out. There’s so much variety of thing you can do that just leads you to keep playing. The 120 hours I mentioned before, that was during the entire winter break. Once I began playing I was like a vampire. I did not see the sun.

I do not give number reviews because numbers don’t represent the experience. Final thoughts: If you are a fan of fantasy type MMORPGs, it’s a must to play this game. I’ve never had an great experience in a fantasy MMORPGs. Vindictus hides in the shadows of big games like WOW, LOL, Smite, and now Black Desert Online, to become one of the most criminally underrated games of our time.


Nifa Kaniga

Staff Writer