PVS MMOs: A Quick Look at Rift

Today’s game of choice is going to be Rift. I know it’s been out for over a year now, but I never really got around to it. Unfortunately, when it was first popular I was raiding six nights a week and didn’t have much time to throw another game into the mix. Now that I have some time, let’s see how it stacks up.

Initial Impression: It’s like the bastard child of World of Warcraft and EverQuest II (or any other Asian MMO game) with a dash of Bible lore.

Graphics: I’m not a fan of the graphics. I’d much rather few characters that are a little ‘cartoon-y’ then those that try to be “realistic” and fail. Honestly, it just feels like it’s not polished. Until we get graphics that look like the cinematics, I always feel like I got ripped off with this style. The graphics aren’t necessarily bad, but not to my liking and quite disappointing.

User Interface (UI): The user interface is fine I guess. It looks like they took the World of Warcraft interface, and collapsed it using the pop-up menu styles from EverQuest 2. Some of the screens you look at when you start will make your head spin, but then you realize they just squished a bunch of screens into one large one. The mini map leaves much to be desired. I often need to stop and look for a moment to find the little yellow arrow/marker on the map, since it blends in with the map itself.

Performance: Though I had the graphics up when I started to see the best quality, I turned it down as soon as I started playing. With everything at a medium or low setting, the game ran pretty smoothly. In fact, I can give it props for not lagging or glitching at all during my game play (which is rare). Even during one of the rifts that spawned, it ran fine.

Things I Liked: I like the Rifts. I was actually kind of surprised at first when people started joining our group. It was kind of cool though. If those are regular things and they turn into raid-sized events a few times during the day, I’d enjoy it.

Things I Didn’t Like: The story/questing seemed kind of bland. Go here, kill this, collect that. I felt like I’ve done this a million times before. The character choices were standard melee, mage, priest, rogue; They didn’t really spice it up any. That said, the mage I was playing was nearly identical to a mage in World of Warcraft with the addition of a pet. I even used the same buttons.

Conclusion: Though the Rift events were cool, I can’t see myself playing this game right now. After just coming out of a long grinding relationship with WoW, the last thing I need is a Warcraft clone. The trial is enough for me, and quiet frankly I can’t see it pulling ahead of Warcraft anytime soon.

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