Nexon’s Vindictus shows why free-to-play matters

Free-to-play games tend to get the short end of the stick. You’ll almost never see one featured on the cover of a magazine, they rarely receive proper reviews, and preview coverage is sparse, at best. That’s why we wanted to make sure to highlight Nexon’s Vindictus, one of the most overlooked games on show at E3 2010.

Above: Vindictus looks great for a free title

At first glance, Vindictus seems like a fairly straightforward action/MMO. You’ll move with the WASD keys, direct the third-person camera with the mouse, and use a combination of mouse-clicks and hotkeys to string together combos. Of course, there’s loot to be found, XP to be earned, and big bosses to take down with other players.

Above: Your armor takes damage and will eventually disintegrate. Because it’s possible that you might have to finish a fight your skivvies, you’ll need to customize your character’s underwear, too

But despite its familiar fantasy/action trappings, Vindictus caught our eye because it plays so damn smoothly. Rolling to dodge incoming strikes felt good. Blocking attacks felt better. And thinning hordes of angry mobs with tasty combinations of sword swings and thrusts felt great.

The game also looks incredible, especially for a free-to-play title. Vindictus uses a modified version of Valve’s Source engine, and it shows once you start experimenting with the game’s environments. Just about anything on the ground can be smashed, picked up off the ground, or thrown. In one area we came across a bunch of melons. We don’t know why the melons were there – and frankly, we don’t care. But it was awesome to pick it up and hurl it in the face of an angry gnoll charging towards us.

Above: When you launch a spear, there’s a nice subtle camera effect that zooms in on the spear in your hand just before you release it

Our brief demo ended with us facing a rather burly boss fight with a Gnoll Chieftain. We managed to grind down his health bar easily with the four players in our party. But we have to admit that the boss’ difficulty was scaled down and that we were adventuring with overpowered characters. But even though it may be tough to judge the game’s difficulty based on our quick hands-on time with the game, it’s clear that all the pieces are all falling into place for a silky smooth dungeon crawling experience. In the meantime, check out the latest CG trailer and keep an eye out for more updates on Vindictus on Vindictus as its fall launch date draws nearer.

Above: A CG trailer for Vindictus

Jun 22, 2010 


E3 E3 2010

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  • Alara - June 24, 2010 3:08 a.m.

    I like PvP. F2P item stores kill PvP. Therefore, I will not be playing this game. Unless of course they do a hybrid subscription model.
  • JohnnyMaverik - June 23, 2010 4:43 p.m.

    @ 510BrotherPanda There's a few good games on steam with mac ports now. Hl2's, TF2, Torchlight, Braid, World of Goo, Machinarium. I recommend them all.
  • WickedSid - June 23, 2010 3:26 p.m.

    One say phrase to say: Grappling hooks.
  • krabsich - June 23, 2010 2:54 p.m.

    i don't mean to take away from this game, but hearing about satisfying rolling and blocking, plus watching the trailer, really just makes me want a sequel to demon's souls. but the price tag on this is infinitely more appealing.
  • 5DollarFootlong - June 23, 2010 1:44 p.m.

    it's like maplestory for grownups. =P
  • frmonth - June 23, 2010 10:22 a.m.

    I'm offically interested. Thanks Tyler.
  • foxyexplosion - June 23, 2010 8:10 a.m.

    You have caught my interest, I will be sure to give this one more attention in the future.
  • 510BrotherPanda - June 23, 2010 7:03 a.m.

    Does it work on Mac? I have a 2004 one. Just asking, I don't actually play anything on it except a copy of Cave Story I got. It's hard!
  • SirDinkleman - June 23, 2010 5:37 a.m.

    I love Nexon, they make quality games and make them available for free. MLB dugout heroes is one of my favorite sports games and combat arms is just awesome. Keep pulling out the good stuff guys!
  • reveffect - June 23, 2010 3:22 a.m.

    I loved mabinogi and still play it to this day and I really cant wait for mabinogi heroes (woops i meant vindictus) to finally be released here in the states. I have seen videos of people playing on the korean servers and the bosses definately werent as scaled down as the ones they put you against. It took them forever just to kill that giant polar bear.
  • Shrimpandwhitewine - June 23, 2010 2:26 a.m.

    this game looks pretty sweet.
  • Jesse1066 - June 23, 2010 2:02 a.m.

    It actually looks pretty awesome.
  • oufour - June 23, 2010 1:48 a.m.

    this seems strangely interesting.