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Whether you're sniping enemies from a distance with a long-range rifle or charging in to discharge shotgun shells in their face, Tabula Rasa’s hybrid-combat works well. The way the game handles the spawning of hostile and friendly NPCs also contributes a great deal to the game’s more action-oriented feel. Instead of materializing out of no where, giant drop ships swoop in from the sky, dropping off both hostile and friendly units that battle for control points of locations, making you feel like you're part of an epic, ongoing battle.
It seems like Tabula Rasa has achieved the balance between gunplay and RPG elements that Star Wars Galaxies struggled with. But even though its new take on combat is refreshingly smooth and fast-paced, we found ourselves somewhat disappointed with the design of Tabula Rasa’s early areas.
While there's undoubtedly more to be revealed in the game's higher level areas, the sci-fi soldiers, compact forts, and aliens we’ve seen in the first zone seem out of place. It's almost as if they've been transplanted into a typical high fantasy game with sprawling forests, winding rivers, and deep caves. What Tabula Rasa’s early game currently lacks is that great moment when you visit your first large hub, which is something we've come to expect from other NCsoft published titles like Guild Wars.
We hope that the environments and NPC hubs in higher level zones are more elaborate and awe-inspiring than the underwhelming areas we've seen so far. We want to see huge spaceports connecting us to other zones that make WoW’s capital cities seem like a backwards small-time town in comparison.