Hype Meter is a FreeMMOStation show where we give you an overview of the most anticipated free MMO games. This time we take a look at Soul Worker Online, a highly anticipated anime action MMORPG that was announced in 2011 and revamped in the years after.
Do you remember Soul Worker? The year was 2011 and South Korean developer Lion Games released the first and only trailer in over 2 years for Soul Worker Online, an anime action MMORPG. The trailer was short on info but filled with action and sexy anime girls beating up Slenderman wannabes with larger than life weapons – exciting stuff.
Fast forward to March 2014 and Lion Games reveals the second Soul Worker trailer, which is in fact the new debut trailer since the game went through a lot of redesigning. The potential is still there though, as are the sexy anime girls – and panty shots aplenty. Let’s see what we can expect of Soul Worker.
Oddly enough, there aren’t many anime MMORPGs that possess such a strong visual identity. Along with Peria Chronicles and Closers: Dimension Conflict, Soul Worker is one of the few upcoming games that manage to look impressive and are a great representation of the kawaii culture that is now pretty much a worldwide phenomenon. While visually the game doesn’t seem to have changed much since the 2011 announcement, it is now looking really sharp and polished, with a clean and discreet user interface that should serve as an example for other games. The major redesign went to the camera, which is now fixed and pushes the character slightly to the left for a better view of the action – in case the character uses a long range weapon, the perspective goes over the shoulder in Resident Evil 4 style. Previously the camera wasn’t fixed; it was all over the place, as the studio described it. We approve of the new choice.
Soul Worker is definitely flashy; even a simple sword swing will leave a trail of light and the screen is frequently filled with all kinds of colors and special effects that sometimes just seem a bit too much. While the combat arenas have all these effects going on, this reinforces the appreciation that we have for the peaceful moments in the cities, when we can enjoy the clean and successful design of both environment and characters.
Now for a bit of story: the world was invaded by creatures from other dimensions and while humanity seems to be doomed, a few teenagers discover that they harness some impressive and previously dormant powers. The Soul Workers are weapons that tie to the emotions of the characters that hold them. The new trailer shows three of them: Soulum Sword is revenge, Gun Jazz is pleasure and Mist Schyte is madness.
Soul Worker will feature six characters focused around the melee and ranged types, but the studio isn’t going for a hybrid kind of class since they found this to not work as desired in battle. Each character has its own storyline and there are plenty of costumes to chose and collect, including a nurse outfit, among others, but costumes don’t have stats. There is some customization, with some items having sockets, but not much is known about this yet.
While it is an action MMORPG, it is one of those games where you can co-op with a few players, but it is also suited for the loner gamer – it remains to be seen how far you can go without the help of other players, since teamwork will definitely be necessary along the way. The dungeon system is pretty intuitive, with players able to join at any time if there’s a slot available. You can setup your own macro so that you can perform an intricate combo only by pressing a button, something that will come in handy when you’re fighting alongside other players and want to punch some enemies around.
Soul Worker has its share of talking to NPCs, but the dialogue during the action part is voiced using a system called Cinema Talk. The NPC will pop up on the upper right hand corner of the screen to assist you, offer you a quest or tell you where to go.
Soul Worker also has a card game system called Akashic Records, where players are able to collect cards through several ways, including completing quests, events, and defeating boss monsters. These cards can be used in battle in the same way as active skills and can offer things like extra damage, healing, and more. Some unique cards will be there just for fun, without any real use – one of them will make your character fart and run away, something that is surely extremely helpful when saving the world from gruesome creatures!
Finally, PvP isn’t exactly the focus of Soul Worker, so you can forget about large scale battles. The studio is still working on this aspect, but the plan is to add at least one PvP quest during the main story, as well as a small PvP system.
Soul Worker won’t be open world, but instance based; this isn’t properly a negative, just a fact that we’ll have to deal with just as in so many other games. Also, some players will most likely rage at the eventual gender locked characters, although there seems to be a nice level of customization to make your character unique. And all those visual effects… Isn’t it just a tiny bit much?
Hopefully Soul Worker will truly focus on teamwork and push players to fight together against the enemies and impressive bosses. Having a game that is online but that can be solo’ed most of the time is just a waste of potential.
All in all, the second coming of Soul Worker managed to keep us very excited about what it can deliver. Not only it looks like a real anime – despite the excessively flashy combat –, it seems capable of providing the thrills that very few online action games deliver. And panty shots, of course.
Soul Worker is currently signed to China and Taiwan, but a South Korean publisher also shouldn’t take long, since Lion Games plans to have the first beta on South Korea. As is often the case, there’s still no word on North America and Europe, but we’ll definitely keep an eye out for this game!