CABAL 2 First Look Gameplay Video

CABAL 2 entered the first wave of betas on April 30, 2015 and we managed to join in this much anticipated action MMORPG. In this first look we'll get to see if the hype is justified and if this sequel manages to live up to the reputation of the original game.

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CABAL 2 is a standard MMO. You have the usual linear questing and progression, and nothing terribly spectacular with unique spells or abilities. The aesthetic of these abilities are unique, but mechanically the game is very usual.

One thing that disappointed me was how single player-focused the game first appears to be. It is an MMO, but the cutscenes and lore are all entirely focused on the player character, with no distinction between other players. In Guild Wars 2, there is an entirely separate quest line for single player experiences and there is also branching story lines, whereas in CABAL 2, everyone has the same background, which leaves little room for imagination.

I enjoy the interesting sci-fi fantasy setting being built here, and it reminds me of Final Fantasy, but still there's nothing terribly novel. One thing I appreciate is the fact that the class naming, their abilities, and their magic sources are all influenced and named after the original in game lore and mythology. The western version also got rid of the gender locked classes, something that was heavily criticized in the original Korean version.

The Blader, a dual wielding sword class, was replaced here with a healing class Priest. While the Blader had an interesting aesthetic in the first game, the more defined Priest is a much more unique addition to the class line up than the Blader since we already have a Force Blader and Warrior to round out that particular niche. There is also a Force Archer and Mage in the game. Each class fills a niche such as tank, healer, AoE damage, or single target DPS.

This also gives us some indication as to how the end game will play out, since we will probably need dedicated roles for dungeons similar to, if not identical, to the famous trinity system we are used to with Healer/Tank/DPS.

Actual gameplay is heavily focused on tactics where players must both memorize and create their own skill combos. There is a system called Continuous Skills which are abilities that can be used over and over and combo skills, where one ability might prompt the use of another and the player gets a bonus from doing so. Second to skill rotations, comes positioning which is a bit more lenient than in the previous game because of the more fluid movement versus the older standstill system. CABAL 2 however is not as mobile or agility based as Guild Wars 2 and even though has free movement like World of Warcraft, it doesn’t feel as free as it could be. So knowing when to move, where to move, and what ability to use before and after is key. While its action mechanics are very spammable, I enjoy that there is a penalty for spamming so that there is actual tactics in the gameplay though there is a lack of mobility abilities like we see in Guild Wars 2 or TERA.

CABAL 2 looks good – not overwhelming but definitely solid. You can clearly see they kept their style intact but increased graphical fidelity. I appreciate the blade trails and particle effects that rival games famous for them like Final Fantasy. Overall, it has a lot of color and aggressive effects which make it stand out against all competitors. Still, even at this point in production there are numerous graphical errors, harsh edges and overall lower quality textures. Not a bad looking game, but if compared to AAA games, it could only be called fair.

In the end, this is a game that does not lend itself well to first impressions. This is a theme-park MMO, very linear and only truly shows its colors during the competitive end game PvE and PvP. If you are willing to stick out the grind, you might find an interesting experience at the end but I don’t think the majority of players will have the mindset for it.


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