SoulWorker Official Launch Impressions

SoulWorker is the awesome anime action MMORPG that we have been waiting for ages and is now officially live, out of open beta. This is a really good action game and for once, it won't be a walk in the park during the first 20 levels or so. Here is our opinion on SoulWorker.

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I can’t tell you for how long we have been waiting for this moment, the release of SoulWorker in North America and Europe. Or, in fact, I can.

It all started with the first trailer, released to massive jaw-dropping in 2011. Eventually, SoulWorker was revamped to make for a better gameplay experience, changing the camera perspective, for example.

Jump to early 2018 and we finally have the western version in our hands. It took a while but SoulWorker didn’t lose any of its appeal, something that you surely saw in the Korean and Japanese versions. It’s fast-paced, relentless action with some great anime characters and plenty of flashy combos. And it also helps that it includes a fair bit of pantsu shots, as I’m pretty convinced that this is a major plus for many of you looking for a new game waifu.

Don’t be fooled into thinking that SoulWorker brings some sort of revolutionary idea or crazy new twist to the genre; that is not the correct mindset when first launching this game. This is, in fact, a very polished, robust take on the action role-playing game with co-op dungeons for up to four players. Of course, you can also go solo, as the game is suited for both kinds of approach, but a little help goes a long way.

SoulWorker features some heavily stylized anime visuals, with bright, lavish colors and wonderful animation that makes it look like a dream during the most exciting battle sequences. That is, if you can follow all the combos and acrobatics that are happening simultaneously, as the aesthetic is as beautiful as it is overflowing with sword trails and mad skill effects.

The current star quartet of SoulWorker is comprised of Haru Estia, Erwin Arclight, Lilly Bloommerchen and Stella Unibell. Their SoulWorker alter egos are, correspondingly, Soulum Sword, Gunjazz, Myst Scythe and Howling Guitar. They are your traditional superpowered teenagers, carefully designed to be instantly appealing to the eye. We personally went with Haru but could have easily opted for any other character. Considering that their pleasing looks are complemented with some unique traits and skills, it’s not an easy choice to make.

The character creation is one of the points where SoulWorker could be improved. The customization options are very slim and make it hard to differentiate your avatar from the dozens of characters hopping around in the hub towns.

SoulWorker is an instanced dungeon game, which means that you’ll get most of your quests from the comfort of a peaceful zone. After a short action sequence setting the story, you discover Rucco Town, where everyone and their moms seem interested in making you their personal errands boy or girl… I mean, they see some unique powers in you and are confident that you’re the one who will destroy all those monsters.

These hubs are the place where you can organize your character and your thoughts. You can purchase new equipment and sell the junk you don’t need, repair weapons, upgrade your armour, craft new items and a lot more. The NPCs are all there to give you a hand, as well as tons of quests to gain the much-desired experience points and finally move on to other darker pastures.

Oh, and there’s a corgi so cute that follows you around in some places. He barks and rolls over as well. He is awesomely cute. But if you’re not a dog person, there is a cat as well.

To fulfil the quests, you will need to step into the districts where the PvE content awaits. Hordes of monsters and bosses are waiting for you and your teammates, in case you decided to create a group or auto-team the heck out of it. The dungeons start small, but get increasingly bigger and tougher, with the option to go for normal, hard or manic difficulties. Of course, the harder the challenge, the more XP you receive, but be careful as some boss may drain you of your precious respawners.

SoulWorker has this tried-and-tested gameplay where you must clear dungeons, head back to the NPCs and deliver the quests, reaping some rewards in the process. It’s an approach that we’ve seen before, but here is handled in a talented, compelling way. Where the game truly shines is in its action combat, which is miles ahead of most other online games.

Your basic combos as smooth as butter and the sound effects really help to feel the impact – you can even hear Stella’s guitar riffs amidst all the chaos. Swinging a sword or rotating a scythe is a great pleasure in itself, while Erwin loves his pistols for some long-range combat. Aerial combat is part of the deal and some hidden quests even require you to master this art. Apparently there isn’t a block option, but you can dodge enemy attacks with relative ease.

Of course, there are several skills for you to learn and master, and you can even create some devastating combos by chaining a few of these in a quick sequence. And then you have the added layer of the Akasha system, where you can collect and use cards that provide even more powerful active and passive skills. Combat is fast and a lot of fun, the true highlight of SoulWorker, along with its crisp anime visuals.

There is an energy system in place, which means that you must spend a small amount of this energy to enter dungeons. We never felt like this was an interference to our enjoyment, especially considering that SoulWorker is better enjoyed when playing in short bursts every day – it can get a bit repetitive, it’s inherent to this kind of game. We do understand that for someone wanting to race their characters to end-game without blinking, this can be a divisive point, but it’s not as bad as some are painting it.

There are options to add more variety later on, such as the My Room system, where your avatar can hang around and take a relaxing bath. As for PvP, we only discovered a few arenas in District 6 where you can battle other humans, but high-level characters should have access to full-fledged arenas for proper PvP fighting.

SoulWorker is great fun and definitely delivers the goods. It’s the same entertaining game that we’ve closely followed for several years and should prove successful for fans of flashy, exciting and visually gorgeous action MMOs. It is still early days, but the game is already one of the most exciting free-to-play releases of recent years, and probably the best instance-based dungeon battler ever created. Time will tell.


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