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Amazon Game Studios launched their Age of Exploration MMORPG New World into closed beta a couple weeks back, with the full game scheduled to launch on August 31, 2021. And with the beta now coming to a close, we can check out some early impressions that all seem to be at least cautiously optimistic about this conquistador-flavored project.
So far, New World is an awkward MMO but a confident crafting game. I can't say I enjoyed my attempt to become a bullet billionaire, but it was when I was getting lost in the woods and trying to be a rugged survivalist that it came closest to clicking for me. The cookie-cutter quests and threadbare narrative do little to propel the game forward, but my dreams of wealth and success gave me something to hold onto during the long treks between rote tasks.
Will the buzz last? MMO communities are renowned for burning through whatever content you put in front of them quickly and demanding more. Some players are alarmingly high level in the closed beta already. It's only been a week - I don't know how they do it! Levelling has already really slowed down for me. But here again, New World is in a good position in that its endgame content is other players. As long as fighting them over and over can remain entertaining, interest should stick.
This isn’t to say I’m not enjoying my time in New World, I actually am. The world is interesting to explore, and I want to see more of it as I go about my business. I like the struggle my server has had over regions like Monarch’s Bluff and Everfall - it adds a sense of community when you and your faction members are all fighting for a common goal. The crafting loop is incredibly satisfying and I find myself going off the beaten path more so than I normally would for that patch of hyssop or an iron ore vein. I just wish the tasks and quests I need to continue to progress wouldn’t bore me to tears.
That said Elder Scrolls Online was a disaster when it launched. Final Fantasy 14 was not particularly successful when it launched, those games have made revivals over time and gotten better and better and I fully expect New World to do the same. In my opinion, New World is at a better place at launch barring a couple of glaring bugs (that hopefully they get fixed before launch) than the Elder Scrolls Online was at launch. I feel like it as long as they keep developing the way Elder Scrolls Online did, maybe use that sort of business model of constant content updates and constant patches, I feel like they could be as successful as something like that.