- System: Xbox One
- Genre: MMORPG
- Publisher: BANDAI NAMCO Entertainment America Inc.
- Developer: Round 8 Studio, NEOWIZ
- Release Date: 2019
Hello and welcome to Honey’s Anime. E3 2019 has finally finished and we are here to report our findings. We were graciously welcomed by Bandai Namco to check out a few titles while at E3, and Bless Unleashed was one of them. We didn’t really get too much hands-on experience with the demo as it was only about 5-7 minutes long but what we did get to see was nothing short of fantastic.
Bless Unleashed is a new fantasy MMORPG that is the first free-to-play game from Bandai Namco Entertainment of America heading to console. It is first going to be released on Xbox One and will cater both to the newcomers and veterans of MMOs alike. In a way, it reminds me of Warhammer: Vermintide. You are taken through a fantastical world of magic and monsters, which has you surviving for your life as you help to tame these monsters in an untamed land. There is a rich backstory to the game told through the character's perspective where they are pitted front and center to uncover divine secrets and defeat an evil goddess from returning to the living world.
Bless Unleashed looks beautiful as it utilizes the Unreal Engine 4 program, with little to no framerate loss—at least to the naked eye—, the gameplay was pleasant and familiar to other MMO games out there. The controls were similar as well but there was an added twist. The right trigger does bring up a separate set of spells and casters to use during your adventures as well as having the normal d-pad functions for other spells and potions to use/consume. The combat mechanics were also familiar and easy to use and when adding the extra set of combo mechanics for seamless and visually entertaining attacks—a nice and interesting new function for an MMORPG—, it really helped keep the immersive experience a veteran MMORPG player needs to stay alive and keep going, especially, the final boss for the demo was a giant Cyclops.
It was nice and challenging having to use and charge up spells while fighting, something that you can do while moving but with very limited movement so you need to choose the time to charge up carefully. You have an HP, Mana, and Spell gauge to keep track of and it is easy to use up your powers quickly. Your defense skills in the demo have you at the highest so you know you’ll have to grind to level up your character, much like any MMO, because at high perks and stats, the demo was rather easy but still, very entertaining.
There are five character classes also known as fantasy jobs, ranging from an arcane wielding Mage to a bloodthirsty Berserker (also Ranger, Priest, and Crusader). We played the Mage and went on our adventure. Being able to use a dodging feature in this 3rd person perspective title was great, and was definitely needed after time to time. We came across two bosses in the demo which their designs were great. They looked evil and scary but also powerful and a force to reckon with. We weren’t sure as to what level of difficulty it was on but it felt like a moderate/medium challenge that was fun and entertaining. If the challenge increases as you progress further into the game or game’s story, then we will be pleasantly happy, we can tell you that for sure.
For Bandai Namco to produce an MMORPG that is not only beautiful and fun but also free-to-play, is something the community needs! You can’t really beat that. The bosses we did face brought enough challenge that death was imminent at least 2-3 times... Not gonna lie but that is us, always Leroy Jenkins it in games! Regardless, the overall experience was great. While further details of the game have not been disclosed yet, we estimate there could be a good 30-40 hours minimum for the story and much more hours if completing side quests and whatnot.
Honey’s Final Verdict
We have to say that Bless Unleashed is on our radar and we really look forward to knowing more about it in the near future. So far, the combat mechanics and the UI for your spells and potions are nicely arranged and easy to use. The bosses were great and being able to add combos to your fighting skills is also something intriguing. The visuals and graphics are wonderfully displayed and the camera movement is smooth and crisp with little to no framerate drops. This stressed the eyes less when playing and it improved our play time and experience visually.
You’re able to upgrade your characters thus, your skills giving you the upper hand later in the game where it counts the most. As far as how many players will be able to join in in a single battle, we do not know yet, but we do know that there will be multiplayer and PvP as well. This seems to be during story missions and separate modes through the game. For a game to Xbox One first, seem like a specific target of consumer whereas the main consumer is on PC. If this is a play anywhere title, then PC gamers have not been forgotten.
Bless Unleashed is from Round 8 Studio and NEOWIZ, and is being published by Bandai Namco Entertainment of America for XBox One coming in 2019—hopefully in Fall.