In 2018, our busy hive here at Honey's Anime were given an amazing action MMORPG to review: Soulworker, by Korean developer Lion Games and Publisher Gameforge. We mostly had positive experiences with it and recommended many fans of action games give it a try, but the contract between both companies came to an end and the game servers were shut down. A few months ago, Lion Games re-launched the game! Let's dive back into this epic anime-themed title one more time to review what has changed and if we still can recommend this ambitious game!
Those Gorgeous Anime Visuals Still Stun!
Hands down, one of the major selling points for SoulWorker, even though it is free to play, is the visuals. Assuming most of you reading are anime fans—obviously, since you’re here at Honey’s Anime—SoulWorker feels like an anime in game form. Characters have beautiful designs, action effects look super stylish, and cutscenes could be ripped straight from an anime series! Obviously, visuals are just one small element for any game and, usually, aren’t good enough alone. Nonetheless, SoulWorker is just fantastic to look at, and we love its art style. Plus, oppai fans will love SoulWorker even more than most!
Excellent Action Combat
Gamers who have played titles like Genshin Impact or Honkai Impact 3rd will feel right at home with the action elements in SoulWorker. While there is a bit more nuance to combat than slamming the same buttons over and over—this is an MMO, after all—combat is a treat in SoulWorker. Aside from the plethora of different moves at your arsenal, SoulWorker also has 9 character classes to choose from, and all feel and play very different.
Erwin Arclight is the gunslinger-focused character of SoulWorker and still is one of our favorites to use. Unlike the melee-focused Jin Seipatsu—who is also extremely fun—Erwin is like mixing Bayonetta with Genshin Impact. Players will do insane gun-fu combos and watch damage mount as they unleash bullet upon bullet on the various enemies. If you want something completely different than normal, you can also choose Stella Unibell, who literally uses a guitar and shreds her opponents with her ballads! Combat is fun and can be quite different depending on your character of choice in SoulWorker. We highly recommend trying them all out for a few hours before making one of them your main!
MMO Woes Repeated
SoulWorker isn't perfect. Sadly, this updated global release still has the same issues the original contained, in the form of MMORPG tropes. Be prepared, folks; SoulWorker might have some stylish enemies and bosses, but those same enemies will be fought a few dozen times, especially in the early hours. Likewise, quests typically follow the same 2 rules: 'go here and kill that,' or 'collect a specific number of X item.' These quests can become quite tiring even with allies, which hinders the replayability of SoulWorker for those not accustomed to MMORPGs.
Another major issue that most MMORPGs like SoulWorker share is the repetitiveness of gameplay. Combat can be flashy, and visuals will stun, but both can become a bit beat after several hours of gameplay. Missions rarely change—as we noted above—which means to level up and become stronger, you'll be slogging through the same challenges for hours. Unless they are large, like World of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2, MMOs almost always suffer from this design flaw, so we don't really feel SoulWorker is worse for having MMO themes.
Customization Equals Money
Want to look your sharpest and coolest in SoulWorker? Well, that won’t be an easy task to accomplish without shelling out some real-world currency. Like most free-to-play games, SoulWorker hides a lot of customization and in-game items behind a paywall. We aren’t reviewing SoulWorker negatively because of this, though; we just always feel a need to remind gamers that F2P has minor restrictions. You don’t really need to spend money in SoulWorker, but you will notice that money is required for some of the higher-themed items in-game.
SoulWorker hasn't really changed a lot in these last three years, and that is both a blessing and a curse. In our original review, we praised many elements of SoulWorker. Even now, we still stand behind our initial thoughts that SoulWorker looks good, plays well but can be a bit repetitive. Nevertheless, SoulWorker is a fun free-to-play title and could have an impressive lifespan if the developers release continuous expansions/events.