What is Nosgoth?
What things come to mind when you hear the words “Free to play”? I know I automatically think of a sub-par, less engaging game with the option of microtransactions that usually puts you in a better position when facing other players. Thankfully, what Square Enix is doing with their latest game, Nosgoth breaks all these stereotypes and gives us an experience that we all can enjoy on numerous levels. Based on the lore of the Legacy of Kain series the game is centred on the humans uprising against the vampires that rule over everything. The vampires, brutal at close range melee combat verses the gadgets and crossbow wielding humans, this game is balanced beyond belief even if the two sides aren’t equipped the same.
With no real ranged or projectile attacks the vampires might look like the side at a disadvantage. How do you fight something that can kill you from yards away when you can’t reach them? By simply outsmarting the opponent and luring them closer. This side of the two teams requires a lot more cunning tactics that we rarely see in competitive games. With the ability to climb upon virtually any surface and bound across the tops of buildings these bloodsuckers will always have the height advantage.
The Reaver isn’t like your traditional foot solider class as they alone can break up the formation of a group of humans in many ways. Reavers can ground slam from vantage points that disorientates a cluster of enemies, perfect for an opening attack before having teammates join in picking off their prey. With the ability to charge into your foes as well as the ability to ignore pain giving you up to 75% damage reduction the Reavers are your all rounded fighters.
The Tyrant plays like your larger tank-like class which can take more of a beating but that doesn’t mean you can run directly head on into battle. Though you are fast you’ll find it better to pounce attack onto unsuspecting humans, one of the Tyrants signature moves. Using his evasion perk you can quickly dodge incoming attacks with a damage reduction right after hitting them with a shadow bomb alerting your team where they are for back up.
The Sentinel is the only character with the awesome ability to take off into the air and fly. With this the Sentinel can leap from high ledges and attack in various ways without ever touching the ground again. My favourite moves including kidnapping the humans below and dropping them from a high enough position to damage them as well as a dive bomb on unsuspecting groups stunning those within close proximity.
The Deceiver was my favourite class by far on the vampire’s side as the move set itself is all about misleading then finishing off unsuspecting and clueless enemies. Being able to disguise yourself as the enemy can open up a lot of opportunities for getting up close with a backstabbing kill or even to evade a heated scenario. During the hands on I kept climbing to a vantage point and using the ability to possess and take over the human’s individually just to hear the cries of the other players whilst I lead them away helplessly. It might not have been an offensive move but seeing as this is the only game that I can recall where you can control an opponent it quickly became my favourite pass time activity.
The humans have the ranged advantage in Nosgoth with all their loadouts containing projectiles and gadgets. They can’t climb buildings but this doesn’t stop them from picking off targets waiting to pounce on them from rooftops with their trusty bows and launchers. Human are very effective in coordinated groups and I found that leaving the pack usually got me killed a lot quicker. Strength in numbers applies to this greatly.
The Scout is armed with his bow that you can charge shots with for even more damage as well as quick shots for faster attacks if the situation calls for it. He too can throw knives that can interrupt the enemy’s attack, which is a must if you’re trying to get away. The volley ability rains down arrows from above from the sky that deals with a great area of attack. Great for attacking multiple vampires at once.
The Hunter is the next step up from the Scout but with less accuracy but more firepower. With a crossbow that can fire repeated arrows automatically the downside is that it becomes less accurate after a while. The Hunters has the ability to stun incoming vampires with the Bola that bounds their movement as they become tied momentarily. Great if you want to get the upper hand in a fight or just need to escape quickly.
The Alchemist deals more with an explosive loadout armed with a launcher that fires bombs. The Alchemist can take on multiple foes this way and being armed with the sunlight vial which works as a flashbang and a fire wall, similar to a molotov cocktail spreading fire over a large space she’s not a human to take lightly.
How does it play?
Every match played puts you in control of the Vampires and the Humans equally to keep the game fair. This means in order to succeed you’ll have to successfully climb the walls and jumped onto unsuspecting enemies as the vampires before switching sides and trying not to fall for your own tactics coming back on you as you shoot them playing as the humans. The microtransactions doesn’t put you or the opponent at any advantage just to keep the balance. All the weapons has a plus and negative side so for instance if you choose a bow that deals in a high damage output it’ll take longer to charge up and vice versa. The boosts in the game are there to help players reach a higher level if you don’t fancy the grind but once again it doesn’t put you at an advantage with someone who’s a much lower level than you.
We only had hands on with the Team Deathmatch mode but during the presentation we were told about how Nosgoth plans to go into the competitive e-sports scene where you’ll stick to your preferred character of choice. The game mode and the levels we played was a good enough insight into seeing what’s to expect from this game and I must say it bettered my expectations and has me excited to see how it does on release. I’m a big fan of really balanced multiplayer games and Nosgoth being ranged vs melee works incredibly well and every match played was unique and exciting to see different tactics used.