Throne and Liberty is a promising MMORPG, but we want to see more
Between New World and Lost Ark, Amazon Games have certainly made a name for themselves with the number of MMOs the company has continued to launch over the last few years - and the company has only continued to announce more projects ever since. One of those projects is Throne & Liberty, a collaboration between NCSoft and Amazon Games; with some of its headlining features being a world with a focus on verticality, the ability to shapeshift into both animals and fallen bosses, a focus on a dynamic environment, and large-scale battles.
It's all promising on paper; yet our hands-on session with the game merely comprised of the game's on-rails, opening segment - with very few of those systems truly making an appearance during the duration of our preview. We did get the opportunity to create our character, and go over some of the options that players will be able to toy with come the game's release; character creators, especially in MMOs, have gotten incredibly deep in the last few years, and Throne & Liberty's didn't seem to disappoint, although due to the nature of our timed session, we were unable to spend too long creating our character.
Once in-game, combat is a fairly standard tab-targeting affair, with a small twist. Occasionally enemies will start charging an especially strong attack, which will be signified by an icon over the enemy that will eventually have a ring overlap the borders of said icon; if you activate your weapon classes' dodge/block button at the right time, not only can you greatly reduce or negate the damage of the attack, but in some cases it will even give you a charge for an especially strong counterattack. Everything else about the combat was basic cooldowns; you can have up to 2 weapons equipped to change between different movesets, but this also wasn't available in our preview session.
To be frank, it's always a difficult task previewing an MMO - doubly so in a setting where you'll only be able to have about half an hour to acquaint yourself with it all. Most MMO players are far more interested in how a game will feel at the mid to late game, and it's fundamentally impossible for us to get a feel for those aspects of the experience in such a limited timeframe, where most - if not all - of what we'll experience is the very beginning of your character's journey.
Which is to say; Throne & Liberty looks interesting, and we're curious to see how all of its purported features will hash out at the endgame. How will weather actively impact the world, and how you approach combat? What abilities will transforming into bosses grant you, and what is the process of attaining these transformations? There's a lot that, on paper, seems like it should lead to an interesting and engaging MMORPG, but what was actually playable to us was barely even a taste of those systems.
Considering that Throne & Liberty is a free-to-play MMORPG, that's fine. There's promise here, but whether that promise is delivered on? We'll have to wait and see.