WildStar, a game from NCSOFT (the same NCSOFT that a couple of years ago released Guild Wars 2), is a title that catches your eye with its ‘Jak and Daxter’ art style. You think by sight alone it’s a soft, humor-based, game with some light action RPG elements, but people that’s only the tip. This game is an awesomely packed onion with layers upon layers of content, challenges, customizable creativity, and yes even character cruelty. There’s more than meets the eye here people, in fact I dare say that even gamers who don’t like the standard MMO game might be interested in what this game offers.
So as per the MMO usual players will have their choice between ‘The Exiles’ (Chaotic good) and ‘The Dominion’ (Lawful evil) in which they are fighting over the mysterious planet of Nexus which holds more dangers than both groups realize. Each group has their own races to choose from. Classes and ‘Paths’ (Jobs outside of your class) are all available to both factions (although there are Class restrictions to some non-human races). After an obligatory tutorial on either the Destiny or the Gambler’s Ruin (depending on your faction) you’ll land on the planet and the real game begins. Combat is very action & skill oriented, using ‘telegraphs’ players (and enemies) can line-up their attacks to their opponents and light them up – auto attacks don’t exist in WildStar. The Paths will keep you very busy as well because they give players a wide variety of tasks to accomplish for their faction, yourself, and sometimes other players. Challenges also exist in WildStar and they can be active by killing something or interacting with an object. All this, and the usual questing, crafting, PVPing you can want.
And that, my friends, is the main strength of the game: number of things to do. Most MMOs, even the best ones, are very straight forward and somewhat predictable. WildStar excels at ‘choosing your own adventure’ and even rewards you for going off the beaten path. Sure things start off with fetch quests and grinding but the deeper you get into Nexus the more epic your adventure becomes. Secret events, alternate paths, hidden treasures, non-quest related elite enemies, challenges of skills, way, way, more are available outside main story. In fact this game is so fully loaded that it would take me several more pages highlighting in great detail how this game breaks the mold – and it’s all good. So anything that’s bad with WildStar? Sadly yes.
For one; people with AMD Radeon graphic cards, like myself, are subjected to less than stellar frame rates (put the graphic on low to get some playing done). Also the game doesn’t like to save configuration options when you change them, so every time you log out you’ll have to redo those setting over & over again. These problem are annoying but NCSOFT patches things constantly (gold farmers and spam is almost a thing of the past thanks to past patches) so I’ll give them the benefit of a doubt. The biggest miss of the game, non-bug related, is the player’s part in the WildStar story. The Old Republic’s storytelling is amazing, because it makes players seem like the most important character in the game. No matter the class, the storyline for that class puts you front & center in the Star Wars universe as the next force (mind the pun) to reckon with – and doing that in a game of thousands is impress. WildStar doesn’t have that; it has every else going for it, but I can’t help but feel like I’m just some NPC’s gofer.
WildStar doesn’t disappoint, it was everything it advertised and then some. Seriously I didn’t even talk about the five man VR missions with multiple endings, players housing with insane amount of customization, costumes for your characters (with dyeing options), crafting that actually takes some skill (or luck) to craft the good stuff, sharing elite quest kills without being group together, PVP that actually pretty balanced and doesn’t make the warrior a walking p0wn target, and the even more still. If only the graphic cards and options hiccups weren’t here the game would be perfect software wise. As for the story and our place in it, well, WildStar is more about the journey than the destination and trust me there are a lot of journeys on the planet Nexus. Speaking of which – if you’ll excuse me I’m going to set my personal record of licking a toad, break gravity, and try to lick more toads in the tall tree house of bunnies.