WildStar is an action MMORPG that combines both fantasy and science-fiction into one overall experience. Originally released on the PC on the 3rd June 2014, the game used to have a subscription-based model, but was later changed to be completely F2P for anyone who wanted to play the game for themselves. Developed by Carbine Studios and published by NCSoft, WildStar has been going strong for over 4 years now but should be noted that the game is set for permanent closure on the 28th November 2018 – meaning that if you want to play the game, you had best play it now!
Wildstar Review – 30 days before closure
When it comes to WildStar, the overall aesthetics for the game are quite nicely done. In some areas, it has to be said that the game does look dated to some regard. For instance, some environments are really lacking the sort of attention to detail that you’d want out of an expansive and sprawling MMORPG. Where it lacks, it more than makes up for with its visual style which makes use of bright and vibrant colours to make many areas of the game pop visually overall.
The animations aren’t overly impressive but look pretty nice for the most part. Almost all animations in the game – at least in the form of attacks – are followed up by a bright explosion of colour and particle effects, all to make the general combat much more interesting to watch and enjoy.
Just like any MMORPG ever, character creation is a key component of the entire game and starts out just like World of Warcraft, where you must pick a side. The sides available to you are the Exiles or the Dominion, acting like an Alliance and Horde situation, where depending on which side you pick, you can choose from 4 different races for each. While there aren’t any racial bonuses for the races available to you, you’ll be pleased to know that there are really only 2 out of the 8 races that are simply just humans. The rest of the 6 are unique humanoids, one of which is a race of mechanised killing machines.
After picking the race, you can select a class, ranging from ranged and melee. Depending on the race you choose, there are only certain classes available to them. Not all of them have some classes locked away, whereas others most certainly do. Once you’ve picked a class, you can change your characters facial structure, along with some of its features, along with their overall body type. Unfortunately, some of the creativity has been stripped away by the fact that hair, facial hair, facial type, and body type are all pre-set, so you only have a limited amount of options to pick and choose from.
In terms of overall gameplay, WildStar hasn’t done too much in the way of variety in terms of general gameplay, whereas the combat is a little bit different than you’d expect. Starting off with the general gameplay, you explore the world around you, taking quests, picking up gear, levelling up; the usual MMORPG motif that you’ve more than likely done multiple times by now. Mounts are thankfully a common aspect of the game and makes traversing the world a little bit easier than just walking and there is even a version of fast travel, allowing you to return to certain areas in a quick few moments – but at a price.
The combat in the game is very much that of a hot-bar MMO but it’ in an action-based system. When you press a button on your keyboard, your character will perform the assigned skill and deal damage to whatever enemy is in their way. With a myriad of different skills, the combat ends up being quite action-packed with plenty of variety in the attacks, allowing you to alternate and create your own combo of attacks, not that those personal combo’s do anything in-game, other than feeling satisfying to pull off. Enemies tend to have a lot of attacks that are clearly telegraphed by a highlighted red area to show where that attack is about to land. You can move around at your own free will to move out of the highlighted area or you can simply double-tap one of the directional keys to dodge out of the way. A nice part about the combat is that you can go through complete fights without ever taking a point of damage, just for knowing how your character plays.
As you level up in the game, you’ll unlock new skills to add to your hot-bar, of which you can personally mix and match as you desire. Unfortunately, you can only have so many different skills on your hot-bar before it becomes full, at which point if you want to try out some different skills, you’ll have to assign them to a new skill set. At any point, you can switch out your hot-bar skill set to another assigned set, depending on whenever you need it most.
One thing that everyone seems to be in agreement with when it comes to WildStar is the microtransactions of the game. As it turns out, there is absolutely no content that you have to pay any type of monetary expense for. Instead, the only things you can purchase on the in-game store is purely cosmetic, so if you wish to support the developers you certainly can, but that’s completely up to you. The only real item you can purchase a little earlier than getting it naturally is a mount, but at the end of the day, a mount isn’t required to get far in the game and before too long you’ll be acquiring one for yourself anyway.
In conclusion, WildStar is a fun and interesting take on the MMORPG genre, without changing too much to make it seem unrecognisable to the average player. Some of the environments aren’t all that interesting, but the combat tends to make up for that and the fact that the game has no P2W features in the slightest makes it much nicer to play as a purely casual fan of the game.
Despite all of this, WildStar is still set for permanent shutdown on the 28th November, 2018, so regardless of how enjoyable the game really is, it is still sadly set for closure soon.