The land of Nosgoth has always had a rather rich history to it, with five games under it’s belt all well-written and acted as well as ten cancelled proposals throughout it’s history, it’s no surprise to see that a sixth one is just around the corner. What is surprising this time round is this one appears to be entirely multiplayer with no single player aspect at all. This is in stark contrast to the other titles in the Legacy of Kain series. With the disappearance of what initially would have been the sixth game in the series, it appears that Psyonix rather than scrap all the assets for a cancelled project, have opted instead to release Nosgoth. Originally intended to be included as the mutiplayer component for Dead Sun, it seems it is now being developed stand-alone as a free to play multiplayer cooperative game. In light of this news we at Techraptor thought we would give you guys a preview of the closed beta and what’s to come so you too can anticipate the latest entry in a beloved franchise.
At first to the untrained eye, Nosgoth may look like a Left 4 Dead clone in its format and it’s game-play, and while that would be an apt description, it fails to capture the entirety of the beta’s current strengths and weaknesses. The controls start off fairly straight forward in game. You use the W,S,A,D keys as default to move around, while mouse is to look around the map. For the Sarafan Warriors (Humans), left mouse button is shoot, while right mouse button is to aim. Melee for the humans is tied to the scroll button and you have two different abilities tied to separate cool-downs on the Q and F buttons. All the Vampires in Nosgoth are forced to melee but also have a wide variety of abilities that give them an advantage.
There are four classes on either side with at least two more planned and depending which one you choose, you may take a more supportive role in game-play rather than offensive. The human “Hunter” is a pretty straightforward offensive class dealing damage via his auto-repeating crossbow and explosive arrows, while the human “Alchemist” is sort of the panic button of the group. Her makeshift hand cannon provides ammunition of a more volatile and less accurate variety while she lays down firewall traps and can even blind the vamps should they get too close for comfort. The human “Prophet” uses spells that either constrict and hold the enemy, or she can also be used as the groups healer in a pinch but be warned, this also makes her quite squishy and needing protection often. The last class to compliment this team is the scout who can rain down a torrent of hellish pain upon the vampires should they get caught in it’s radius.
With the Vampires, things are a little more complex regarding classes and game-play as they are for the most part melee based. The Vampire “Reaver” is an effective shock trooper, not really designed for all out combat with more than two humans against him. Much like the Hunter from the Left 4 Dead series he is the element of surprise. The often vaunted tank of the vampires, the “Tyrant” is actually surprisingly weak on it’s own when going toe to toe with humans. His right mouse button ability allows you to charge at the humans and is a quick way to become paste if you assault them solo. The next class, the “Deceiver” seems to take a page from Team Fortress 2’s book as he has an ability that when activated with the right mouse button he can assume the appearance of any one of the human classes. This allows him to blend in with the team as long as one of them is off in another part. This brings us to the fourth and regrettably final class of the Vampires, the “Sentinel”. She can fly and swoop down to grab enemies. She also has a surprising amount of health and is one of the more overpowered classes.
You can switch skills that you may purchase from the store through Rune (real currency) or through the in-game currency of gold. You can purchase them for a day to use or even a week if you’re strapped for cash and if you’re really flash you can even buy them permanent. The game also cycles certain perks that you can equip after purchasing as well as giving access to a “daily perk” for those who can’t afford their own. This provides you with one free perk each day completely free. Gold can be used to buy new skills, weapons, skins, and new perks. Sadly there are currently only two ways to unlock new classes. You can either grind through the game as every five levels hands you an artifact item that can be used to purchase a class for free, or you may buy them outright with Rune.
There is a mode that you can gain access to once you hit level 10 called siege. This version has the humans holding specific points while the vampires fight to prevent them acquiring the position. I actually had access to this from level five onward for some reason but I know for a fact you’re not supposed to have it til level ten. Which brings me to the next point regarding glitches and control issues. When walking up a wall as a vamp I found myself often getting stuck on a while falling and climbing back up repeatedly before a human would come around and take care of me while stuck. There are also balancing issues against each team. both the Sentinel and the scout’s special abilities really feel unfair. The game is fun but often you will find yourself pointlessly dying unless your team is decent.
Nosgoth is also prone to freezing and severe disconnects should you try to play outside your region. When playing I had an immense amount of latency but I should point out I was joining US games from Australia so this may not be inherent for everyone. The matchmaking leaves a lot to be desired but they are aware of this issue and it will be fixed in the next patch according to the notes. The game is still in closed beta at the time of writing this so this does not represent the final product I must stress. I must say though at this current stage and as an avid fan of the Legacy of Kain series I am looking forward to more games being populated once it goes open beta, as there’s only a select few players each day. All in all though I would have to say that Nosgoth accomplishes what it wants to quite well with a small amount of nagging issues. The release date for Nosgoth has still yet to be announced and these issues will probably be ironed out by the time the two new character classes are released. I advise anyone who can get a key to try out Nosgoth.