Vampires Vs Humans – what’s not to like?
Nosgoth, from Psyonix and Square Enix, is a free-to-play, 4v4 competitive title that is loosely based within the world of Legacy of Kain. The excitement of Kain fans that a new title was in development for the popular series may well have waned since the Nosgoth was actually revealed, but it has perhaps been replaced by the realisation that although Nosgoth may be a Legacy of Kain game in title only, behind that is a surprisingly varied and incredibly tense multiplayer experience that is well worth playing.
Nosgoth is in closed beta and on Steam Early Access at the moment, so is in no way finished and new features are being added regularly. But that doesn’t mean that the game which pits vampires against humans is anything less than great fun to play.
Nosgoth feels very much like two separate games for each match. On the one side, the player will join a team of four humans that have, with no regard for their personal safety, decided to hunt vampires over something a bit less dangerous, such as fluffy rabbits. It is here that tactics and teamplay are essential, with humans at their best staying together as they wander the map, waiting for vampires to strike. With their feet firmly on the ground and armed with ranged weapons, the humans will find themselves the potential prey for the most part, and will have to find shrines at which to pray for healing.
There are four different classes for the player to choose from as a human, although the free-to-play nature of the game dictates that not all are available until the player parts with some real world cash, picks up a Founders Pack or spends at least some time playing the actual game. Hunters, prophets, Alchemists and Scouts each bring different skills to the game, with each class not only handling differently, but also having access to different abilities. Basic attacks may be similar and readily available, but abilities are on a timer which limits their use and makes each class truly unique, giving them a role on the battlefield.
Playing as the humans is great fun, but can feel similar to many other multiplayer games that are around at the moment. However, halfway through the match, players swap sides and when it comes time to play as a vampire, things are very different.
Although Nosgoth is very well balanced and the outcome of a match is by no means a certainty, playing as a vampire is undoubtedly where the fun is. As a vampire, you can stalk the enemy as a lone wolf (or bat?), climbing walls and running along roof tops or hiding in shadows. You can heal by drinking the blood of your victims. Hell, you can even fly if you choose the right class. There is power in being a vampire.
Again, there are four classes, and again the players choice is limited to begin with. But the four vampire classes are more substantially different from the humans. Tyrants tank their way through the match, Reavers bring swift death to humans that have wandered from the pack, Sentinels take to the sky and Deceivers play with the minds of their enemies. Playing as a vampire is an exhilarating experience.
Progressive playing will lead to leveling up and rewards, some of which can be spent in the game store for various unlocks or buffs. Although limited to Team Deathmatch at the beginning, players will eventually unlock the location capturing Siege mode, and there are sure to be more play modes released before the game actually launches.
Nosgoth is a lot of fun to play, although it has to be said that the vampire half of each match is more enjoyable than playing as a human. However, the switching nature of each match does at least force players to master their chosen class on each side of the fence.
Nosgoth looks great, with very atmospheric maps that fit in with the oppressive theme. It is a dark game, which I know some players are not keen on. The controls are fairly standard, but they do feel a little twitchy, which can be off-putting for the more thoughtful player. That being said, Nosgoth is perhaps not really the game for thoughtful.
Nosgoth is still in closed beta at the moment, so everything could change. However, as it stands right now, Nosgoth is a highly enjoyable multiplayer experience with some interesting ideas. It is not breaking the boundaries of multiplayer gaming and does feel like a multiplayer mode to a full single player game. But Nosgoth is free to play and has already built a strong community, and so far does not seem to be “pay-to-win”, which is always a concern when it comes to free to play games. Whether you yearn to hunt dirty vampires or simply want to drink virtual blood, Nosgoth is great fun and worth checking out.
If your crossbow is ready and you have sharpened your fangs, you can grab a key for the Nosgoth closed beta at the GGUK Nosgoth Beta Key Giveaway.