The Rift is the next generation breaking MMO game that has the potential to overtake World of Warcraft (WoW for short) and change the standard for the MMO gaming world. But I am going to state right now that in no way am I going to mark the score down for using elements from other MMO's since that is the only way MMO's can truly change and evolve (for the better).
The Rift is a game similar to WoW, but in all ways better. The graphics are very beautifully done for instance, and actually require you to have a decent graphics card to even play it. Meaning even at the lowest settings, the game looks like something that should be on a PS3 or Xbox 360, something WoW really lacks.
The story behind The Rift is pretty much an uprising against a tyrant who is defeated, then as the coward he is, tries to use a machine that is suppose to harness the magick of dragons, but since you cannot harness a dragons powers, it backfires and causes tears in the sky called "Rifts" which can appear anywhere at anytime and change the landscape drastically, along with summoning the undead and other monstrosities to come and kill you.
Some elements of WoW have been used in The Rift, or inspired by it, like the death sequences, though they did change it up a bit. You can either wait and re-spawn in the same spot where you died (which you can only do once per hour), or spawn as a spirit at a shrine and run back to your body, or just spawn right there at the shrine with an hp/mp, and exp penalty, just like the penalty in WoW.
The combat mechanics of the game are similar to that of WoW's where you have a skill bar at the bottom of the screen where you place your skills, which are then activated by the 1-0 number keys, all pretty self-explanatory. The Rift also uses a unique combo system I have not seen in another MMO for a long time. When you strike an enemy with a skill, a skull will appear next to the enemies portrait, up to a total of 5-6 skulls, and the more you let those skulls build up, the more damage a skill will do if it utilizes the skulls. An example would be a rogue finishing skill, you build up the combo skulls and do a finishing skill move and the total amount of your damage is amplified for each skull you have built up (A bit confusing I know).
The tutorial in this game is so-so, just text popping up telling you what to do, and if your someone who is impatient (like me) you will probably skip over some important information, which is more of a personal problem than anything else, moving on.
There are from what I have been told, hundreds of quests, so you will have no trouble keeping yourselves busy. The quests consist mainly of reading some story told by an NPC about the war and what is happening and then having the task of going to kill a certain amount of monsters then returning for an award, the standard for all MMOs' apparently.
There are 7 sub-classes to each main class, which are called souls. I will try to explain this to the best of my ability, but even I didn't quite understand it at first either. The souls you use are pretty much your sub-classes. For example if you want to be an rogue assassin you go and absorb the soul of an assassin warrior (a trainer of sorts) and you can have up to 3 souls, meaning you can have 3 sub-classes of one class. For instance all classes have 7 sub-classes meaning you can have up to 3 different souls representing 3 of those sub-classes. Since I am a rogue, I went with assassin, I also absorbed the souls of a Blade Dancer, and a Rift Stalker. This is very confusing so bare with me!
The Rift also has it's own version of a class tree, where for every level, you get a point you can place in your talent tree to make skills stronger and to unlock new skills for said sub-class, remember you can have up to 3 souls! so you may have to think carefully about where you want to put your points!
Like World of Warcraft The Rift is an open world, where no loading takes place and everything transitions smoothly through environments just like WoW is most known for.
Though for the steep price of $50 dollars and a reoccurring $15 dollar a month subscription fee I cannot say I will be getting this game since I am currently hooked on Dungeons and Dragons Online Unlimited. But for the current price and subscription fee it is a bit more expensive than a regular WoW expansion pack of 20-40 dollars but this game definitely deserves the money!
"The Rift" looks very promising for a game still in it's beta testing phase, and I cannot wait see the finished product.
Overall NightmareStudioz approves of The Rift, and it is highly recommended as an alternative to WoW especially since this game is still in it's beta testing phase and shows such promise, and will no doubtingly overtake WoW as the largest game played in the MMO gaming industry.
This review has been written and brought to you by Cody Sparks Owner of NightmareStudioz.