When I was invited to check out Echo of Soul at the Aeria Games headquarters in Berlin, I wasn’t sure what to think. I hadn’t heard much about the game prior to the presentation, except that it was being developed by Nvius and would make its way to Europe and North America from Korea this year. While I’ve tried many different MMORPGs over the years and have spent many hours researching the genre as a whole, Korean games have never really struck a chord with me personally. Prejudices aside, I started playing Echo of Soul with a clean slate - and here’s my first look at the free-to-play MMO!
There are no real surprises when it comes to Echo of Soul - and that’s okay. You create a character and are thrown into a world that’s threatened to be taken over by evil forces. Naturally, you become the chosen one, the one expected to rise to the occasion, to save the day - but not before gaining a few levels, training new skills and completing dozens of perilous quests. The free-to-play title is set in a vast universe that's split into different parts, each influenced by a different theme. From underwater worlds to apocalyptic wastelands: There's something to please everyone's eyes, it seems. And the graphics sure are pretty!
Apart from the usual "Kill 10 demons here" and "Collect 8 Items there" quests, players will have plenty to do once Echo of Soul transitions into open beta and inches closer to its actual release over the next weeks. What's there to do, you ask? Dungeon runs for instance that can either be tackled solo or with friends. Raids, too, are available and challenge the bit more advanced players to take on boss monsters in tricky strategy battles.
The character selection offers an array of different classes, each with customizable subclasses that focus on tanking, healing or simply dishing out damage. It's important to keep in mind that all characters are gender-locked as well.
Echo of Soul follows a free-to-play business model and has an in-game shop that only offers cosmetic fluff and convenience items. No pay-to-win game changers, says Aeria Games. Souls and other crafting ingredients are collected along the way, making it possible for all players to adjust traits and really give their characters a certain edge to show off on the battlefield. Decking a character out in the best gear possible will not only be essential in PvE adventures though, as Echo of Soul also allows players to compete against each other in duels, arena battles, guild wars or large scale events. Yay for PvP!
Echo of Soul is currently in closed beta and will soon launch open beta testing, preparing for the game's eventual release.