2015.02.09 update: This game made our Top 5 PC games of 2014 list!
WildStar is a brand new Sci-Fi MMORPG by Carbine Studios. If you haven’t heard of WildStar, shame on you. It has been one of the most entertaining and rewarding MMO experiences I have ever had. While reviewing every single aspect of WildStar would be great, it would also take forever (I haven’t even hit late game yet). So for the purpose of this review, I will be giving you information based on my game experiences thus far and touch on the features that make this game so good. Due to the vastness of the WildStar galaxy (literally), one review just isn’t enough. Which is why I’m splitting this review into two parts: character creation and gameplay. A game this epic needs an equally epic review.
When creating a character in WildStar you must first choose your faction/race. In WildStar there are two different factions. Essentially a Good vs. Evil type set-up. You can be part of The Dominion (my personal favorite) or The Exiles.
The Dominion are a powerful empire founded by the Eldan (an ancient, advanced race that disappeared long ago) that claims Nexus, the planet WildStar takes place on, as its rightful legacy.
The Dominion races are as follows:
- Cassian – A privileged human race who are wealthy, disciplined and superior.
- Mechari – A terrifying robotic race who are calculating, efficient and remorseless.
- Draken – A savage demonic/dragon looking race who are brutal and live for battle.
- Chua – A deceptively cute rabbit/hamster looking race who are tiny, brilliant and psychotic.
The Exiles are a gutsy group of outcasts and mercenaries who have come to Nexus to find a new home.
The Exile races are as follows:
- Humans – A scruffy human race full of renegades, outcasts and rednecks.
- Granok – A race rock-skinned warriors who are fearless, homeless and hungover.
- Aurin – A forest dwelling fox race full of small and scrappy tree-huggers.
- Mordesh – A morose race of space zombies who are intellectual, diseased and decomposing.
The race you choose determines a few things that impact your game: Your faction (of course), your starting locations and your class. Not all races have the option to be all the classes and there are no racial traits/abilities so far. I myself chose the Mechari because they look awesome and could be the class I wanted to be. Speaking of classes!
Warrior – Power Sword | Arm Cannon | Brute Force: Armed to the teeth with the ability to fearlessly wade into battles with multiple enemies, warriors are unstoppable juggernauts of brutality and combat! This is your general…well, warrior class, with the added weapon of an arm cannon. Super fun class and REALLY powerful. The arm cannon adds an interesting twist to the class that sets apart the WildStar Warrior to other MMO warrior classes.
Spellslinger – Mag Pistols | Magic Sigils | Acrobatic: Maverick aces of the run and gun, Spellslingers use their lightning reflexes, quick-draw skills and arcane sorcery to dispense frontier justice with a vengeance! The “gun mage” of WildStar, Spellslingers are able to move around the battlefield with ease and wreck havoc with their mag pistols.
Esper – Psy-Blade | Benevolent Illusions | Terrifying Nightmares: Masters of psionic illusion, Espers use the power of their minds to conjure deadly apparitions and extrasensory weaponry. I have yet to make an Esper, but I can tell you that they are the closest thing to a traditional mage in WildStar. If casting spells and conjuring weapons are your thing, definitely pick-up the Esper.
Engineer – Launcher | Bots | Exo-Suit: Decked out in mechanical armor, Engineers unleash destructive long-range attacks while deploying a powerful posse of bots in battle. Engineers are the pet users of WildStar. They command an assortment of mean looking bots to tank and attack enemies. Their primary weapon, the launcher, is equally terrifying.
Stalker – Claws | Devices | Nano-Skin: Silent but deadly assassins, Stalkers use advanced stealth technologies to stalk and painfully eviscerate their foes. As the “rogue” class of WildStar, Stalkers can go invisible and sneak around the battlefield. Capable of dealing high spikes of damage in seconds, the Stalker should be your choice is you are a fan of stealth and killing things quickly.
Medic – Resonators | Fields | Probes: Specializing in battlefield support, Medics use their arsenal of gadgets to heal their friends and liquidate their enemies. Don’t let the name full you though. Medics are as equally adept at dishing out high sustained damage as they are at supporting their allies.
I chose to create a Mechari Medic. I’m a fan of healing, support and utility abilities, so the Medic seemed like the best option for me. Plus I liked the idea of creating a ruthless, cold and calculating heal bot. Once you select your race and class, you have one more thing to choose – your path.
Carbine Studios did something right when they created paths. Everyone is a fan of something in MMOs, whether its PVP, crafting, exploring the environment, PVE, the list goes on. In WildStar your path determines your side quests and extra missions which are based on four different aspects of MMOs, as well as give your character three (or four if you’re a Settler) path-related abilities.
Explorer – Brave the wilderness and discover the unknown.
- Explorers are masters of exploration. If you’re a fan of exploring game environments and trying to get places others can’t (especially high ones), the Explorer path is for you.
- Explorer missions include: Cartography, Expedition, Scavenger Hunt, Surveillance, Exploration, Operations, Staking Claim and Tracking.
- Explorer abilities include: Explorer’s Safe Fall, Air Brakes and Translocate Beacon.
Soldier – Slaughter your enemies and conquer territory!
- The Soldier path is pretty straightforward. Soldiers are all about fighting. So if PVE is your thing, the Solider is the path for you.
- Soldier missions include: Assassination, Rescue OPs, Demolition, Swat, and “Holdout” missions where the Soldier must conquer, strike first, provide security and protect different locations throughout the game.
- Soldier abilities include: Back into the Fray, Bail Out! and Combat Supply Drop.
Settler – Tame the land and expand your influence.
- The Settler path is an interesting path that revolves around collecting resources. As Settlers travel across Nexus they will find materials that can be picked up and used at “Settler Depot Station.” These depot stations allow the Settler to expend the materials they found and create an assortment of buff stations for all players. Not only that, but each area has levels of development. A highly developed area has features a lesser developed area does not have, such as a hoverbike station, where players can rent hoverbikes to get around faster.
- Settler missions include: Expansion, Civil Defense, Supply Cache, Infrastructure and Public Service.
- Settler abilities include: Settler’s Campfire, Summon: Mail Box, Summon: Vendbot and Summon: Crafting Station.
Scientist – Study the world and unlock secrets!
- The Scientist path is perhaps the most unique path in my opinion. It focuses on scanning various objects and enemies around Nexus using a Scanbot. As you scan things you learn about their lore and background on Nexus. But there’s more to it than that. Sometimes you’ll scan a flower only to learn that it’s really a creature and it will try and attack you. Using the Scanbot you can also hack and reprogram a surprisingly large amount of tech on Nexus, turning them against your enemies.
- Scientist missions include: Analysis, Archaeology, Biology, Botany, Catalog, Chemistry, Diagnostics and Field Study.
- Scientist abilities include: Holographic Distraction, Summon Group and Create Portal – Capital City.
I opted to go with a Settler because I’ve always enjoyed collecting resources in other MMOs and thought the abilities (summoning all the things) looked useful.
That covers character creation. Now you’re ready to go and explore Nexus! But what awaits on the planet? What of the combat? The dungeons! The RAIDS!?!?! (Hardcore). I discuss all of that and so much more in the second part of this epic review of galactic proportions. Look for it next week right here on TVGB!!!