Dragon Nest, developed by Eyedentity Games, is the latest free-to-play action game from Nexon, the same publisher that gave us Maple Story and Vindictus. The game combines fast paced action with an intriguing story and pulls it all together with a bright stylistic look.
Dragon Nest will offer four classes: Warrior, Archer, Cleric, and Sorceress. Each class has its own set of moves and abilities and as characters get higher in level, they can branch out into different subclasses. The max level is 40, but for our demo I was given a cute little level 14 Warrior.
The first thing I noticed about the game was its art style. The game uses a charming, cel-shaded, anime-esque style and all of the enemies were pretty adorable as well. My miniature Warrior fought with a sword (which was way too big for his tiny body), so to engage an enemy, I just had to run up and attack. The game is all in real-time, so after a few clicks of the mouse, the enemies died. All of my attacks were instant, and I had a number of abilities like a dash strike that knocked enemies back, an area of effect attack that could hit multiple enemies, and other various Warrior things ("things" being a technical term for "stuff").
According to the developers, later in the game, characters will be able to perform air combos and use abilities to dodge aerial attacks. We weren't at a high enough level to make use of those abilities, so anytime we were knocked in the air by a tornado, we just had to sit in it.
I ran through one short cave dungeon with a group of three others, and it was pretty easy. You can play Dragon Nest by yourself or with a party, but to get the best items, you'll need some friends. Each dungeon has five difficulty levels, and the game rates you on how well you defeat the level. Depending on things like how fast you complete the dungeon or what optional side quests you opt to do, you'll be graded and receive better items based on your rating.
Dragon Nest is free, so it will use a micro-transaction model just like all Nexon games. Since the game has been out for a while overseas, there will already be a huge variety of weapons and costumes to buy for your characters to make them look as precious or as deadly as you want once the game launches
Dragon Nest will be available for the PC this summer.