We got to spend some time with Nosgoth at PAX East a few months ago and while it looked gorgeous, Andi felt it was a bit imbalanced, favoring the vampires to the humans. The game has been in closed beta since then, and that added time tinkering with it has greatly improved how it feels when playing the different factions.
The game looks as gorgeous as ever. It’s played in a third-person perspective, and you can see almost every detail of your character. Standard attacks and special abilities all look great and the map we played on was very well put together. Area of effect attacks all have their own sparkly visuals and you can tell how much damage you’re doing by how much gore spurts out.
I was put on one of the teams of four, in a quick match of best of three rounds. When you jump in the game, you select from the different classes available to each faction. At the end of each round, your team switches factions. I started off as a human, dual-wielding flintlock pistols. The gameplay is as polished as ever, with even a novice mouse and keyboard player like myself able to hold my own.
The humans are all equipped with ranged weapons and have abilities that allow them to stun targets, hold them in place, or do area of effect damage. Spread throughout the level are stations that refill your health and ammo if you’re ever running low. The main advantage the humans have over the vampires is the ability to sprint, which can come in handy when enemies close in on you.
Vampires are all melee classes and can’t sprint; to make up for that, they are all able to leap around and traverse the map by climbing ledges and, in the case of one class, even fly. Vampire abilities tend to lean towards either charging towards a target or confusing them with duplicates or smoke. You would think that only being able to melee attack would be a disadvantage but when you slowly regain health all the time, you can feel confident in taking a few hits before closing the distance. Vampires can also Execute downed Humans to gain back a big chunk of health, but are vulnerable in the few seconds it takes, so you want to make sure there are no enemies around.
The two factions seem much more fairly balanced this time around. At no point was I ever frustrated with how cheap or underpowered any of the characters felt. If I couldn’t climb up ledges and leap off towers as a vampire, I could sprint around and blast away at a distance as a human. The different classes were also more balanced, making it easy to find a certain class’ counter.
Nosgoth, while still in closed beta, is coming along nicely. Every month sees the release of a new map and class. The Vampires have one more class than the Humans do but the final version of the game will see those numbers evened out. I asked how much longer the developers felt that it would be in beta and when the final product would roll out and was told “Soon.” A console release isn’t planned but if the demand is there, a developer told me that they would make it happen.
I had a blast playing this game and if this is how polished it is while still in beta, the finished game should be amazing. You can sign up for the closed beta here and take a dive back into the Legacy of Kain universe.