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Rift review

Barry de la Rosa
21 Mar 2011
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
24
inc VAT

An ambitious take on the classic swords-and-sorcery MMORPG, Rift could be the game that topples Warcraft from top spot.

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You may not have heard of Rift - it snuck up on us with little fanfare - but it's one of the most ambitious games we've come across. It seems to be aimed squarely at the 800lb-gorilla of the MMO world, World of Warcraft, and we can report that it's done a mighty good job of matching, and even surpassing, Blizzard's popular game in a number of areas.

Rift puts you in the world of Telara, a world ravaged by violent forces that appear in the shape of rifts, or portals to other dimensions, from which evil beings emerge. It follows the basic RPG conventions: you create a character based on one of four archetypal classes - Rogue, Warrior, Mage or Cleric - and then perform quests to gain experience, and as you gain levels you earn new abilities.

Each class is split into eight very different sub-classes, and in an early quest chain, you summon the ghost of each type of sub-class to capture its soul. You have room for only three souls at a time, but in a novel twist on the RPG genre, you can purchase further "Roles" that let you mix-and-match these souls to create a uniquely custom class.

Rift's PvP battlegrounds offer a variety of map types and objectives

Rift's PvP battlegrounds offer a variety of map types and objectives

So, you could have a Rogue that starts with the souls of an Assassin, Riftstalker and Blade Dancer, and then purchase another Role that you fill with the souls of Ranger, Marksman and Saboteur. A further PvP (Player versus Player) soul is earned by winning PvP matches. This system gives unparalleled customisation of each class, and makes PvP combat much more interesting, as you can never be sure what combination of skills a certain character might have based on their appearance.

Your character progresses through the game by taking quests from computer controlled characters (NPCs), which award experience points. Once you reach certain milestones you level up, gaining access to new skills and abilities. These come in the form of Talent points, which are spent to improve each soul. As you spend more points in a talent tree, you also unlock new skills in the "root" of the tree.

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