Bless Unleashed Review – Test

Bless Unleashed Review – Asia Story MMORPG with Action Combat in Test

Bless Unleashed Review
Asia Story MMORPG with Action Combat in Test
Bless Unleashed Review
Asia Story MMORPG with Action Combat in Test

In the Free to Play MMORPG Bless Unleashed, scheduled for release in spring 2021 for PC and already available for PS4 and XBox One, we play our character through a coherent story. In Bless Unleashed we have Gameplay with Action Combat, good graphics & a good translation that makes it easy for us to get started, but is that enough for a good game feeling?


German Version:

This article is available here as text, but also as a YouTube video (German voice-over, many subtitles). This way you can choose how you would like to enjoy it most.

Bless Unleashed Review Video:

German Voice-Over, many subtitles

Bless Unleashed Review – Intro

Hi there, this is the Zap. In this Bless Unleashed Preview, I want to tell you a little bit about this new MMORPG. There is a lot of information about the game itself, how it plays, what’s in it, how well it works, and most of all, if I had fun testing it.

Bless Unleashed Test – Background

Bless Unleashed Review
 Background
Bless Unleashed Review
Background

Bless Unleashed has already been released in early 2020 for XBox One and in October for Playstation PS4. The game has just recently been in a first PC beta test and is expected to be released in spring 2021 for PC on Steam as a free-to-play game.

Together with a few friends I played the game on the PC and played it for about 25 hours in 4 days of testing time. I got to level 15, from later 40 or more reachable levels. Here are my experiences with Bless Unleashed.

The developer is Round8 Studios, a subsidiary of NeoWiz and the game is published by Bandai Namco. This studio and also the name “Bless” causes some problems and negative memories for some players. Because the previous game “Bless Online” was released in 2018 and was sold at full price. But after massive problems due to bugs, server problems, lack of content, exploits, and much more, bad press, Bless Online has already been discontinued in 2019 due to extremely low player numbers.

According to the Publisher, Bless Unleashed is a completely different game. It uses partly the same graphics and sounds, also some of the mechanics were taken over. But all in all, the gameplay, the world, the characters, and many other things should be completely different.

I didn’t play Bless Online myself at that time, so I can only cover this topic in passing. As far as I can tell, the new game is already different. They look similar, there are also some mechanics that are comparable, but basically, it’s probably already a different game. If you have played the discontinued predecessor, I would be glad about your experience and opinion about it.

Gameplay – Game Type

Bless Unleashed Test
Game Type
Bless Unleashed Test
Game Type

Bless Unleashed is a quest-based Open World MMORPG, or as it is sometimes called, a theme park MMO. Unlike sandbox games, where you are thrown into a world and then have to develop your own drive to go somewhere and experience things, here there is an ongoing story.

The game offers an action fighting system without tab-targeting. There are numerous combos with which you can increase your attacks and actively dodge and block allow some interesting sequences in the fight. If necessary, you can also lock enemies directly, so that the character can’t lose sight of a target.

The game offers a total of five classes, each assigned to one or two of the four races. Unfortunately, you are not allowed to choose this completely freely, which I find quite a pity. A mage can only be elfish or human, and a berserker can only belong to the huge Varg race.

Gameplay – Character classes and races

Bless Unleashed Gameplay
Characters and Races RPG
Bless Unleashed Gameplay
Characters and Races RPG

Bless Unleashed thus offers five very “classic” classes. There is the Crusader, which is the usual tank. This character can take a lot of damage but does a little less damage.

Then the Berserker follows, who is a pure melee Damage Dealer, so he stands in front, pounds on the enemies, but can’t take it as much as the Crusader. Then follows an archer named Ranger, a mage class, and, to round things off, a priest healer.

As mentioned, the selection of combinations of classes and races is limited. Here Bless gives away some potential. Probably they try to save work for animations. But this little extra work would have meant so much more variety and freedom for the players. It’s hard to understand why the developers limit themselves and the players here in such a way.

The character creation is, apart from the nonsensical class race restrictions, very extensive. Within the races, you can define very detailed faces, body measurements, hairstyles, beards, hair colors, tattoos, different voices, and much more.

Gameplay – Quests and Quest-Systems

Bless Unleashed Review
Quests and Quest-Systems
Bless Unleashed Review
Quests and Quest-Systems

Bless Unleashed is a quest-based MMORPG with an extensive story. It starts with some introductory and tutorial sequences, which you first have to live through on your own, but then it continues soon in the Open World.

Most of the time you are sent from one quest hub to the next when you have completed the tasks in one place. And the requirements and the level of difficulty are also roughly adjusted to match the level you have reached with the experience points you have gained through the quests.

This is how you are guided through the story, from one place to another. There is a big main quest series and on the side, there are also many side quests. There are different ways of how the quests can be done. Solo quests are those where you get your own personal copy of the locations and your own enemies. And in this quest instance, only what you do yourself will happen.

This is quite nice because you can set the tempo yourself. You don’t have to wait for others, nor do you fail to understand what’s happening, because other players have already completed the quest goal before you. This happens in some MMORPGs quite often.

There are also group quests, you have to imagine this similar to small instances. The members of the group are brought into a clone of the world, and only they can kill enemies, solve tasks, etc. and the success of the group then applies to all participants.

Most of the time, however, you are in normal public open-world areas. Here you meet other players, you can fight monsters together with them and sometimes you have to watch how other players collect things from under your nose or shoot the monster you are looking for. There are also bigger bosses that you can’t do alone, so you have to rely on other players from time to time.

The special thing about this system in Bless Unleashed is that the transition between the solo, group, and open world is very often completely fluid. One minute you’re walking next to someone, the next you’re taking a quest or entering a certain area that belongs to the quest, and suddenly the other players disappear and you have your own personal experience.

This usually happens completely without a loading screen. The transition is smooth and in the middle of the movement. This sometimes comes as a surprise, but for me, it was mostly a pleasant experience. So you have peace of mind to collect certain things, but also your own challenge when you are suddenly attacked and have to fight this fight alone, without help or disturbance from others.

A positive thing about the Open World System is that everyone who has hit or shot at a monster gets Exp and Loot for it. So-called Loot-Stealing, as it exists in some games, can’t happen here.

Crafting and Gathering

Bless Unleashed Test
Crafting and Gathering
Bless Unleashed Test
Crafting and Gathering

Crafting is an important point in Bless Unleashed. Especially in the beginning you rarely get useful equipment, so you can help with crafting. But especially the potions and food are very important to get along with the game.

Because the character does not regenerate by itself, but only at the rather rare campfires, you have to take care of your health with food and healing potions that you do not drop dead. And in order to be able to produce these things in sufficient quantities, you also need to be patient between meals and have to collect herbs, chop wood, and mine ores. Meat, leather, and fabrics can be found again and again in the loot of the enemies.

There are the professions of alchemy, cooking, tailoring, leatherworking, forging, weapon building, and resource gathering. Everything rises in levels when you use it. So to make good potions or fat swords, you have to craft a lot of little things first.

Gameplay – Upgrade System

Bless Unleashed Review (Deutsch) Asia Story MMORPG mit Action Combat im Test 06 Upgrade System - Aufwertungs-System
Bless Unleashed Review
Upgrade System

In addition to the creation of new items, there is also an extensive upgrading system in Bless Unleashed. You can’t use this for all items, but the really good items can be upgraded. You have to go to a certain NPC and invest money and upgrading stones to upgrade equipment at different quality levels. These are also divided into sublevels.

In the beginning, every upgrade is a 100% thing. But it is foreseeable that in the higher levels there is also an increasing chance of failure at some point. In any case, I have already found items that prevent destruction when failing. In the long run, this will probably be an important point in connection with the item store of the game. Most of the time such systems are very expensive, and on top of that, a kind of Pay2Win comes into play.

Gameplay – World and Story

Bless Unleashed Gameplay
World and Story
Bless Unleashed Gameplay
World and Story

The story of Bless Unleashed begins on a small island where we grew up and were educated as orphans under the care of a priestess of the deity Teleos. We first experience a small festival in honor of the god. But then things quickly become dangerous because an assassination attempt is made and we barely escape with our lives.

After our rescue, we begin to help a nobleman on the mainland to find out more about the conspirators, their goals, and the dangers they represent. And little by little a quite interesting story unfolds. In this story, we learn a lot about the politics of the country and its deities. Again and again, we experience intrigues, conspiracies, and all kinds of nastiness, while we try to solve the small problems of the inhabitants on the side.

Bless Unleashed succeeds here quite well in drawing the player into the story. And neither does the story seem too contrived, nor is it too complicated. For my taste, the Devs have found a very good mixture of a great story and a normal gaming experience.

Gameplay – Combat, Skills and Controls

Bless Unleashed Review
Combat, Skills and Controls
Bless Unleashed Review
Combat, Skills, and Controls

So let’s get to the things in Bless Unleashed that don’t work well at all. And unfortunately, this includes the incredibly clumsy and awkward controls. The game was developed for consoles and was only converted to PC afterward. And unfortunately, you can see that everywhere in the game.

It is not only about the combat combos, which consist of numerous mouse and keyboard inputs in a row. The spongy mouse control and the inaccurate hit feedback increase this even more. And then not only the annoying, cumbersome input sequences in the menu navigation of “Press key X, hold key Y for 2 seconds, then left twice and press key Z again for another 2 seconds” are annoying. On top of that, all menus, the inventory, the skill tree, and simply the complete handling are cumbersome and unnecessarily nested.

Here is a degree of awkwardness that not only disturbs but has caused some of my fellow players to uninstall the game after a few hours. And even the launcher is not excluded here, because it is too stupid to remember the server and you end up on the Asia server every second time.

But if you fight your way through these daunting controls, and with some adjustments of unnecessarily complicated buttons that make the controls a bit easier, things slowly get better. Then the game starts to be fun to play in battle, not so annoying when questing and the menus become at least roughly tolerable. But until you reach this point, it’s a cramp. And if you don’t have the patience, you might never reach this point.

Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, GFX, SFX

Bless Unleashed Test
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, GFX, SFX
Bless Unleashed Test
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, GFX, SFX

The graphics of Bless Unleashed are upper-middle-class, the used Unreal Engine 4 provides a nice look and a widely usable performance. In comparison with many other Asian MMORPGs, as well as the competition from the USA and Europe, it is in any case optically very good.

As a small tip on this: You should definitely check the settings when starting the game the first time because for some of my fellow players the game started in 720p with the lowest quality and that didn’t look so good there. But there are a few higher quality levels to make it more stylish.

Most of the time the regions are beautiful, and the characters and NPCs are detailed and almost always very high resolution. But sometimes the graphics are also very mixed. And then it sometimes gets a bit weird when you are standing with the complex character model and its high-resolution textures next to a stone or slope in the wilderness, which texture and 3D model has not even 20% of the quality of the character. This is something Round8 should urgently improve on.

Network performance is always an important factor in MMOs and here, at least in this beta test, everything worked quite well. And that even when once 50 people were running and fighting in one spot. But how this will look like when the release is out and thousands of players are on the same server remains to be proven. MMORPGs tend to break down in the first days under the load of the players and spoil the first impression.

The sounding of the gameplay is okay so far, good mediocrity both in the music and in the sounds of the fight and the environment. There are also some fragments of speech, but unfortunately, these are just a few standard greetings and what is said has nothing to do with what is currently displayed in the dialog text.

But there are also technical problems with the sound, sometimes you can hear noises that don’t fit into the gameplay, and two of my fellow testers had to restart the sound after almost every death or teleport.

Apart from that, there is a lot of reading to do if you want to follow the story. Or you click straight through and then only know in a very general way what’s going on in the world and why you do certain things.

But at least the game offers a quite well-working quest tracking. But this is unfortunately limited to only two quests to be monitored at the same time, even if you sometimes have four or five in one area at the same time. This is not very well solved so far.

Positively I noticed here that on the map and the minimap quest areas are marked with circles as long as you haven’t finished the quest yet. So you can easily see if you have something to do nearby or if you can continue your journey.

The screen texts are on a quite good level, spelling mistakes or total failures have not occurred to me here. There were a few placeholders in the menus here and there, but all in all, almost everything is already translated, which is not necessarily standard for an MMORPG from Asia.

Bless Unleashed Gameplay Screenshots InGame

Click or tap into the image for a larger view.
In the enlarged view, you can scroll right and left on the edges

Gameplay – PvE and PvP

Bless Unleashed Review (Deutsch) Asia Story MMORPG mit Action Combat im Test 10 PvP & PvE
Bless Unleashed Review
PvP & PvE

In this beta test, I got to level 15. Until then the game was completely PvE. There are a dueling mode and a kind of battleground combat with registration, with variants for 3vs3 and 15vs15 players. But you have to activate these game modes specifically.

From reports of console players, I learned afterward that there is Open World PvP from level 30 on and pure PvE servers are not planned. Open PvP can be quite entertaining and I know that there is a not small amount of MMORPG players who like it very much. But, according to recent polls from relevant MMORPG sites, there are a much larger number of people who don’t like it.

There should be a karma system to punish bad behavior. But in my experience, such systems are not a real obstacle for player killers and so-called griefers, who only want to spoil the fun of other players and prevent them from progressing. In most games, there are tricks to circumvent these karma systems completely in the end.

In addition to this, players after level 30 and with PvP enabled will probably be able to attack other players without restriction, no matter what their level or PvP setting is. So bigger players can probably hunt down much smaller players as well. Here I have had the worst experiences in other games, up to complete closures of quest areas, which made it partly impossible for smaller players to get ahead.

Free to play and Itemshop

Bless Unleashed Review
Free to Play (F2P) & Itemshop
Bless Unleashed Review
Free to Play (F2P) & Itemshop

Bless Unleashed will be released as a Free-to-Play title most likely in spring 2021 for PC on Steam. So everyone can simply download it and start playing. There will be a probably extensive item store in the game, which was not yet included in the current beta version.

In the already available console versions you can buy, besides very nice skins and mounts, some things for real money, which give real advantages. And some things are not that cheap at all.

After all, these things are tradable in the InGame Auction House, so you may be able to buy some of these things with InGame currency from other players. But since ingame currency is also used for the weapon upgrades and therefore for the stronger weapons, I see this as a bit critical. And especially in connection with the Open PvP from level 30 on, I suspect some bad things here.

Bless Unleashed Test – Opinion and Conclusion

Bless Unleashed Test
Opinion and Conclusion
Bless Unleashed Test
Opinion and Conclusion

All in all, I entered this beta test with a very skeptical expectation. I really had far worse anticipations and was pleasantly surprised that I had a lot of fun in the game at times.

The story is not at all as shallow as you are used to from most Asia MMORPGs and in comparison by far better than for example in New World from Amazon. Besides the main story there are many small side quests that you can do but don’t have to. And also here often small, varied stories are presented. This makes the game unexpectedly entertaining.

The game also offers some collecting fun. Besides the loot and craft resources, you get direct quest rewards and also rewards sent by mail. There are in addition also hidden boxes, so it’s well worth taking a look off the main paths, otherwise, you might miss some nice equipment.

The technology is not yet perfect, also due to the beta version. Especially the launcher is really stupid, every time it says “Asia” as server selection, and if you don’t pay attention, you end up on the wrong server, every damn time and again. I hope it doesn’t stay like this, otherwise, I have to create a char on the server called “Hey wrong server, you snooze.

The combat system is a bit crooked and sometimes cumbersome, with the many combos. Especially in the beginning, it is a bit daunting. But it does have its strong moments. And once you get used to the timing and combos, it gets better.

The biggest problem, however, is the control of the camera and the hit feedback, which are both very fuzzy and inaccurate. It just doesn’t feel that good. And just this “feeling” when fighting, running, riding is so important for whether a game is fun in the long run or not. Here I see an urgent need for improvement.

The controls are generally a total debacle. It seems as if the programmers wanted to make you lose the desire to play the game. A UI so twisted and nested all the way and then you have to press or often hold several different buttons for two or three seconds. So things that you normally do with a single keystroke in a PC MMORPG suddenly take many times as long because you have to press three times and hold twice, totally cruel. I hope that this will be completely revised again. In my circle of friends, there were some who stopped playing the game for this reason because it took all the fun out of playing it.

The following story is a particularly deterrent example. The bigger bosses sometimes have boss skills, which you either have to dodge or cancel their effect. For this purpose, a key or a combination of keys lights up in the middle of the screen, which you should press very often in sequence.

However, the used keys are also used to open the inventory, the guild interface, or other menus. And this leads to the fact that you might cancel the stunt of the boss, but because you pressed 11 times the “i” key instead of 10 “i”s in a row, you are suddenly left in the middle of the boss battle with an open inventory or menu.

And these menus are full screen, so you won’t see anything of the boss fight until you realize what happened and close the inventory, you have usually already got one or two more hits and may already be dead.

The two biggest blockers for me are the combination of Open PvP and Itemshop game. And here I have to say for me, this is where I get out. Because weapon upgrade system with real money influence and PvP without the possibility to escape this, have so far led to an extremely unpleasant situation in every game where I have encountered this. Unless you’re one of those players who put a lot of money into the game and have fun spoiling the fun of other players.

But most of the time this led to a situation where no new players grew up and the game died out. Because of the great pleasure of the “whales”, i.e. those players who mainly finance the game, is to beat up smaller and weaker players, then it is only fun for these players as long as new victims are constantly joining in. And so such Pay2Win PvP titles usually dig their own, fast grave.

Bless Unleashed Review – Rating

Bless Unleashed Review (Deutsch) Asia Story MMORPG mit Action Combat im Test 13 Rating - Wertung
Bless Unleashed Review
Rating

MMORPGs are usually still in further development long after beta and release. Therefore this evaluation can only be a snapshot at the time end of 2020. Probably some things will still change, which could lead to an increase or decrease in the rating. But a rough direction where this game is heading I think I can already tell you after 25 hours of playing time.

The price of a Free2Play game is not to be judged so easily, because you can download the game for free and play it for an unlimited time. The actual costs then depend largely on how important the item store will be in the game and how much influence the spent money can have on the fighting power in PvE and PvP.

And in this area, I see serious problems with Bless Unleashed. There is an item store with direct and indirect effects on combat power. Together with Open World PvP, this means an enormous disadvantage for the ability of non-payers or not-so-much-payers to unleash and enjoy the game.

To sum it up, along with a nice story, upper mid-range graphics, and extremely uncomfortable and choppy controls, I’d like to give Bless Unleashed a 70% base rating.

Sound dropouts, partly low-res textures, and all sorts of other trivialities then lead to a further devaluation of 3%. This brings me to a final rating of Bless Unleashed, at this point in time, of 67 %.

If the developers can remove some of the technical and operational flaws before the release in spring, I would say it can rise to 70% again. For a better rating, the item store and PvP concept would have to be fundamentally revised or PvE servers would have to be offered.

Bless Unleashed Review (Deutsch) Asia Story MMORPG mit Action Combat im Test 13a Rating with numbers 67 percent - Wertung mit Zahlen 67 Prozent
Bless Unleashed Review
Rating with numbers 67 percent

Bless Unleashed

Zap from Zapzockt.de

Bless Unleashed Review (Deutsch) Asia Story MMORPG mit Action Combat im Test_q
Bless Unleashed Review – Asia Story MMORPG with Action Combat in Test
In the Free to Play MMORPG Bless Unleashed, scheduled for release in spring 2021 for PC and already available for PS4 and XBox One, we play our character through a coherent story. In Bless Unleashed we have Gameplay with Action Combat, good graphics & a good translation that makes it easy for us to get started, but is that enough for a good game feeling?
Story
Open World & World Design
Graphics
UI Design & Controls
Combat
Itemshop & Free to play
PvE & PvP

Rating

MMORPGs are usually still in further development long after beta and release. Therefore this evaluation can only be a snapshot at the time end of 2020. Probably some things will still change, which could lead to an increase or decrease in the rating. But a rough direction where this game is heading I think I can already tell you after 25 hours of playing time.
The price of a Free2Play game is not to be judged so easily, because you can download the game for free and play it for an unlimited time. The actual costs then depend largely on how important the item store will be in the game and how much influence the spent money can have on the fighting power in PvE and PvP.
And in this area, I see serious problems with Bless Unleashed. There is an item store with direct and indirect effects on combat power. Together with Open World PvP, this means an enormous disadvantage for the ability of non-payers or not-so-much-payers to unleash and enjoy the game.
To sum it up, along with a nice story, upper mid-range graphics, and extremely uncomfortable and choppy controls, I’d like to give Bless Unleashed a 70% base rating.
Sound dropouts, partly low-res textures, and all sorts of other trivialities then lead to a further devaluation of 3%. This brings me to a final rating of Bless Unleashed, at this point in time, of 67 %.
If the developers can remove some of the technical and operational flaws before the release in spring, I would say it can rise to 70% again. For a better rating, the item store and PvP concept would have to be fundamentally revised or PvE servers would have to be offered.

3.4

Outro

How do you like this world and the classes and races in Bless Unleashed? Or do you not like theme park MMORPGs and PVP brawls anyway? Write me your opinion in the comments, I’m looking forward to it.

More game reviews, gaming news, and guides can be found here at https://ZapZockt.de. I would be very happy about thumbs and subscriptions at YouTube, it doesn’t cost you anything. And if you liked the article, please share it with your friends. And then I wish you a great day, let yourself have a good time, ciao ciao, your Zap

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Dirk "Zap" von ZapZockt.de, 40+ Gamer, zockt seit 1980 vor allem Strategie Titel, MMOs und Rollenspiele. Schreibt Game Reviews, Gaming News und auch mal über Technik, Hardware und YouTube. Mehr Infos findest Du unter Mehr über Zap lesen ◄----------► Dirk "Zap" from ZapZockt.de, 40+ gamer, has been gaming since 1980, mainly strategy titles, MMOs and RPGs. Writes game reviews, gaming news and also sometimes about technology, hardware and YouTube. Click here, if you want to read more about Zap.

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