Nosgoth Getting a New Map to Go With New Character Classes
Psyonix and Square Enix are slowly fleshing out the closed beta version of Legacy of Kain-based multiplayer title Nosgoth, with players getting hands on with two new character classes and a new map at E3 2014.
The free-to-play asymmetrical title has been on my radar for a while now as it slowly develops in its closed beta release, and Square Enix offered PAX East 2014 attendees a chance to try the game there (read our hands-on from PAX for more info). It pits a team of vampire characters based on the Legacy of Kain: Soul Reaver games against a group of human characters. The vampire players have a number of super abilities based on character class, like flying, leaping and tackling enemies, and illusory misdirection, and generally are strong, melee-based fighters. The humans, by contrast, have ranged weapons and various kinds of explosives and other tricks, but they’re weaker up close.
At E3 2014, Psyonix showed off a few new bits of content in Nosgoth’s growing early access stable. The game saw its latest character classes added in a recent update, and exclusive to the show demonstration was a new map called The Fane that references LoK lore.
Namely, The Fane is a vampire city built into a cave, where a huge statue of Raziel, Soul Reaver’s protagonist, dominates the subterranean skyline. Like all Nosgoth’s maps, it’s a fairly vertical one, but The Fane stands out by being somewhat more expansive on the Y axis than other spaces so far released into the game. It consists of lots of high staircases, one spiral rampway that reaches relatively high into the air, and a few towers vampires can scale to get a good look at the entire map at once.
That verticality also seemed to translate into a lot of sight lines for human players wielding crossbows and pistols. Though vampires get a lot of ambush points, most fights tended to take place either in round arena-style areas or in bottleneck corridors on the ground level — vampires caught out of step or alone on the ground are very much in trouble if they run into human fighters waiting in strength, and escapes aren’t particularly easy, either.
Nosgoth presents an interesting challenge for map balance given how differently vampires and humans operate from one another, and The Fane looks like the most potentially ambitious map we’ve seen on this front. It’s highly vertical, which is good for vampires, but alternating between close quarters and open areas on the ground mean it looks more vampire-centric than it actually is. I managed to win rounds on both teams during my playtime.
Also appearing in the E3 build are the two character classes added to Nosgoth recently: the Deceiver on the vampire side, and the Prophet on the human side.
The Deceiver’s name implies its play style: like the spy in Team Fortress 2, players can use the class to impersonate a member of the opposing team, and then use that capability to get in close for powerful backstab attacks that do most damage against unsuspecting players. It’s not an especially powerful class in a straight fight, but it’s great for disrupting an enemy team before or during a major battle. It also makes an effective assassin for stragglers.
On the human side, the Prophet is a character with powerful flintlock pistols who also has some handy magic powers. One attack makes vampires incorporeal for a short period, rendering them unable to deal damage as well as receive it — which means they’re effectively out of the fight for a few seconds, which can be critical in turning the tide of an attack. Prophets make good characters for standing back and adding some support to a larger fight.
Access to the Nosgoth closed beta is available to players who purchase founders packs on Steam, and players can also sign up for access at nosgoth.com. So far, Psyonix has put together a strong free-to-play multiplayer offering in Nosgoth, and additional content flowing into the game continues to improve what’s available. Players who enjoy asymmetrical multiplayer like Left 4 Dead or Natural Selection 2 will find a lot to like, and it seems there are a lot of good ideas yet to come for the title as well.
You can keep up to date with all the E3 news over on our E3 channel.