Rusty Hearts: Reborn is the first major expansion of the popular Rusty Hearts MMORPG. This was my first time downloading and playing the game, but it left me pleasantly surprised. It actually takes the supernatural, Transylvanian atmosphere and turns it into a unique setting. The gameplay was very fluid, the navigation was excellent, and it’s one of the best MMO’s I’ve played in a while. While it had a few gameplay kinks, it was overall a good experience, and I would recommend it to anyone interested in new MMOs.
Unlike most MMOs, the developers took a unconventional route with the plot and made it linear. There were only a few characters to pick from, all of which travelled together, but each experience the story differently and have their own past to explore. Some storylines were more cliché than others (to be specific, Frantz’s storyline), but it was still delivered better than most MMOs, and encourages you to play through as all of the characters.
The game was most memorable because of its skill and battle setup. The skill tree was a little confusing—I can only imagine what it was like before this upgrade—but using them during battle is very natural. The attacks and skills work well if you’re using a controller, although I did run into difficulty whenever the newbie guide spoke—it required keyboard inputs rather than controller inputs to progress the story. The dungeons are unfortunately not randomly generated, as you would see in Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine or Diablo 3, but otherwise they are very similar.
Some extras included in this update are the new weapons system, the improved skill manager, and the comprehensive dungeon book. The new weapons are obviously the most dramatic change, but I found the comprehensive dungeon book to be more impressive. It cuts down on dungeon diving by telling you exactly how to get items within a dungeon—or at least it saves you the trouble of looking it up on a wiki. Switching your weapon focus also means switching your skill points, which is a courtesy that few games practice and makes leveling and character building that much easier. The new PVP system is specifically designed for Western audiences, to make battles more fair and reduce the amount of lag for all parties through sorting by location and latency when building tiers. While I rarely play PvP myself, it seems like a useful feature that makes PvP less of a hassle.
Rusty Hearts: Reborn has a strange graphic style and title that was initially off-putting, but grew on me as I saw it in action. The fast-paced battles and natural control scheme make this game fun to play—and it ranks right up there with Shin Megami Tensei: Imagine as far as MMORPGs go. The original game was fun by itself, but the expansions make it seem like a new game—so whether you’ve played the game before or are just looking for a new MMO to play, this game is one I would recommend, and it’s all free.