January 7, 2011 by Tim

I played a little bit of the RIFT beta event this weekend. The game has another couple months of development before launch, but it’s looking pretty decent so far. Character creation is good… not the best I’ve seen, but plenty adequate. I’m really intrigued by their Soul system, which appears do allow a pretty healthy amount of class customization.

Rather than simply choose a class, you collect and activate souls, which are essentially collected talent trees that offer a variety of different abilities, both active and passive. From what it looked like, you can have up to three of these souls at any given time, so later in the game I’d imagine you can experiment with some pretty neat combinations. It’s definitely the sort of core game system that would hold my interest if the rest of the game was on par.

RIFT is still a ways off though, so right now I’m focused mainly on DC Universe Online which launches next week. A while back I called it the best super hero MM I’d ever played, and I still feel that way as the beta closes. Leveling is pretty quick, but a very fun process. And the game really manages to make you feel like a super hero.

My main concern with DCUO now lies with the endgame content, something which I didn’t have a lot of experience with in the beta. I’ve heard some talk that there isn’t a lot there to support the player base once they hit max level, and given how fast you can level, that could be an issue.

However, without a doubt DCUO has a very strong foundation to build on. The question now is, can they build on it fast enough to keep their launch-day subscribers interested. It’s a harsh reality, but these days MMOs need to launch with the polish and content that MMOs used to take a year or two to achieve, just to be competitive.

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