There was a great deal of anticipation for the third iteration of Bless Online, which came after the previous two releases for the eastern markets. While the competitors in the MMORPG genre dish out expansions to extend the already existing games, audiences could well receive a new triple-A name on the market.
Sadly, Bless didn’t live up to the massive expectations, due to the starved market, the hype and most importantly, the sub-par quality, even for an early access release. The overall expression after the playing is that game is much less finished than 70% the developers were claiming.
MMO games aren’t famous for the rich storytelling, and Bless Online is not any different, featuring a story that’s as run of the mill as they get. It seems rather interesting at first with a surprising amount of cutscenes but it won’t take long before you start clicking away at inconsequential dialogue choices that are offered by bland NPC’s.
We heard a lot about the gameplay improvements for the western release, especially regarding combat, and that all the content featured in Japanese release would be transferred to give us plenty of content to go through. Sadly, the current state of the western release is severely lacking both.
Visuals aren’t a category to expect much from in MMO’s, due to the sheer scope of the games and the fact that numerous players with different system specs will be populating the same world. Bless Online is based on the Unreal 3 engine, which gives decent performance, but it lacks optimization, which hinders the game’s accessibility in great measure.
This game is even worse comparing to the Japanese version, which has better performance, all classes, and full endgame content. The game-breaking problems in the eastern version persisted in the western one too, which is another mind-boggling issue. Good thing is that developers seem to support the game and response to feedback, so we have multiple patches that improve performance, fix localization issues, and balance the game out a bit.
We cannot say we recommend this game in the current state. The big, promising world half-decent combat aren’t enough, especially when the competition is offering much better and bigger content. If you’re patient enough, maybe one day this game will be on par with the rivals, but right now it’s just subpar.