Martial arts MMORPG Blade & Soul launched in North America and Europe today, bringing with it one of the most gut-wrenchingly awesome movement systems I’ve ever experienced in the genre. Hold on to your stomachs, kids. You may have seen this before—Blade & Soul has been out in Asian countries since its 2012 launch in Korea.
Having spent only a little bit of time in the beta myself, I’d managed to almost but not quite get to the part where the glowing bits called Dragon Pulses become a movement option. I knew the game was renowned for its movement systems, but I figured that was due to the gliding, sprinting, hopping across the surface of water and briefly flying. Oh how stupid I was. For those who can’t watch the video, here’s what happens. At around level 16 or 17 there’s a quest in the game to unlock Dragon Pulses. It’s all tied up in the game’s narrative of the player becoming one of the legendary heroes destined to destroy the darkness something something. What’s important is these glowing circles. Step into one, activate it, and you’re launched across the world in cinematic fashion. Sometimes it’s just a simple high jump to an out-of-reach ledge. Other times, like in the video above (you really should watch it), it’s like something out of a combat anime. I’ve never moved quite like this before in an MMO.
I plan on exploring Blade & Soul Gold beyond the fancy movement systems and weird little animal people now that the free-to-play MMO is officially open in North America. For now enjoy the flight, check out the opening moments or just go download the game and play it yourself.