Blade and Soul stands out immediately because of it’s unique art style. It models it’s playable characters off of artwork by renowned Korean manhwa artist Hyung-tae Kim, whose Asian flair is prominent throughout his designs, and sets his artwork apart from other artists. Blade and Soul, embracing that flair, focusing on Asian martial-arts and fantasy instead of European, making for surprisingly exotic and exciting visuals.
Generally, MMORPGs have a european style, and focus heavily on Norse-type mythologies; dwarfs, elves, fairies, swords and sorcery, etc. Even Aion, which doesn’t include typical Tolkien-esque races, feels like a familiar fantasy. Blade and Soul is set in an obviously Asian fantasy world, based loosely on the Korean myth called the “Song of Genesis”.
As of yet, there are only two races that have been officially revealed: the Jin, who are essentially stylized humans and excel at sword-based combat, and the Gon, who are physically larger and more muscular then Jin, and specialize in hand-to-hand attacks. The trailer does give the impression of a third race, though they can only be speculated as they are not official yet. Fox-eared children appear at several points in the trailer, as does a great fox/ wolf demon, suggesting that the fox-children are perhaps a playable race, and that they can shift between the two forms.
Blade and Soul‘s combat focus also sets it apart from other games in the genre. The trailer showcases some spectacular attacks, combos and skills; aerial juggling of your opponents, sword summoning, wall running, spectacular jumps and aerial dashes, among other moves. On needs only watch the games’ trailer and be amazed and awed.
Sony has entered an exclusivity deal with NCsoft regarding new titles, as well as already existing intellectual properties. This may very well include Blade and Soul, though none can be certain until it is announced officially.
Keep your eyes peeled for this fantastic title, and any upcoming news!