Nosgoth Alpha Impressions

By Michael Sagoe (mikedot)

Nosgoth is an online multiplayer third person shooter that is set in the Legacy of Kain universe. Gameplay is heavily focused on player vs. player combat with two teams of four competing against each other as either a human or a vampire. Nosgoth also features three different playable classes for both the humans and vampires, allowing for some strategic formations and team-play.

At the time of this article, the game is currently in an alpha state, so many elements of the game are not quite ready to be shown to the public, but with my early access, I’m here to give you readers a brief look at what Nosgoth currently has to offer.

Since the game is only in an alpha state, the amount of options and in-game features available were limited. From the starting screen, players have access to an in-game profile, inventory, armory and an item shop. While the profile and inventory menus are fairly self-explanatory, the armory lets players learn more about the three playable classes for each race, as well as switch between loadouts for weapons, skills and abilities.

Nosgoth Preview 1

For the humans, we have the Hunters, Scouts and Alchemists.

  • Hunters play a well rounded combat role with automatic crossbows, bolas and grenades.
  • Scouts serve as long ranged combatants with hunting bows, and defensive abilities such as traps and turrets.
  • Alchemists can use grenade launchers and various forms of snares and blinds in order to control crowds of enemies.

For the Vampires, we have the Reavers, Sentinels and Tyrants.

  • Reavers are agile fighters that prefer to pick off single targets by using leaps, dodges and pounces.
  • Sentinels are winged creatures that can glide around the map by jumping off of high ledges, as well as drop in on unsuspecting enemies with dive bomb attacks.
  • Tyrants are brutal tanks that can absorb a ton of damage, as well as knock down any and all enemies with rush down attacks.

Each class can be individually leveled up, and players can also change up their abilities and equipment by purchasing them from the item shop.

So now that the general stuff is out of the way, let’s talk about the gameplay. At the moment, Nosgoth only features one game mode: Team Deathmatch. There’s an option to play with players that are ranked from 0 to 5, and an option to play with any player of any level.

Due to a small amount of players in the alpha test, starting up a match was a little bit more difficult than I expected, with average wait times for a single match around an hour of so, but luckily I was able to get just enough matches in to make a good assessment. Although, my first match ever was probably the most memorable of them all.


The Vampires

So for my first match, it was a team deathmatch set in a murky town called Valeholm, filled with plenty of abandoned houses and dark pathways to move through. The first round had me playing on the Vampire side, with my first class pick as the Reaver.

As soon as the round started, I quickly got acclimated to the controls. Default control scheme used WSAD for movement, LMB for attacks, RMB for alt fire/special skills and Q/F for abilities. Moving around as a Reaver, or every other vampire class, allows players to scale walls and tall building with ease, simply by holding down the shift key. Jumping from building to rooftop sort of reminded me of how movement works in games like Assassin’s Creed, which was a great feeling.

As quickly as I got used to how movement worked, it was time to find my first victims. While staying as high as I could on the rooftops, I spotted the enemy team out near the entrance of a bazaar, all brandishing crossbows and grenade launchers. Once they got closer to the building I was standing on, I threw down a smoke bomb to cloud their vision, and jumped down to their level. Next, I hid around the corner of the bazaar, waiting for one of them to come out, and as soon as one did, I lunged at them and started to tear into their flesh. With that well timed lunge, I managed to take down 80% of a single hunter’s HP. Sadly that was all I could do as the rest of the enemy team came to the hunter’s aid with bows blazing. I did the best I could to out run them, but too many well placed shots followed by a precise grenade lob turned my Reaver into mush.

Nosgoth Preview 2

After a few more tries with the Reaver, I switched to the Sentinel class to see how well I could stalk my prey from the skies. Just like with the Reaver, moving around from building to building was easy, and gliding around town for a fairly long amount of time was great, until a scout blasted me out of the sky with a burning arrow. While on the ground, the Sentinel has a few tricks up their sleeve in order to defend themselves, such as a mighty gust from their wings that sweeps enemies off their feet.

Nosgoth Preview 3

Lastly, I got a small chance to play as the Tyrant class before the round was over, and this beast has the slowest movement when it comes to its climbing ability, so I mostly had to stay on the ground. Charging down foes and absorbing damage has such a satisfying feeling of impact, and my presence was enough to force our disorganized opponents to break formation so that my teammates could swoop in and do some damage in more individual confrontations.

Despite having a rocking time, I and my team lost the first round with the humans scoring four more points than the vampires. Now it was time to switch places and play as the human team.


The Humans

When the match started, one of my teammates informed us to stick together at all times. It was kind of tense trying not to Rambo my way through everything like I usually do in shooting titles. But after playing on the vampire team myself, I understood the importance of moving as a unit. So playing as a hunter, I kept my eyes peeled to every corner and every rooftop to make sure we didn’t get ambushed, but unfortunately, one Reaver managed to breakthrough from my blind spot in a split second, and as soon as he got a hold of me, all hell broke loose and teamwork flew out the window. While the Reaver pinned me down, other hunters on my team threw a bola to constrict his movement and attacks, but then, that same Reaver activated a special evasive ability in order to break free and escape. Being the fool that I was, I decide to break from the group and finish him off.

Using my own bola, I constricted the Reaver again, and was able to fire off a few more crossbow shots to weaken him, until I had to reload, that is. The Reaver then took advantage of my situation and went straight for me with a pounce. Sadly, I was done for and the Reaver helped himself to a nice feast and regained some HP in the process.

Nosgoth Preview 4

Re-spawning back into the fray as an Alchemist, I rushed back to help support my teammates that were already dealing with a Tyrant and a Sentinel at the same time. I threw down a long firewall and a flash bomb in order to protect my teammates so we could escape, but it was no use, as the tyrant shrugged the burning damage off and came back for our heads.

For the most part, the rest of the match ended in a slaughter, and my team lost with twelve points behind on the enemy team.

It’s easy enough to think that the vampires are grossly overpowered, but after that first match and the ones after it, it became clear that teamwork will go a long way to victory, regardless of which side you’re on, as I managed to get devastated by a human team a couple of times here and there.

Nosgoth Preview 5

So far, I would like to say that as a team-based third person shooter, it’s certainly fun and has potential, but one thing that needs to be said is how well they will be able to truly incorporate the “Legacy of Kain” name into the final touches. There are a few familiar maps of areas from the series, but what I would like to see is some kind of cooperative play that features a continuation of the events that happened in Legacy of Kain: Defiance, as seen by both the human and vampire side.

The game already has some good ideas going for it, but if they can give some story driven co-op play a shot, it could easily become a game for all LoK fans to dig into.

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