As one of China’s top 3 online gaming companies, NetEase is not easing on its progress despite trailing behind bigger competition like Tencent Games. Recently in the news for all the right reasons, it has teased 2 new self-developed online games so far for 2012, including TianXia 3 (link) and Martial Soul Online (link). The publisher of Blizzard titles in China recently revealed its 3rd on-going project, a 3D action side-scroller roughly translated as Soul Slasher Online.
While there are only 3 classes revealed so far, you can see from the video there are really quite a number still in development. The 3 classes here are loosely translated as Daemon, Herbalist (or Doctor) and … I shall call it the Element Blade (I have no idea what the word is). These are actually the 2nd job advancements, with an official statement revealing that there will be 6 base classes, each with 3 2nd upgrades, making a total of 18 available classes.
NetEase has labeled Soul Slasher as a “F.MMORPG”, with the letter standing for “Fighting”, declaring a unison between action RPG and traditional large-scale MMOs. According to the Product Manager, Soul Slasher will not just see the normal instanced dungeons, PvP arenas and open world areas, but there will be several new game modes as well, including 100-man guild wars, town siege, real multi-player dungeons, a secret “multi-player co-op tower defense” mode etc.
Having been in development for 4 years so far, Soul Slasher Online will be holding a small selected Closed Beta this October. The video really does remind me of the classic title, Golden Axe, but a faster paced one of course. NetEase has not really infiltrated the English MMO market so far, perhaps it is time they take the market seriously given their immense resources.