Perfect World launched its new flagship online game, Legend of the Condor Heroes: Zero (known as Zero in the article), in China back in September. It is the first non-target action MMO developed by the Chinese studio. A launch on Xbox One is apparently teased as well in the near future.
Based on the famous martial arts novel by Louis Cha, there are currently 4 playable classes, and I chose the Beggar Sect’s Xianglong class (Dragon Slayer), which has my favorite MMO weapon – fists. In this game, the headquarters of Beggar Sect is a sprawling and lavish complex as seen below.
There are both open worlds and instance dungeons, though most of the action usually takes place in the latter. Maps are bigger than those in the rather sub-par Swordsman Online, and players are free to jump up cliffs and interact with the surroundings, which is definitely a vast improvement.
There are 2 types of instance dungeons in Zero, one with entrance on the map (solo and party) while each map has a party dungeon as well (accessed by a button with no entrance on map). Both versions will provide players the ability to queue and team up with random strangers, which is really useful.
Each map brings a environmental design, along with new quests and NPCs. I have yet to encounter open world PK, though I am pretty sure that will be common at higher levels. There are a bunch of casual modes as well, a trademark of Perfect World games, such as the coins pakour mode.
Similar to Swordsman Online, there will be 3 different control modes for players to choose from any time. As the company’s first non-target action game, I am certainly impressed by the team’s attempt. The actions are executed fluidly, and in my opinion even better than Dragon Nest and TERA.
At lower levels, pretty much every skills can be learnt. But skills in Zero are not just plain button smashing, as the QTE feature is being used for combos. Pressing different keys will trigger different follow-up effects, provided you have already learnt them. For some skill combos, you must even click the mouse button at the right time. And yes, Zero supports gamepad devices as well.
Rather than putting the costumes and character physical alteration features in the cash shop, there is a separate window for those, which is really convenient. Players can try the costumes out, alter the physical appearance of their characters and be satisfied before making any purchases. There are event costumes for trinkets, along with cash mounts.
I am just mid-level now, and hence missing the PvP action. Players can expect the many PvP modes found in Perfect World’s previous games, such as cross-server battle, clan battle, guild battle and even meeting the 5 Greats of Wulin. Zero is no doubt the a huge step up from Swordsman Online, and the most perfect MMORPG from Perfect World thus far.