Is SOUL OF THE ULTIMATE NATION Worth Playing in 2022? | An MMO Review

Is SOUL OF THE ULTIMATE NATION Worth Playing in 2022? | An MMO Review

I played the brand new SUN Classic MMO.. so you don’t have to.
I know, I know. “Wow, Stix, I can’t believe how amazing you are. You’re my hero.” That’s what I’m here for. I don’t need recognition for it.

Today, we’re taking a look at a title that Webzen just released.. or re-released I guess would be the correct term. One of Korea’s most popular MMOs from back in 2007: Soul of the Ultimate Nation. However this time, they released it as SUN Classic, taking advantage of the “Classic MMO” hype.
And.. well, let me tell you that I can understand why the game shut down a decade ago.

Soul of the Ultimate Nation – which we’re going to refer to as SUN for the remainder of this video, is your traditional Korean MMO.
It makes use of gender-locked classes, race-locked classes and imposes quite a few limitations on the overall customization and freedom to play your character how you want.
For whatever reason, each race has their own name like “Luke,” and each clan has one or two different classes associated with them.
Clans in specific are restricted to a single gender. So new clan members must be grown in test tubes, otherwise there’s really no explaining why everyone looks the same.

I opted for the Elementalist, because I’m a fan of squishies.

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This leads me directly to the combat.
As one would expect from an MMO released 15 years ago, SUN utilizes a tab-target combat system. You can either click enemies with your mouse, or cycle through enemies with your tab-key.
Animations and skill effects by today’s standards weren’t too good, but given I’m a fan of older games like this I honestly didn’t mind.
I will admit that movement itself felt very clunky. Especially in battle, when being forced to kite enemies – or later on, run from enemies entirely.
You had your camera bound to both your left mouse button and right mouse button. Typically, you hold your right mouse button to rotate your character while moving with your WASD keys, however, all that did in SUN was rotate your camera angle.
Instead, your left mouse button rotated your character, requiring you utilize your left mouse button for a variety of different things.
One thing I did like was that the game allows you to not only distribute your own statistics – Vitality, Intelligence, Strength, but it also allows you to spec into various different skills.
This provides you quite a bit of character depth – you can be a tanky fire mage, a squishy support mage with heals. Or somewhere in-between with a focus on ice AoEs and crowd control.
However even though I had opted to go a glass-cannon build, even up to level 20, I had encountered absolutely no difficulty or resistance in the open-world or in dungeons.
Mrs Stix and I moved through them with me tanking 20 to 30 monsters at any given time, barely needing to pop a potion to sustain myself, which made combat easy and boring.
Add onto that the “auto-combat” feature you see down the bottom of the screen just above my hotbars?
Yup, imagine a game being so incredibly grindy that the developers know you don’t want to actually play it thus they introduce a feature so you don’t have to.

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Graphically, SUN isn’t a bad looking game. It doesn’t do anything to really set itself apart from games that released in the 2000s though.
When asked what this game felt like to me, I said it reminded me a lot of Lineage 2. Just a cheaper version of it.
Skill effects looked alright. My fire spells were literally tiny little puffs of fire, and the environments were flat.

Speaking of the environments, I’ll be the first to admit that the world in SUN is horrible.
The zones are segregated, much like Blade & Soul, Guild Wars 2 or Final Fantasy XIV. And that’s fine, I enjoy segregated MMOs.
However, while the game gives you the illusion of freedom, you are, in fact, severely restricted in what you can do and where you can go.
Zones seem open. They look like you can run anywhere, reach anything. You’re even given the ability to jump – something that feels almost entirely useless, as for the most part, you’re unable to seamlessly move between different levels of terrain.
You see that little ledge? It’s a 2 foot drop, but you can’t jump down. Instead, you need to run around a 45 second loop to get there, loot the item, then run 45 seconds back up the hill to talk to the NPC.
It’s a massive time sink that should not be present.

As a fan of narratives in my games.. SUN left me sorely disappointed. Interestingly enough, every dungeon we entered was narrated by some random ass lady that I didn’t recognize – fully voice acted, as well.
But.. I played from level 1 through to level 20 and saw almost no story. No reason to exist, no reason to progress through the game.
But at the same time, it makes sense. This is a highly grindy game like Silkroad Online, where story is an afterthought to the gargantuan grind that is present.
As someone who has very limited time, however, I find myself drawn to worlds that I can become enthralled in. This.. this was not one of them.

SUN Classic does do something well though: It provides players a plethora of things to do.
Every couple levels, there was a brand new dungeon to do. These dungeons could be done solo or in a group. And there were various types of dungeons you could queue for.
There was – at least up until level 20, a fairly substantial number of quests so while grinding is definitely something that is recommended, doesn’t force you into it, turning you away from what could potentially be an enjoyable experience otherwise.
You can craft right from the get-go, however as someone that loathes the feature in every game I play I chose to stick to obtaining gear from questing or dungeons.
You could enable your auto-combat feature and farm gear, farm items, farm money, farm experience out in the world. This is something I saw was very prevalent while leveling. There were 10, 20 people auto-engaging enemies at every quest hub. Which did admittedly make it a little difficult to complete the quests myself.
There were world bosses that you could kill – both Mrs Stix and I saw one of those first-hand. And when I say “first-hand,” I mean his hand, our face. And the bodies of hundreds of other players at his feet.
You can also gather ore, minerals.. there’s a lot to do while leveling, and I’m sure with the addition of raids and PvP, there’s even more to do at later-game.

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While I was assured there was PvP present within the game, I did not, unfortunately, find out how to engage in it at my level. Which was disappointing, as I wanted to flex my unkillable overpowered little puffs of smoke over my enemies. Even if I looked like Lumiere from Beauty and the Beast when I fought.

At the end of the day, Webzen revived Soul of the Ultimate Nation and released it as SUN Classic in an attempt to not only take advantage of the hype surrounding “Classic MMOs,” but also as a means with which to bank on nostalgia.
It’s been a decade since the game shut down, which means enough time has passed where a new generation of MMO player might be interested in trying it out.
Combine the two together, and you have an active playerbase for a couple months, and it cost you nothing but fees for a single server.
This game honestly looks decent enough given when it was released. The limitations imposed on exploration were irritating trying to navigate around, but it isn’t the end of the world. They had auto-pathing so you could just alt-tab out and watch a Youtube video as you run to your objective.
I did only play SUN Classic for 3 to 4 hours, so this is an introductory look at the game as opposed to a deep-dive, so there’s no doubt plenty I missed. But with each quest taking 10 to 15 minutes worth of grinding to complete, I felt like I knew the direction the game was going.

Combat – 3/10 The combat was bland, slow, clunky and the camera made it so much worse.
Graphics – 4/10 Honestly I’ve seen much worse. Character models and armor actually looked much better than the world itself, though.
Narrative – 0/10 If I could locate it, I would’ve given it at least a 1.
World – 3/10 Flat, linear and empty. Hordes of monsters could be found around every corner but it served no purpose other than to extend play time by running you back and forth across the map.
Content – 6/10 There was actually a decent amount of things to do, with more to do later in the game.
Overall – 16/50 – This is by far one of the.. well, less interesting MMOs I’ve played. I know I didn’t invest nearly as much time into this as I perhaps could have but if a game after roughly 3 to 4 hours continues to get progressively worse, what incentive do you have to continue playing?

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