Is SoulWorker Worth Playing in 2021?
Ever since Lion Games re-acquired the rights to distribute SoulWorker globally, the game has been pulling in some pretty good numbers. Almost 4,000 concurrent players, consistently, even 6 months after the game re-surfaced online.
For reference, PSO2 New Genesis is struggling to retain similar numbers, even across both the Microsoft Store and Steam, and Swords of Legends Online has already sunk to less than SoulWorker in half the time…
This goes to show the lasting power.. of SoulWorker.
Now welcome back to another episode of “Is it worth playing” – where we sift through every MMORPG available right now in an attempt to find the best MMORPG in 2021. Today, we’re taking a look at what is arguably one of the best free to play Anime MMORPGs available: SoulWorker.
This is a personal favorite of mine. I was one of the only content creators to cover this game when it was only available in Korea and Japan, until Gameforge opted to take advantage of the millions of views I was generating for the game and localize it.
Gameforge originally brought SoulWorker over to the West several years ago. The game was highly anticipated, but Gameforge made some severe alterations to the game that inhibited players ability to play at a rate they wanted.
Yup, an atrocious Stamina system, nerfing XP rates which meant players had to run additional instances of the same content they’d just completed, which went on to deplete your already severely limited stamina. It was an abhorrent thing to do, and was part of the reason for the game doing so poorly, with the addition of IP blocks for a lot of the world.
Fast forward to earlier this year, Gameforge lost publishing rights, and Lion Games, the developers of the game took back complete control.
Not only did they remedy the issues that Gameforge fabricated, but they introduced a brand new character, new content, and opted to release the game globally. No IP restrictions. Players could finally access and play the game after years of being neglected and ignored.
And that is reflected in the thousands of active concurrent players, and tens of thousands of active players every day.
Don’t worry, that’s it for the history lesson.
SoulWorker is an absolutely gorgeous Anime-inspired hub-MMO. There exist several different, unique “hubs” scattered around the world. These hubs are filled with various different NPCs that each provide players with quests to undertake.
Some of them are story related, some are purely side-content. Both are required to continue to level and progress to new areas.
You’ll also find other players in each and every hub. This is where the bulk of the “MMO” aspect comes into play. Players will occupy a space with tens if not hundreds of other players. You can chat, group up. Just hang out like you would in any MMO or multiplayer game.
If you choose to group up, you’ll be capable of participating in what the majority of SoulWorker is comprised of: Running instanced dungeons. Yup, SoulWorker is not an open-world MMO. This means that there isn’t really much in terms of exploration.
Sure, there are unique “hidden” areas and items you can find while in dungeons, so there’s a sense of exploration.. kinda. But the vast majority of the game involves taking quests from a hub, and subsequently running them via dungeons. Rinse and repeat, as you move between larger, more expansive hubs and instances.
Now this will likely get quite repetitious for some people. But hub-MMOs, much like Anime MMOs or sandbox MMOs cater to a certain demographic of players. Players that have no qualms running content repetitiously.
But one thing I don’t think anyone is capable of pushing through, is poor gameplay.
Grinding the same content every day can be an arduous process. But being forced to grind through the same content repeatedly when your combat sucks? Yeah, that ain’t gonna cut it for me. Or for many players.
Thankfully, SoulWorker utilizes what is arguably some of the best action combat in an Anime MMO. Sure, if you compare it to something like Vindictus, TERA or Black Desert, it isn’t really going to stand out.
But comparatively speaking – specifically when put up against other Anime titles, I daresay the only competition would be PSO2 New Genesis.
The combat in SoulWorker is very fast, it has a lot of special effects going on on-screen. Both the movement of your character, the enemies and the combat itself is all highly fluid. Some of the best I’ve come across in an Anime title.
There’s a skill system in place that allows for players to customize which skills they spec into which provides a small sense of individuality. You’re capable of pursuing a more.. personal, custom build, enhancing abilities you find yourself more drawn towards.
Speaking of customizing your character, SoulWorker wouldn’t be an MMO.. without customization options, amirite?
Heck yeah. You can make some of the most adorable looking Anime waifu’s you’ll find ANYWHERE! If you’re a fan of playing Barbie…. or dress-up, really, and staring creepily at your character in provocative positions, then this.. this right here is for you.
There are plenty of hairstyles, facial options, and even more importantly, an incredible selection of outfits.
SoulWorker has a fairly decent narrative. I mean it’s an MMO, right? They’re not really known for their enthralling stories. Most people skip the storylines found within the genre, and while you can in SoulWorker as well… okay honestly you won’t be missing much.
But you’ll miss some context when certain things happen.
✔️ SoulWorker has some of the best action combat in an Anime MMORPG.
✔️ It has a decent story if you need something to follow to take you away from the adruous grind that is present.
✔️ It looks gorgeous, and has an interesting setting for an MMO.
✔️ There’s plenty of customization options, both for your characters physical appearance and build.
✔️ After Lion Games re-acquired the game, it actually ended up.. much better than ever before.
✔️ And there are still tens of thousands of active players! For an Anime MMO.. that’s something else.
❎ Yet unfortunately the repetitious nature of it being a hub-MMO deters quite a substantial number of players.
❎ The story is…. kinda just there. And isn’t really all that gripping.
❎ The majority of the game doesn’t require any type of party-play as it’s all very solo friendly.
Ultimately, SoulWorker is an MMO I find myself coming back to over and over, year after year.
Partly due to the release of new characters and classes to play, and partly because there really isn’t an Anime MMO that looks and plays as good as this does. With the exception of PSO2 New Genesis, anyway.
This is a beautiful game with some fantastic action combat, plenty of customization options, and a fairly active playerbase still.