Although I’m somewhat inclined to think it’s a little late. It really depends on what payment model NCSoft chooses to use.
To be honest, I had kind of given up on the localisation ever happening, given that the last update on the official site had happened back in 2012, but – the site’s had quite a refresh, with new news and information, the key bit being that the game would be due in Winter. Which would make December the most likely month.
Before I get into the details, here is the official trailer:
Blade & Soul inspired an anime series last year – but the best I can say about it was that it was somewhat forgettable. The game itself, however, made a few waves when it was released back in 2012, and became well known for its scantily-clad fighters. Many Western MMO aficionados were eagerly awaiting the inevitable localisation – although I hope they weren’t holding their breath, because they would’ve long since passed out. Others have endeavoured to localise the game themselves, and have a free server running somewhere. The quality of translation does leave a bit to be desired though.
As is the case with most Korean MMOs that get localised, you can expect the cencorship brush to be wielded with a fair amount of vigour, although this was already quite apparent in the Chinese version of the game. Worry not though, since I’m sure modders will step up in abundance to make sure any concealing bits of cloth are removed with due haste.
Despite that, however, the game looks good, and movement and especially fighting felt incredibly fluid when I dashed around a little bit. It uses the tried-and-tested method of pick up quest – do quest – deliver quest – a system I have a hard time getting back into after extensive periods spent in Guild Wars 2 and Star Trek Online – although the latter has you “delivering quests” you can generally do it from anywhere, with no need to go back to the quest giver.
The game features four races to choose from, with six classes available to play – with some limitations as to the race/class combos you can use. Character creation is also likely to take a while, since customisation is as robust as any I’ve seen in an MMO, rivaling, if not surpassing Aion in terms of the number of options you have available.
Whether I’ll pick up the game myself is debatable – as I said earlier, it will very much depend on what payment model is implemented. I suspect a buy-to-play (or free-to-play) model, with included micro-transactions, since this seems to be the model of choice for most of the MMOs currently running. That’s just my guess, however; we will have to wait for confirmation from NCSOFT.