After making explosive appearances at shows such as PAX West 2018, GDC 2019, and PAX East 2019, Bless Unleashed is poised to provide plenty of thrills when it arrives first to Xbox One later this year. Developed by Neowiz Round 8 Studio and published by Bandai Namco, Bless Unleashed is an online action role-playing game that can be played alongside or against other players. While it draws inspiration from Bless Online, Bless Unleashed is a brand new game revolving around action-oriented mechanics. Its goal is to provide a mature-oriented massively multiplayer experience for consoles. ConFreaks and Geeks recently had the chance to sit down with Bandai Namco’s David Jaloza and try out the game, and we are more than excited to share our impressions.
Bless Unleashed throws players into a fantasy world full of behemoth monsters and vast landscapes. While this world consists of beautiful natural terrain, it has long been a battleground between mankind and otherworldly forces. It is up to the player and their teammates to overcome the incoming forces of darkness by embarking on quests. Players pick from one of five classes, which are the Mage, Berserker, Priest, Ranger, and Crusader. These classes each have a variety of attack combinations and skills at their disposal. These attack combinations consist of chaining light and heavy attacks in different sequences. Utilizing a variety of attacks is important as players travel through areas and defeat waves of enemies and towering bosses such as ogres.
We had hands-on sessions with the Ranger and the Mage, and these two classes felt satisfying to play. The Ranger is a traditional archer-based class, but the sheer variety of attacks was quite exciting to try. We deployed sequences of bow attacks and periodically used charged shots to dispatch foes. The Mage also felt quite varied with the ability to deploy numerous wide-ranging elemental attacks such as bolts and ice novas. These takes on established classes felt fresh and exciting, and they meaningfully empower players.
We feel that Bless Unleashed is well-tailored for consoles. All of the on-screen text and heads-up display elements are clearly visible, and we appreciate having attack combination flow-charts on-screen. The way the actions are mapped to the controller feels natural and intuitive. Bless Unleashed also makes use of Unreal Engine 4 to provide detailed well-lit environments, and our trial runs ran smoothly overall. The game is targeting a 4K display resolution and 30 frames per second on the Xbox One X.
Given its persistent online nature, the game has plenty of content for players to experience. While our demo area took place in a craggy mountainous area, the game also includes other environments such as fairy forests. One notable feature is player versus player combat, which provides a variety of rewards. However, we also learned that player versus player is optional. Bless Unleashed is also a free-to-play title. In terms of monetization, the developers are aware of how players perceive micro transactions, and the purchasable items will generally be cosmetic in nature.
We eagerly await Bless Unleashed’s launch later this year. It recently had a closed beta testing period, and another beta will be available in the future.