December 1, 2010

Blade & Soul vs. Arche Age vs. TERA

Blade & Soul, Arche Age and TERA have been listed among the most anticipated online games in South Korea for several months, and their popularity in the Chinese game portals is also as wide as that in South Korea. So, what on earth makes the three online games to stand out above the rest? Below are the analyses made by the specialists in the South Korean online game industry!

1. Development directors all come from NCsoft, and used to participate in the development of the Lineage series

From the form above, we can easily see that the development directors of the three games all "graduated" from NCsoft, the biggest self-development game company in South Korea.

TERA, crowned as "Project Lineage 3" at the very beginning, is actually a further title of the Lineage series (it has come to NHN so far).


Blade & Soul is created by the team of Jae Hyun Pae, who's once in charge of the Lineage series (it is still being developed by NCsoft now).

Arche Age is a product of Jake Song, who is crowned as the "Father of Lineage" in the South Korean online game industry and once developed the games like The Kingdom of the Winds (Arche Age is developed by self-established XL Games).

Arche Age

The above three game producers represent the success of the South Korean online game industry in the past 10 years, and their works are widely popular in USA and the various Asian and European countries. Moreover, as the three games cost more than 30 billion KRW each, the game quality can be guaranteed largely, which is also the main reason for players' enthusiasm.

2. Nonstop application of new technologies

Through surveys, we find that players' first impression of a new game derives from the game's related pictures and promotional videos. Thus, the game's success initially depends on its pictures and videos. The hottest game engines in the current game industry - Unreal Engine 3 and Cry Engine 2 are just applied in the three games' development.

So far, Unreal Engine 3 has been widely used in the development of Korean online games, like AVA and Lineage 2. The greatest highlight of this engine is that it can provide the game scenes as vivid as those in real life, and give players an immersed feel.

Developed by using Unreal Engine 3, TERA was well received by players in its previous tests, thanks to its gorgeous and vivid scenes.

Blade & Soul and TERA both employ Unreal Engine 3. NCsoft's art director once said that Blade & Soul brought in the imagined scenes by use of Unreal Engine 3's abundant drawing methods, and led players to a dreamlike gaming world.

Different from the above two games, Arche Age adopts Cry Engine 2. From the videos of its previous two tests, as well as the favorable feedback from the testers, we can see that the engine's application is also a guarantee of the game's high-quality graphics.

3. Different selling points

As the first unveiled game among the three ones, TERA catches players' eyes just because it takes full advantage of Unreal Engine 3 to present beautiful graphics and delicate character actions, and makes it available for players to experience real "MMO actions". Many game companies in South Korea are forced to give up such actions due to financial or technical problems. But in TERA, players can fully enjoy the fun of an orthodox action MMORPG.

Blade and Soul

From the concept arts and development notes officially unveiled by NCsoft, players in some degrees see that Blade & Soul, claimed to be a representative of fantasy-style martial arts games, is basically a game where players use flying skills to move and attack. The novel theme just guarantees the game's relatively high popularity.

Arche Age strives to provide players with a highly free UI system, which is unprecedented in the online game history. It allows players to do many innovative things like building houses and ships., making furniture, and planting trees. All these somewhat stand for the future growth direction of online games.

4. Forecast on the three games' official release date

TERA, which came out first, has witnessed the end of its third closed beta test. It is set to start its open beta on Jan. 1, 2011 or so. Therefore, it must the first game that meets the audience among the three ones.

The trial version of Blade & Soul has been released at Gstar 2010. As Blade & Soul is NCsoft's another blockbuster closely following Aion, its quality should absolutely be guaranteed even though there are repeated delays.

The latest Arche Age has carried out two rounds of test, and is expected to be released before Blade & Soul.

Credits: MMOsite

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