New World Aeternum 6

With New World: Aeternum, Amazon Games is bringing its action RPG MMO to consoles after several years exclusively on PC. This new version of the game is essentially a relaunch for the title, making many quality-of-life improvements and including a brand new onboarding process, ensuring new players get off on the right foot. At Summer Game Fest Play Days, we were able to check out Aeternum's earliest moments, and while it's far from perfect, we found ourselves falling into the typical action RPG rhythms very easily.

MMO titles are typically quite complex affairs, and while New World: Aeternum is no exception, it seems to have been translated quite effectively for play on a controller. After selecting a character archetype (we went for the Musketeer), we found ourselves going through pretty standard tutorials, teaching us basic attacks and defensive manoeuvres. All your basic melee strikes are on R2, with the other shoulder buttons reserved for special, class-based skills you'll unlock as you progress. After acclimatising ourselves to the controls, it all felt pretty natural on a pad, and we slashed our way through the game's first steps with ease.

With an introductory cutscene out of the way, the demo placed us into the main map, where a couple of friendly faces helped get us acquainted with some of New World's systems. Some slightly shonky voice acting aside, these characters seemed fairly well written, and are ultimately still part of the game teaching the player. The way you level up, earn skills, and so on all seems very straightforward, and the Ul is relatively intuitive, save for some slight confusion amid the menus.

We learned about how missions work — essentially the same as in every other game ever — and about hunting wild creatures for resources. Using these materials, you can trade for other goods, cook meals, or craft new items. Again, it all should be pretty familiar stuff if you’ve ever engaged with this type of title.

So, the gameplay works well on a controller, which is half the battle with bringing an MMO to consoles, but it’s frankly nothing we haven’t seen before. As we engaged with simple bad guys, dodging and dishing out pain, we couldn’t shake the feeling that New World: Aeternum may struggle to set itself apart from the competition.

To be completely fair, playing an MMO for 25 minutes is hardly grounds for full judgement. We only sampled one class, for example, and each of them has access to a whole suite of combat skills we haven’t yet seen. This is one of those games that’ll only start to really shine once you’ve invested a good chunk of time — and the MMO elements weren’t fully present in our demo.

From what we have played, it seems like a fine action RPG, but our concerns remain as to whether it’ll truly be able to stand out from the pack. New World: Aeternum will need a lot more investigation before we can know for sure.

New World: Aeternum is coming to PS5 on 15th October, 2024. Are you interested in this one? Let us know in the comments section below.