V4 (which stands for Victory 4) launched just a few weeks ago across PC and mobile to western audiences, allowing cross-platform MMORPG play on an epic scale. Powered by Unreal Engine 4, it’s one of the more visually impressive MMORPG’s I’ve seen in recent memory, especially running in the palm of my hand.
We recently had the opportunity to chat with the developers at Nexon about V4 and how their past experience has informed their newest adventure, starting with the story.“V4 starts off in Syllunas, a once peaceful society that is now threatened by dark and corrupt demon forces. Players take on the role of a demon hunter teaming up with a group called the Alliance that hopes to protect the world from annihilation.” A familiar sounding story with themes that resonate with RPG players everywhere, for certain.
When prompted about what V4 does differently in a crowded MMORPG market, Nexon said that “V4 allows us to introduce Western audiences to a large-scale multiplayer environment with a dense story, supported by stunning graphics using Unreal Engine 4. The cross-play between PC and mobile allows us to cater to new players who are interested in new gaming experiences.” It’s an interesting idea, and one that I struggle to grasp still at times, as mobile as a platform has some clear differences to PC and console, particularly when it comes to controls. But we’ve seen success with other genres having cross-play with mobile in the past, so why not this one?
Its visuals are the most impressive component of V4; it really does look like a high-quality PC game squeezed down to fit onto a smaller screen. I was personally a little bit concerned with the idea of cross-platform between mobile and PC, particularly when it comes to compromises. But Nexon were glad to report that they see the mobile platform more as a benefit in this case. “The latest mobile hardware is just so powerful so we wouldn’t say it’s a disadvantage. We’ve reached a point where the limitations of mobile devices are extinct. Of course, the performance levels of different mobile devices vary wildly, which is why optimisation is so important.” Indeed, there is always some hesitance around the concessions required to make each platform work. But they add that they “no longer have to sacrifice any in-game experiences, such as limiting the number of players in the same field, the size of the field or simplifying in-game animations like past mobile games did.”
“Mobile games keep getting better and seeing improvements in game UX, providing players with quick bursts of engaging gameplay, while still delivering immediate and accurate response time. Developers today are focusing more on the needs of the mobile platform, and how mobile gamers are looking for experiences where they can quickly jump into the game, play around for a bit, then jump back out in a short amount of time. They are more focused on creating positive experiences for players on mobile devices without sacrificing game play.” In that sense, V4 is a success; it’s easy to pick-up-and-play and feels very responsive, although it’s worth noting that in my time playing V4 I didn’t notice any major gameplay differences compared to its mobile MMORPG competitors. It uses autoplay and a familiar structure, complete with basic versions of hunting for resources, refining gear and participating in some basic PVP against bosses.
MMORPG’s live and die by their communities, so how Nexon tackle the expectations of its fans moving forward is going to be vital to its success. In that sense, Nexon feel well-equipped and confident that they can satisfy their players. “Our past experience with actively communicating with players on our first mobile RPG titles, HIT and OVERHIT, and quickly responding to their inquiries carried over pretty well to V4. User community is very important in online games like V4. Listening to player feedback is one of the reasons why V4 has been successful in Korea for the past year. Finding out what aspects are gathering positive sentiment and what aspects are garnering negative feedback is very important” While V4 doesn’t seem to be an entirely original take, it looks set to at least be a well-supported one.
For those looking for a more complex MMORPG experience on their PC , this likely won’t scratch your itch. But if you like the mobile MMORPG style and value the accessibility, V4 is definitely a solid choice from where I sit. It looks great, feels good to play and hits all the euphoric satisfying beats you’d want from the genre. You can check out V4 and find out more here.