Rift Review

By on April 24, 2011

A polished amalgamation of MMOs.

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First Impressions
My reaction is

Rift is a high fantasy MMO set in the world of Telara, where mysterious rifts are tearing up new dimensions threatening the end of all life. You play as an ascended hero who’s called back from the dead, and are sent through time to save Telara from imminent destruction.

The above is a basic gist of Rift, but developer Trion Worlds have tried so hard to differentiate Rift from other similar MMOs that they came up with an extremely annoying and convoluted storyline to create the world of Rift. The game starts off with a cool looking, but ultimately senseless, battle scene. And without any simple explanation, you’re thrust into this world with your character running around to do some quests.

The quests themselves are standard affair as I went from point A to B while killing X of Y to proceed further and further into the game. Almost all of my questing from level 1 to 50 was done solo as I never felt much need to get into groups. Props to Trion Worlds for making the game so focused on the single-player aspect, although some of you may not like this. The flip side to this coin is that throughout my questing I never found a lot of random players going about the rest of the world, so questing in groups was pretty much out of the question anyways. Everybody seems to be either level 50, or to have quit the game after their first month’s subscription ended, which is a shame really, because the Rift public events seem to be lackluster now.

Rifts, the namesake of the game, are basically portals opening up from other dimensions through which monsters of all shapes and sizes pour forth to destroy Telara. These public events have been done in Warhammer Online before, but over here they feel more intense; if you’re lucky enough to get a big group that is. Killing off the monsters, thereby closing a rift, rewards you with some cool loot, especially if you do it before the bonus timer runs out.

While I’m on topic, I’ll just go ahead and say that I’m not a big fan of the combat in Rift. I’m not taking about the gameplay style, but rather how it looks. That is to say, not very impressive. In fact, all of my spells and acrobatic leaps look (and feel) very clunky. The animation is just not as fluid and smooth as I have come to expect from playing other MMOs. In this one area, more than any other, Rift seems very unpolished.

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The Scorecard
Pretty much all the nuances of a well established MMO is present here. Minor issues are being patched out very often.
One of the best looking MMOs out there, the shader modeling is amazing. However, the art style is very bland and uninspired.
Some of the most boring background music and poor voiceovers in any MMO in recent history.
It's an MMO, so the value factor increases the more you come back to it. Once you've had your fill though, $15 a month may seem too much.
Rift public events and non-instanced raids are great to come back to time and time again.
Great for players new to MMOs, veterans may want to look elsewhere (or wait a bit longer).


From auditing to editing, I now test and analyze the latest gadgets and games instead of the latest financial statements. Both jobs are equally intense and rewarding. When I'm not burning up hardware in the name of science, you'll find me nuking in DOTA 2 or engineering in TF2.

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