Our Rift review is late, but not forgotten. Can this new twist on a quickly aging genre spawn enough interest to pull players from their previous home worlds into Telara for good?
Of course the primary pull of rift is, well the rifts. These extradimensional portals to elemental planes are indeed the best part of the game. I personally enjoy playing as a ‘rifter,’ someone who goes from rift to rift to progress in the game rather then relying on story missions and quests. The latter are the biggest stumbling block for me. If there are no immediate rifts around, you’re left to do some of the most boring and tedious fetch quests I’ve seen. I don’t care anymore why I’m gathering six fox ears or 10 stupid rocks for whatever you’re making, just make it simple so I can get it over with. Rift tries to liven it up but it’s pretty plain that they’re just filler for when there’s not a rift event to take part in.
Fighting a rift alone can either be pure boredom or straight suicide, depending on the zone’s population. I once rolled a new character and was spat out into the first leveling zone in Telara for the Defiant (Terminas) and didn’t see another player for the next three-plus hours. I closed a number of rifts on my own since they scale to the number/level of players involved but it was nothing short of boring. I had rolled a Defiant before on another server and soon ran smack-dab into a major rift event with dozens of people scrambling to shut rifts and stop an invasion. I was level 8 at the time and was able to play an active part in one of several auto-grouped raids. These public groups are a fantastic way to get people together, and are as simple as clicking a ‘join group’ button that pops up on your screen.
The graphics in Rift are ok, but come across as just another generic fantasy world to me. They’re not even technically flashy. It’s just bland. The audio is equally forgettable.
Rift is fun when you’re interacting with other people. Rather then soloing as I do in World of WarCraft of Champions Online, there’s really nothing better to be had here then joining a public group and slamming shut rifts all across the land. If you’re on a server with high activity or use Trion Worlds’ server transfer feature to go to one, then Rift is worth your time and money. Players who want to go it alone will quickly get bored and wonder why anyone would play such an average, uninspired game. Those of us who get it, though, and partake in what makes Rift unique, can just smile and shake our heads.