Snail Games' North American publishing of Age of Wushu has led the company down a pathway of success and has garnered quite the view of favoritism regarding its unique take on non-leveling and a deep appreciation for wuxia where your character becomes a hero or a villain based on the decisions you make every step of the way. Well, the game is about to get a bit deeper with the brand new weather system.
As noted on the official announcement page...
Currently under development, the active environmental system will first be available for Chinese servers and include a day/night cycle, seasons, weather, and much more. It’s more than just to look pretty though; weather will affect many aspects of the martial arts MMORPG, including certain skills and events.
Man, I love that kind of design implementation. A lot of games have artificial weather systems that are good only for show: it rains and it just gets dark with some overlay water effects. It snows and it's the same thing except you replace the transparent droplets with white colored snow flakes that fall a bit slower. Fog usually isn't present and day to night shifts are there just for perfunctory implementation.
With Age of Wushu we're looking at a slightly different kind of weather system where deserts get hit with sand storms (as showcased in the screenshots below), mountaintops will be laced with snow that can affect your character's vision and fighting performance. Rain can change the way you interact with and control your character's flight and gravity abilities. The weather is a dynamic and unpredictable affair that will actually affect gameplay and I love that.
I wish we had more games taking on this kind of in-game ambition as opposed to always going for the highest optimized poly-counts or making the most out of the newest shader APIs.
I doubt Age of Wushu will spawn clones quite like World of Warcraft given its complex and one-of-a-kind design, but I'm glad that it's out there on the market and making waves. If you have time to invest in the MMO and want a truly character-driven, atmospheric, engaging MMO that isn't just your standard grind-fest, Age of Wushu is definitely worth checking out.
You can learn more about this free-to-play RPG by paying a visit to the game's official website. The weather system is still in development so we'll keep you posted on when it goes live.