New World: Aeternum Hands-on Preview

In a nutshell:

  • We played the New World: Aeternum demo during Summer Game Fest, which took us from character creation to the first few story missions of the new expansion.
  • Character Archetypes range between melee, ranged, and magic users. For the purposes of this demo, we’ll explore the Musketeer archetype.
  • So far, after one hour of gameplay, a decent start for the action RPG and several bonuses are available for pre-order.

New World: Aeternum is a thrilling and content-rich action RPG featuring real-time combat set in a vast and mysterious world. It’s scheduled to launch on PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC on Oct. 15, 2024, and ahead of its launch, we got to try out a 1-hour demo during the recently concluded Summer Game Fest.

1 hour is obviously not enough to try out everything on offer, but what we tried was pretty meaty, containing character creation, the first few missions of the game, and some side quests here and there that painted an early picture of what lie ahead.

Let Me Solo New World Aeternum

One of the biggest selling points, at least for me as a solo player, is that you’re able to solo the entire campaign of New World: Aeternum. The progression is smooth and for the most part, my entire hour was spent running through the main story and exploring the given world, until I reached level 9 as the timer expired.

You’re able to select between the different archetypes: The Destroyer and Soldier, the melee specialists either focusing on either a heavy weapon or a sword and shield; The Musketeer, a speedy type that wields a rapier and a firearm; The Mystic and Occultist, both magic types specializing in either abjuration or sorcery; The Ranger, who focuses on bows and arrows; and finally the Swordbearer who wields a two-handed blade and a blunderbuss.

New World Aeternum Guns

I did not get a chance to fully explore my options during the character creator screen as I’ve mostly gone ahead with my default selection to save on time, and I opted for the speed-based Musketeer as my first character.

A New World Awaits…

Throughout the hour-long playthrough that left me curious to see how the mid-game and the late-game run of New World: Aeternum fares, Amazon Games did a good job onboarding players with a well thought-out tutorial. As revealed through the trailers, you don’t need to have played the original game to get into this new world, pardon the pun.

Once you’re out of the tutorial mission, you’re set to harvest resources and hunt in order to provide for yourself, whether it is food or crafting tools. You’ll engage in several story missions that outfit your character to be prepared for the long haul, and as with many games of they type, players will obtain good equipment just by playing the game.

Traversal is convenient in New World: Aeternum. You can walk, run, or swim; with some of the actions using up some stamina. You can cross through the different areas with blade and gun in tow and hunt for resources, or you can also grind it out, but completing questlines are your best bet to receive better experience and loot.

New World Aeternum Traversal

As for combat, you can engage a target and attack with your melee or ranged weapon. You can block attacks or roll away. As with action RPGs of this type, you can heal with your potions when necessary and activate skills to aid you with your opponent. Cooldown would depend on the level of the skill.

While you have several archetypes to choose from, I can only speak for my archetype: The Musketeer. The gun has a two-three second cooldown. Meaning, you have to make every shot count. I chose the base skill for the musket, which allows me to stack damage and status buffs when the attack connects. This is helpful when taking care of higher level enemies, as it made quick work of the only quest boss I encountered.

The rapier skills are quick type melee attacks that prioritizes dodges and ripostes over strong attacks. This allows for to pick off the remainder of your opponents once you take out stronger enemies from a distance. I’m considering keeping the archetype for future use when the New World Aeternum releases on October.

New World Aeternum Musketeer

I encountered one side quest, which was a fetch quest, which is part and parcel for these type of games. I hope that we receive more variety with side quests in the later levels of the game. High level solo challenge dungeons will be available as endgame content as promised from the trailer, so I’m looking forward to that.

At the end of our New World Aeternum playthrough, we were able to enter the main town. Here, we were subject to the main questline of the New World Aeternum, which seeks to explore more of the world in question. It’s too bad that we weren’t able to experience more, but with the time we had, it’s enough to whet the appetite.

New World Aeternum Stalker

At the end of my run with New World Aeternum, I capped at level 9, with a few good pieces of equipment and defeated a fair amount of bosses. The musketeer is a dependable class with some fun stackable skills that will only get more powerful from here on in.

As New World Aeternum nears its release, we await for the announcement of any closed or open beta to see more of its progress. Don’t forget to log into the server if you previously purchased the original game to receive your Wolf Stalker mount, which is the console pre-order bonus.

New World Aeternum launches October 15, 2024 on the PS5, Xbox Series X|S, and PC.

Our Summer Game Fest 2024 coverage is powered by Lenovo Philippines and Lenovo Legion.

Leave a comment

Tooltip Text