Vindictus: Defying Fate early access impressions — Fate is tempting in Nexon’s next Mabinogi adventure

Last month, we got our very first look at the new action RPG from Nexon, Vindictus: Defying Fate. Defying Fate is a standalone game that takes place in the Vindictus MMORPG universe, expanding on the world and lore with fast-paced combat and beautiful, immersive environments. Recently, they did a public pre-alpha play test so players could get a small glimpse into what is to come. The demo showcases the gameplay mechanics and aesthetic elements, giving us a small idea of the direction and design philosophy of Vindictus going forward. Editor in Chief Ron Burke and I dropped in to see what some of that future holds.

For those who aren’t as familiar with Vindictus, it’s a medieval fantasy MMO that was first released as Mabinogi Heroes in South Korea in January 2010, later being released in the west as Vindictus. It is a prequel to developer devCAT’s previous MMO Mabinogi, set in the same universe. Vindictus changed up the game mechanics, with hack and slash combat and much-improved movement. Vindictus: Defying Fate continues to improve on those mechanics, bringing a more modern touch and overall making everything smoother. Mabinogi is a Welsh term referring to Welsh prose stories. The games are loosely based on Welsh mythology.

We were presented with a couple character options, a female character named Fiona who wields a sword and shield for solid attacks and defense, and a male character named Lann who uses a pair of swords for quick attacks. Each character also has four skills available, which can be used by pressing the corresponding key on your keyboard or by holding the left bumper and then pushing the corresponding A/B/X/Y button on your controller, in this case, for Xbox. There’s also a special move that will prompt if an enemy gets stunned, dealing a ton of damage and oftentimes knocking them out entirely. Aside from those skills, you have simple hack and slash attacks and heavy attacks, as well as the ability to dodge and (try to) block enemy attacks.

Combat so far feels solid. The enemies don’t feel squishy; they put up a real fight and will pummel your character into the ground if given the chance. Their attacks are unforgiving, dealing a good chunk of damage if you don’t manage to dodge or block. There were three boss fights in the demo that presented a decent challenge, giving us ample opportunity to experiment with different attack combinations while also avoiding taking too much damage, though we did have a few health potions on hand if we needed a little pick-me-up. The creatures we faced were bipedal wolves that wielded axes, bows and arrows, and other heavy, melee weapons. Knowing what else the Vindictus universe holds, we can’t wait to see what other beasts and enemies we’ll face.

When firing up the game, you’re prompted to hook up your preferred controller (Xbox, PlayStation, Switch Pro controller, Steam controller, etc). Although there is also support for mouse and keyboard, a controller is highly recommended as the controls are much easier to, quite literally, grasp, especially with the ability to remap keybinds not yet being available. Being the rebel I am, I still played on mouse and keyboard, which eventually started to feel at least a little better by the end.

Moving onto the design, this game already looks fantastic, with incredible detail to the environment and character designs. Lighting and color make everything around you look stunning, even if the majority of what you see is dark caves, rocks, and some grass. I always appreciate some good looking mud. We also got a look at some cosmetic options for each character, which I assume are just costumes layered over armor.

All of the animations, from the cutscenes, to combat, to simple movement, are smooth and seamless. There’s also some great physics on display with parts of the environment that are destructible and with how characters move. Ron and I ran the game on two completely different PC builds, his being a full 2 generations ahead of mine, and it ran beautifully on both with no issues. We’ll see how everything performs when we get the final product, or even during beta testing, but this is already looking very promising.

Vindictus Defying Fate Demo at 4K on PC

I’m very impressed with what I’ve seen so far in Vindictus: Defying Fates. Everything was so smooth, from movement to combat, even on mouse and keyboard once you get used to it. We only got to see a very small portion of the game, but it certainly wasn’t lacking. We did find a couple of loot chests with ‘Work in Progress’ signs that caused a small chuckle. I’m very curious to see what the loot and gear systems will look like, if they’ll change up much from the Vindictus MMO. With that game now being 14-years-old, it’s inevitable that there will be differences, but we hope it stays true to the core of Vindictus. It seems like it happens all too often that we finally get a sequel that’s been a long time coming, but they’ve completely changed everything, which can be a real killjoy for die-hard fans.

As of this writing, there is no release date yet for Vindictus: Defying Fate, but we do know it will be released on consoles and PC. You can always stay in the loop here at for all your previews, interviews, reviews and more.

Cassie Peterson is an Editor for Gaming Trend but also a sporadic content creator and exceedingly average Rainbow Six Siege player. She goes by MzPanik on Twitter and Twitch and all of the gaming platforms.

Executive Director and Editor-in-Chief | [email protected]

Ron Burke is the Editor in Chief for Gaming Trend. Currently living in Fort Worth, Texas, Ron is an old-school gamer who enjoys CRPGs, action/adventure, platformers, music games, and has recently gotten into tabletop gaming.

Ron is also a fourth degree black belt, with a Master's rank in Matsumura Seito Shōrin-ryū, Moo Duk Kwan Tang Soo Do, Universal Tang Soo Do Alliance, and International Tang Soo Do Federation. He also holds ranks in several other styles in his search to be a well-rounded fighter.

Ron has been married to Gaming Trend Editor, Laura Burke, for 28 years. They have three dogs - Pazuzu (Irish Terrier), Atë, and Calliope (both Australian Kelpie/Pit Bull mixes), and an Axolotl named Dagon!

Vindictus: Defying Fate early access impressions — Fate is tempting in Nexon’s next Mabinogi adventure

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