|Dev: Trion World Network|
|Pub: Trion World Network|
|Release: March 1, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
And speaking of quests, RIFT has a very well-crafted questing system. Quests are spread out among tiny little camps and settlements, each naturally leading to the next. I was able to finish every quest in most of the areas I visited, and once I moved on to the next area, the content was at the perfect level for me to take part in it. Many MMOs overwhelm beginner players with tons of quests, but RIFT is able to keep its content exceptionally well-balanced. You won't feel like you'll run out of things to do, yet you'll never feel like your quest log is impossibly burdened by tons of quests you'll probably never finish. I am very impressed by how smoothly this content flows together. The only complaint you could possibly make is that, for the most part, you'll need to complete every quest in each area before you move on. However, completionists who hate to over-level content before they finish will weep giant tears of joy over RIFT's exceptional quest flow.
I admit that I only had time to complete one dungeon in RIFT (the Iron Tomb), but I had a lot of fun exploring it with some friends from my newly formed guild. The dungeon quests were bestowed by NPCs who were actually inside of the instance (similar to the way dungeon quests are bestowed in post-Cataclysm WoW) making it incredibly easy for all the group members to stay focused on the same objectives. The final boss in the Iron Tomb, Ragnoth the Despoiler, had a few tricks up his sleeve, requiring some strategy and memorization in order to defeat him. If the other dungeons follow a similar formula, yet vary and expand on it, dungeon-running in RIFT promises to be an enjoyable experience.
If you're into the whole visual aspect, then there's no doubt that RIFT will satisfy your eyeballs. (Unless, of course, your computer isn't up to par.) The game world is beautiful, packed full of little details that make you say "Woah." For example, in the Stonefield area you'll find the decaying skeleton of a fallen titan warrior. This corpse is so large that your character is basically a mouse compared to this thing. The first time I saw it, I had just climbed over the top of a hill and had begun descending into a valley, giving me a full, distant view of this enormous corpse. I had to stop what I was doing so I could just stare at this thing because it was so visually stunning. Telara is a world full of things that are really fun to look at.
If you are craving an alternative to World of Warcraft but find yourself unable to give up WoW's gameplay style, then RIFT is pretty much your dream come true. And for anyone else who enjoys MMOs, you'll probably find quite a few things to love as well. Here's wishing for a long and healthy life for RIFT.
CCC Freelance Writer