Throne & Liberty Preview: Building From a Solid Foundation

As Amazon has started to make a stronger push in the gaming industry, the mega-corp has found itself releasing a number of different MMOs. Not only did Amazon Games release New World back in 2021, but it also happens to be working on at least three other games within the genre at this very moment. Throne & Liberty happens to be one of those projects in question and is definitely a title that fans should keep an eye on in the future. 

Throne & Liberty is a fantasy-based MMO that sees players venturing through the world of Solisium. First announced all the way back in 2011, Throne & Liberty is now nearing the point where developer NCSoft is gearing up to put the game in the hands of more players in the form of a technical test. Prior to that time, though, I was able to get a look at the opening 30 minutes or so of the game at a recent preview event. 

The most unique aspect by far of Throne & Liberty is that the player-controlled character is able to morph into various animals on the fly. Rather than using a mount to travel about the world, with the simple press of a button, your character can transform into a wolf, a bird, or other creatures that weren't showcased in my brief demo. The various forms don't seem to have a purpose when it comes to combat, but this function on its own is starkly different when compared to other MMOs and has a lot of potential. 

(Photo: Amazon Games)

Combat in Throne & Liberty is pretty basic, but it seems like there is also far more depth under the surface that I have yet to see. Like more old-school MMOs, TL features an auto-attack system with additional real-time elements. While most strikes in a given engagement will be performed on their own with the press of a single button, there are also special abilities that players can use that will then be set to a cooldown before being usable again.

There's also a defensive element to Throne & Liberty's combat which is sure to keep players more engaged. At set times, enemies will wind up more powerful attacks which are then conveyed with a specific symbol on screen. During this brief window, players can look to parry this strike to return a larger chunk of damage. It's a relatively basic concept, but again, it's one that should ensure players remain concentrated on the action. 

Unlike other MMOs, Throne & Liberty also opts to not put a class system at the heart of the game. Instead, players can freely swap between different playstyles and builds by merely switching the weapons and gear they are using. This isn't something that I was able to experiment with much during my own demo given its brevity, but it's something that I'm personally glad to see as it should allow for far more experimentation. 

(Photo: Amazon Games)

The one thing that I'm still a bit torn on with Throne & Liberty involves Amitoi, which are toy-like creatures that accompany you on your journey. At a gameplay level, Amitoi are companions that grant your character passive buffs and can be swapped out freely over the course of the game. And while this is a fine system and idea on its own, it's the design and look of the Amitoi that is quite jarring. 

Compared to the predominant dark fantasy art style that Throne & Liberty primarily boasts, the Amitoi are chibi-style in nature and don't mesh all that well with everything else found in the world. It's worth noting that I was only able to get a look at one specific Amitoi in my own demo, so I'm not sure if the litany of others that will be found in TL will be as tonally distinct. As a whole, I'm not against Amitoi being implemented in Throne & Liberty, but I think there is definitely a way for them to fit more cohesively in the game.

It's still hard for me to know what to think about Throne & Liberty moving forward. There are a lot of solid ideas to be found within this MMO, but my own time playing the game was so brief that I feel like I still don't have a full understanding of what it will have in store. Still, if you're someone who has been looking for a new MMO to sink dozens of hours into, Throne & Liberty has the potential to be quite unique in the midst of a growing competitive landscape. 

Throne & Liberty doesn't have a release window of any sort just yet but it is in development for PlayStation 5, Xbox Series X/S, and PC. The aforementioned technical test for the game is planned to be held later in 2023 and those looking to take part in this phase can sign-up to be involved right here