I have not played Rifts for very long, as a matter of fact less than a week total from buying the game and from a very limited beta experience. In that time, however, I feel I have come to grasp some of the great Loves and Hatreds of the game. I have spelled them out below, in no particular order other than my likes first and my despair being last.
Terrific Things About Rifts
1. Models: Rich and luscious, the models exude color and detail
2. Atmosphere: the terrain and flora, the sky and the ocean all seem vibrant
3. Character progression: four classes, each with 8 subclasses, each with dozens of skills translates into hours of fiddling and fine-turning a class.
4. Ease of play — within a couple of hours you are completely up to speed and playing like a “big boy”.
5. Solo friendly: Along with ease of play, the game seems very Solo friendly and also offers fast grouping methods, which means no more sitting around waiting for groups if that is your thing.
Fears, Hatreds, and Troubling signs
1. Extremely Linear: There are but two paths to follow in the game, basically the opposing sides to the game. Once you create one for each, the quest progression is dreadfully the same with no alternate paths. Making the process of creating another character boring, repetitive, and just unfun!
2. Feels like all the other MMOs: Taking the best from the rest is great way of making a fun game, but it also causes everyone to compare it to the big rivals. “This is a new WoW!?!” Good to hook new players, but bad for those wanting a new experience.
3. Crafting is too basic: For those that like to craft, Rifts is not it — crafting and harvesting has been reduced to the most infantile level of complexity and is just not fun.
4. Death: They have tried to make dying unpleasant and penalizing, but their choice is too much like WoW and one that I just do not like. I hate running back to a corpse — Waste of time and dumb. Certainly once per hour you can just be reborn, but often (see below) your death has nothing to do with being a smart player or not. Horrible death system.
5. Rift Mobs: Unless you have played this, it is hard to explain. Basically rifts open up and spew out mobs, but sometimes these mobs (which are usually higher level than the local area) come bashing on your guy even though you have nothing to do with Rift. So you die, and that is not cool or fun.