Part of this affinity for a good leap is because I remember a time before jumping. In Ultima Online and Legend of Mir, you couldn’t leap at all. in Runescape jumping was the art of diving in to kill a weakened enemy in the Player vs Player Wilderness, and otherwise Gielinor was a fantasy land with a complete lack of vertical movement.
But then came World of Warcraft. Jumping onto things you technically shouldn’t in World of Warcraft was a huge deal. Players would bounce through town: Night Elves – and later, Blood Elves – would even have fancy flips and twirls as they leapt about the place, trying to scale improbably steep cliff faces, or even just to sit on top of
An entire culture grew around jumping into instances that is still going strong today, with some people claiming it was the influence of Megaman, 90’s TV show Sliders or even too-old-for-even-me-to-play-it Everquest.
Guild Wars 2 refined this, adding jumping puzzles: elaborate hidden vistas in nearly every levelling zone and hand out achievements to all those who take the time to find them and conquer them. Because these are mostly hidden – and because there are a few mini jumping puzzles that give no achievement, and is a big secret for only the most dedicated players – it’s not uncommon to walk through a levelling area and see a giant Norn in plate mail mashing the jump button while trying to climb up a wall in the hope they have just found a secret no one else ever has.
Why am I offering up this leap-based history lesson? It’s because New World has the shittest jumping I’ve ever seen in an MMO. The jumping in the New World is so bad, with your jump strength so low, that I’m not even sure if I want to jump everywhere anymore.
To be fair to New World, despite Amazon Games’ massive betrayal of everything I hold dear, you can climb things and this is quite generous. While the video above was captured from a press-exclusive hands-on, I also dived into the Closed Beta when it kicked off last night and found I could scale rooftops and carve a path through the environment by mantling to my heart’s content.
But this only makes the slightly pathetic jump even more silly. With the combat being as fascinating as it is – I’m a spear and musket guy now, bouncing in and out of combat to try and trip my enemy up or knock them down – it’s a shame you can’t leap into it.
“Oh, but realism” I can hear people calling, asking why someone fully laden with armour and a few weapons could put in an Olympic winning – high jump and long jump – leap, but it’s also a game where I’m leathering zombies, skeletons and… pirate skeletons on the reg, so surely New World’s devs can write “JUMP HIGHER” on a whiteboard and come back to work on this problem after the Closed Beta concludes. Come on Amazon Games, be a pal.
Outside of these jumps, New World is excellent and in Closed Beta now. The full release is on August 31.