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New World - What We Know So Far

"New World," Amazon Games' foray into the open-world MMO genre, transports players to the mysterious island of Aeternum. Shipwrecked and deprived of friends and supplies, you embark on a quest for survival, answers, and power. In addition to traversing Aeternum's beautiful and treacherous environments, you'll have to contend with other players stranded on the land mass. Will you struggle alone or assemble a team of allies to stake your claim? The developers promise that this is just one of many key choices you can make to ultimately shape your game experience.

According to the official description, "New World" emphasizes freedom, eschewing the traditional class system to let players pick and choose between a host of melee and ranged weapons and magical abilities. The name and art style evoke the pioneer spirit of explorers charting unknown lands, complete with an overwhelming sense of potential. In Aeternum, you can be whoever you want to be ... if you have the grit to see it through. It's an ambitious premise, especially for a game studio with such a checkered past.

"Crucible," Amazon Games' most recent title and attempt to corner the hero shooter market, released in 2020. It received such a disappointing reception that Amazon pulled it back into closed beta after a month on the market, before canceling it entirely later in the year. "New World" stands as the fledgeling studio's chance for redemption — or it could prove the final nail in its coffin. Here's what we've uncovered about Amazon's MMO so far.

What is the New World release date?

Similar to its predecessor, "New World" has already faced some development setbacks. Originally slated to come out on August 25, 2020, Amazon Games pushed the launch to spring 2021 after reviewing months of feedback from Alpha testers. Studio director Rich Lawrence cited the need to polish middle and endgame content with the hope of establishing a reputation for quality and longevity — two crucial areas in which "Crucible" fell short when it moved from Closed Beta to full release prematurely. It's hard to shake first impressions, but Amazon seems determined to do so.

In February, Amazon Games delayed "New World" yet again, offering August 31, 2021 as the new target date. According to the accompanying update, the team had been hard at work tweaking systems and incorporating fresh features and locations since previewing "New World" the previous summer. It has since shifted its focus to delivering a satisfying endgame experience, a goal it could not reach by the spring time frame it had previously offered. The studio also revealed plans to extend and expand the Alpha phase and offer a Closed Beta in the following months, further emphasizing its feedback centered approach. It remains to be seen whether an extra year in development can save "New World" from meeting the same fate as "Crucible."

Is there a New World trailer?

Amazon Games has released at least three trailers for "New World." The first debuted during The Game Awards 2019, the second followed during IGN's Summer of Gaming in 2020, and the third accompanied the delay and Closed Beta announcement.

The latest "New World" trailer, titled "This Is Aeternum," dropped on May 11. At exactly two minutes long, the clip provides an overview of the game's setting, including some of the adventures, wonders, and threats you can expect to face. You can fish, hunt, and chop wood — or take on more dangerous pursuits. The succession of scenes offers glimpses of Aeternum's more hostile inhabitants, which the official website divides in two categories: the Corrupted, the Ancient, and the Lost — twisted beings who were once human — and plant-animal hybrids known as the Angry Earth.

Beyond the island's denizens, the May video highlights the hybrid combat system used in "New World," with plenty of artillery, melee weapons, and spells on display. This "choose your own adventure" approach comes with a wealth of clothing and equipment, allowing you to customize your character's appearance and augment your chosen build. It seems you'll need every advantage you can get to survive and carve out your place in the PvP and PvE environment. Thankfully, you don't have to face this challenge alone, as demonstrated by the variety of solo and party battles featured in the trailer. If exploration and story are more your thing, it looks you'll also have plenty of ruins to delve, NPCs to interact with, and secrets to uncover.

How do you join the New World Closed Beta?

Perhaps in an effort to soften the blow of a second delay, Amazon Games revealed plans for a "New World" Closed Beta alongside the new August release date. The Closed Beta begins on July 20, 2021 and will run until August 2. Whether you've already contributed to the title as part of the Alpha phase or are simply itching to get a taste of the pre-release gameplay, you might wonder if and how you can get involved and what exactly the Closed Beta entails.

All interested parties can sign up for the "New World" Closed Beta on the official website; however, this does not mean you'll get a spot. When July 20 rolls around, Amazon plans to randomly pull from its list of prospective testers and shoot off invitations throughout the Closed Beta period. If you'd prefer not to gamble, you can pre-order "New World" for guaranteed access to the Closed Beta.

Before you rush to buy or sign up, there are few caveats to keep in mind. Amazon has not clarified whether Alpha players will automatically have the opportunity to join the Closed Beta, instead promising to share more information at a later date. Even if you make the transition from Alpha to Closed Beta, your progression will not carry over. Similarly, Closed Beta players cannot transfer their progress to the full game, meaning all of your hard work will be wiped out on August 31, forcing you to start from scratch.

What is the gameplay like in New World?

Character progression in "New World" centers on three main categories: Core Attributes, Trade Skills, and Weapon Mastery.

While Trade Skills and Weapon Mastery play important roles, your Core Attributes have a major influence over your power level compared to enemies and other players. Similar to other RPG games, your character begins with 5 points invested in each Core Attribute: Strength, Dexterity, Intelligence, Focus, and Constitution. Whenever you hit a new level, you receive a set amount of Attribute Points, which you can distribute however you choose.

Trade Skills represent non-combat abilities divided into three categories: Gathering, Refining, and Crafting. You level up these skills by using them in-game, which means the more you practice the more effective you become. Weapon Mastery works similarly, as you gain XP in a certain track by taking down foes with related weapon. Each track comes with two unique skill trees that offer access to abilities and boons. You need to employ some strategic thinking, however, as you can't unlock every component in both trees.

Beyond your attribute and skill progression, "New World" offers three in-game factions to choose from: the militant Marauders, the slippery Syndicate, and the righteous Covenant. After choosing a side, you can join or create smaller groups known as companies. Once you reach level 25, you have the opportunity to embark on group raids called expeditions. The game also offers several other group combat options, such as the max level Outpost Rush or massive 50 vs. 50 War mode.