Around this time last year, fans of NCSoft's games weren't just buzzing about Aion; back then, the company had another recently-announced MMO that gamers were looking forward to. But as time went on, Aion's development pushed ahead into the lead, and it won the lion's share of press coverage and hype. The other MMO—out of the limelight, but not forgotten—is called Blade and Soul, originally announced by NCSoft in July of 2008. Now that Aion's time to shine in the world of pre-release excitement has come to an end, many fans are once again looking ahead to "next big thing" territory.
Part of the reason that Blade and Soul 's buzz-factor is on the rise is its distinctive art style and high-octane gameplay. Dubbed with the "next-generation" tagline, Blade and Soul's combat more resembles a console-based fighting game than a traditional MMORPG (check out NCSoft's latest video trailer). In fact, rumor has it that NCSoft is developing the game with the intention of releasing a console version at some point after its PC launch. So it's no surprise that, in a time when every MMO developer on the block is slapping the "innovative" label on their product, fans are yearning for something that truly stands out.
When NCSoft announced Blade Soul Gold, it described the game as an "Oriental Martial Arts MMORPG" that sheds the usual high-fantasy motif in favor of an original world based on "Oriental mysticism." According to NCSoft's initial announcement, the game world is inspired by a Korean myth called "Song of Genesis." Player factions are designed from characters in the mythology, and the basic premise is similar to many creation myths; you fight against God-like forces to bring the world back to its original harmony.