New MMORPG was the great PvE hope for 8 years – but the new gameplay looks terrible

Pantheon Rise of the Fallen gameplay screenshot

Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen is an MMORPG fully focused on PvE and group play. Due to the orientation and the well-known developer Brad McQuaid, many players had high hopes since 2014. But the latest gameplay is disappointing.

What’s the deal with the game? Brad McQuaid, who was a key contributor to EverQuest and Vanguard: Saga of Heroes, announced his new MMORPG in 2014. This should tie in with old school games and put a big focus on the social component:

Many players could immediately identify with the ideas and had high hopes for the game. But development was slow and the death of Brad McQuaid in 2019 also set the project back. It wasn’t until January 2023 that there were first pre-alpha tests for players who had previously supported in crowdfunding. However, the content was not allowed to be shown.

What’s new now? YouTuber PantheonPlus has now been granted permission to show gameplay. In just under two hours, he presents some fights with a group of players, open world content and the climbing feature. But the gameplay shown gets criticism.

You can watch the live stream here:

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“It looks like a game for the PlayStation 2”

What is criticized? The first major point of criticism is the graphics. This looks very old-fashioned in the current pre-alpha stage. In the MMORPG reddit players compare these to titles from the early 2000s like Old School RuneScape or games on the PlayStation 2.

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But the gameplay is not good either. One user describes the fact that you need 6 players and almost 90 seconds of fighting time for a skeleton in the open world as “the most boring gameplay ever”.

In its current form, Pantheon is somewhat reminiscent of Embers Adrift, an indie PvE MMORPG that released last year. There, too, there is a focus on group play, rather weak graphics and very slow fights.

However, the fact that this gameplay is the result of almost 8.5 years of development causes a lot of irritation. In terms of content, too, the MMORPG does not have as much to offer as many players had hoped.

A screenshot from the fight against the skeleton from the live stream.

Is there praise? Yes. There are many positive comments under the YouTube video itself, which is probably also due to the fact that it is mainly fans of the game who gather there.

For example, the group game is praised several times. Here it is important to position them correctly and coordinate when who uses which skills. The general group dynamic is one of the great strengths of Pantheon.

The graphics, some bugs and missing content were also defended with the fact that the game had already developed enormously and was still in a pre-alpha. So there would still be enough time to do the necessary fine-tuning.

It is celebrated several times as the upcoming successor to EverQuest.

What do you think of Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen? Does the gameplay appeal to you and do you still have high hopes? Or is the MMORPG headed in the wrong direction? Feel free to write it in the comments.

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You can find out more about new MMORPGs here: All 58 MMORPGs currently in development for the PC.