SoulWorker is one of the more interesting entries to online anime games. South Korean studio, Lion Games, brings us the free third-person action MMORPG after five years overseas. With its English release back in May 2021, SoulWorker has been gaining traction among MMO and anime fans alike. Summoned into a post-apocalyptic world after a mysterious catastrophe, you’re one of the heroes chosen by the gods to fight back against evil.
Plenty of free missions to enjoy
As a SoulWorker, your life can be pretty busy with over a hundred dungeons and occasional boss battles. It’ll be a long time before you find yourself starving for new content with all the unique enemies you encounter. Though sometimes all this PvE grinding can feel a bit repetitive, and later some enemies are frustrating to fight solo. Using a mission’s party search barely gives results, but you can use the game’s general group search feature instead.
That said, you can play through most of SoulWorker by yourself. And difficult fights get easier once you learn the enemy gimmicks to watch out for. But be careful dying, as you’re only allowed a few free respawns a day before you need special in-game items. Although, for a free anime MMORPG, SoulWorker is pretty generous with you on that front. Plenty of items and equipment are given to you throughout your questing and missions. And I never had an issue with running out of stamina, which determines how much you can do daily. This also seems to be the case for a lot of other players I encountered as well.
Inventory management can be a bit annoying though, especially as a free player. Your starting inventory space is very limited unless you purchase items to expand it. While the game gives you a lot of items, doing this with a small backpack can be a hassle. You’re given useful stuff sometimes, but most of it is junk you can sell or dismantle for crafting materials.
SoulWorker shines when it comes to anime combat
Where SoulWorker really shines is naturally its combat. The different anime characters you can choose from offer a wide variety of playstyles. You can be a katana-wielder, slicing through your enemies in cool anime fashion, or a spirit summoning guitar playing loli. The newest addition to the cast is a sniper girl, giving you strategic possibilities to kill mobs of targets. All the characters have fluid, impactful animations which make you feel powerful and the feel combat engaging. Abilities can also be set up as specific chains, giving even more versatility fighting however works for you.
That said, there’s not much when it comes to the customization of character appearances. A few color and hairstyle changes, but that’s about it. Character genders are locked too so if you want to be a male sniper you’re out of luck. Although all the characters have really great anime designs to them already. And there’s also plenty of interesting cosmetics you can get in SoulWorker to really stand out. Most are of course paid cosmetics with some tied to limited events. One of the recent events was a KonoSuba crossover, so now I can rock a cool Megumin outfit.
Still needs a bit of polishing…
System-wise, I had a lot of annoyances with the game’s interface. Trying to navigate certain menus could feel like a maze, and adjusting elements to my preferences was near impossible. There were also weird things I might have experienced because I’m using two monitors, like randomly shifting into windowed mode. The game also has support for using a controller to play, but it feels incredibly unpolished. If you’re not doing a mission, then using a controller can be hell.
I enjoyed the occasional cutscenes, but there were too many problems with some of the English dialogue for me to fully dive into the story. Lots of text feels awkward and unedited while others are just not important at all. Before you know it, you find yourself used to pressing “skip” to start the next dungeon grind. Which is unfortunate, because SoulWorker initially makes each character feel like an interesting part to play. That importance fades away when most mainline quest dialogue becomes just small talk before the next chore. Some of it is still important, but there’s so much filler dialogue that it’s easy to lose interest.
Soulworker can be a fun time sink
Overall, SoulWorker is visually great with highly engaging combat and a lot of free content to offer. The variety of playstyles and character types can make this game a major time sink. However, elements like accessibility and English dialogue could use a lot more polishing. Not much is exclusive to paid players except extra inventory slots and cosmetics. And you’ll almost never run out of free-play stamina. If you’re looking for an anime MMORPG to grind dungeons with plenty of variety in action, then SoulWorker might be the game for you.
SoulWorker is available now on PC for free through Steam.
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