Amazon shows off ‘New World’ gameplay in trailer for online multiplayer game set for Aug. 31 debut

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Amazon Games has released a new trailer for its massively-multiplayer online game New World, which is scheduled for release on Aug. 31. Titled “This Is Aeternum,” the trailer is a sizzle reel that shows off some of the art, dungeons, and locales to be found in the game.

In New World, primarily developed by Amazon’s Orange County studio, you play as one of many explorers who are stranded on the island of Aeternum. You must survive and find allies “in a dangerous world where the fundamental laws of life and death don’t apply.”

On Aeternum, the magic that flows through the island has warped its ecosystem, altering the flora and fauna. The people who’ve ended up there over the years have been rendered unable to die, and over the centuries, have transformed into the members of three enemy factions, known as the Corrupted, the Ancient, and the Lost.

When the players’ characters reach Aeternum, you get split into three playable factions off the hop. That splits you into teams for grouping up and player-vs.-player conflict, and can give you bonuses if you’re currently adventuring in a settlement or territory that your faction controls.

You can currently choose between the Marauders, a military company that believes in raw strength above anything else; the Syndicate, your standard-issue criminal conspiracy; or the religious-zealot Covenant, who are driven by their faith in a deity called the Spark.

Official art for Amazon’s New World. (Amazon image)

A lot about what we know regarding New World‘s gameplay to date sounds like the standard for MMORPGs, with features like quests, leveling, and crafting goods and equipment. Rather than character classes, however, it has an open-ended, point-based system that lets you practice a skill by using it.

The combat system is another big departure from past MMORPGs. It plays out more like a modern action game, with real-time fighting and evasion. It’s more like recent RPG-flavored shooters like Outriders or Borderlands than, say, a World of Warcraft.

The May 11 trailer also showed off Expeditions, New World‘s version of other games’ instanced dungeons. Each Expedition is a shared adventure for three to five players, with names such as Garden of Genesis and Amrine Excavation.

(Amazon image)

While each Expedition will feature unique loot and challenges, they’ll also change as you increase their difficulty. Rather than simply having more enemies that hit harder, Amazon has said that higher-end Expeditions will feature different puzzles and mechanics.

Amazon has also promised that New World will offer features like large-scale PVP combat, and a player-driven economy where actual humans control trading companies they’ve built in-game.

So far, it’s interesting to see how Amazon’s been handling New World. While the data they’ve released about it so far has been very curated, the official site has a lot of in-depth detail about the game’s design priorities and the changes its developers have made in response to feedback. It’s the sort of transparency that you usually only see from smaller, independent studios.

This was also the case with last year’s Crucible, which shut down in November. Its developer, Relentless Studios in Seattle, was said to be moving on to work in a support role for New World.

It’s suggestive that Amazon is aware of what it’s got on the line here. While it may be largely immune to the financial consequences if New World happens to bomb on arrival, Amazon Games could really use any sort of win. Between Crucible’s botched launch and the recent cancellation of its unnamed Lord of the Rings MMO, Amazon’s got a lot riding on New World to pull it out of its years-long dive.

New World is presently up for pre-order via Amazon for $39.99, with no subscription fee. Players who pre-order the game receive a unique emote and character title, a guild crest set, and something (starting equipment? a cosmetic item?) called Isabella’s Amulet.