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There is no doubt that 2024 will be the first year for the explosion of domestic games. From mobile games, PC to consoles, from ARPG, MMO to SLG, every category and every track is a battlefield without gunpowder.

But for players who are interested in martial arts games, NetEase’s “Yanyun Sixteen Sounds” (hereinafter referred to as Yanyun) may have an irreplaceable uniqueness.

On May 31, Yanyun officially launched the “Zhonglü Test”.

Prior to this, Gyro was fortunate to be invitedEarly AccessAfter playing the game for a few days, I had a vague feeling that with the official launch of Yanyun, martial arts games are about to usher in a crucial breakthrough moment in this “big year” for domestic games.

A Jianghu that emerged from “history”

Frankly speaking, I am not particularly interested in martial arts themes. But Yanyun’s appeal to me largely comes from the feeling of being in a turbulent world.Immersion:

  • I don’t know much about the history of the Khitan people in the Northern Song Dynasty, but as I went deeper into the cave of the faceless man, I felt deeply the sadness of the warrior dying before he could return.
  • I was originally intent on exploring the main storyline and having a great time fighting bosses, but ended up spending a lot of time wandering around looking for strange stories from all over the place;
  • In this short experience, I have already fallen in love with many vivid characters, such as Aunt Han…

Where does this sense of immersion come from? The detailed world view text in CRPG and the emotional animation performance in JRPG are both representative in creating a sense of immersion.

But I think Yanyun is taking a different approach, making solid “history + humanities” the key to the game’s appeal. Yanyun, set in the late Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms and early Northern Song Dynasty, has created in-depth content in at least two aspects: scenes and stories.

First of all, Yan Yun pays great attention to scene creation.

In Qinghe, there are many scenes that left a deep impression on me, including the beautiful countryside and the Buddha sculptures in Qianfo Village;

In Kaifeng, the weird ghost market and the luxurious Fanlou are equally unforgettable… Some bear scars and traces of the times, while others highlight Chinese elements and aesthetics. The coexistence of gloom and coldness with splendor and magnificence further demonstrates the disparity of this ancient society.

The same is true when fighting. The wailing I saw when I challenged Ye Wanshan, Tian Ying’s Buddhist sculpture battlefield, and the shadow play elements of the wild BOSS all reflect the traces of the times and traditional cultural characteristics that continued after the Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms.

There are two outdoor bosses, Shadow Puppet Master.

The newly added three-form BOSS has a particularly gorgeous scene transition

Secondly,The game scene is not only a visual presentation of the scenery, but also a reflection of culture and history.

Yanyun pays great attention to every sceneHuman EcologyThe shaping andInteractivityThe extension of the content expression is expanded. As a result, Yanyun has achieved a feeling that no matter where I go, I can have a feeling of “it should be so”.

There is a case that left a deep impression on me. At night in a bustling gathering place like Kaifeng City, there were performances by artists breathing fire, ladies dancing in the streets, shadow play performances on the streets, and giant colorful dragon lanterns. All of these showed the prosperous economy and culture of the Northern Song Dynasty, and were full of China’s traditional cultural characteristics.

There are also the fireworks of the market, such as the large bathhouse in Chunshui Pavilion in Kaifeng where you can have a bath, and the ghost market where you can change your face and disguise yourself; there are also the white-fronted geese that show their fighting skills, and there are also many traditional folk entertainment activities such as throwing pots, playing chess and sumo…

Walking through it, you feel like you are in the real ancient society, which makes people linger.

Not only is Yan Yun meticulous, he also added a lot of detailed interactive content to perfect this “living” ancient social ecology.

Yan Yun has created a large number of NPCs for important story lines, striving to make them vivid. Many of them have their own unique identities, jobs, behaviors and interactive reactions, and they often complement each other’s information in a quest line, which not only shows their unique personality, but also tells the story to players from multiple angles.

Interactions with NPCs involve multiple game systems

For example, the case of BOSS Miaoshan is a classic.

In advancing the storyline of BOSS Miao Shan, players will find that the people in Ci Xin Town are generally afraid of light, so they will meet different NPCs and obtain different information when they come here during the day and at night. By handing over props to them, they can further obtain information and learn about Miao Shan’s deeds.

When you arrive at another place not far away, Ci Xin Shan Yuan, you will meet Miao Shan’s disciple. Following her request, you sneak into the temple and meet the dying character Hui Yao. From her, you vaguely learn that Miao Shan is actually related to the tragic scene here.

Through interacting with a large number of characters, even though I haven’t met Miao Shan himself, his image has already come alive.

Looking back, the game actually gave a clue at the beginning.

There are many such narrative expressions and ways of portraying characters in the game.

Yan Yun focuses his understanding of the content on the profile of the historical background, the display of folk culture, and the portrayal of various characters in the old era.

These contents are not meant to be ostentatious, but they are well thought out and designed, and can be naturally integrated into various scenarios, telling the story in the player’s exploration process. This approach makes Yanyun like a world that has emerged from “history”, and I only need to be in it to feel its heaviness.

A natural world

The depth of Yanyun’s content made me feel a vibrant world.

What makes Yanyun different is that it is particularly convincing in guiding exploration and narrative expression, allowing me to actively explore the world guided by pure interest and curiosity. There are many such details:

For example, Yanyun is very good at drawing the player’s attention to the mostSubtle sensory experienceIn the novel, there are many details, such as faint cries for help, eye-catching folk tricks, sneaky NPCs, furry four-legged animals, but they always arouse my curiosity and make me stop and observe.

Therefore, Yanyun’s exploration and guidance are always subtle – just like a 3A-style emergent design.

The one that impressed me the most was Qianfo Village.

At first, I was attracted by the wonders. I followed the many huge Buddha statues in the distance, and found the miserable state of Thousand Buddha Village… “Using Buddha to impose arbitrary prohibitions” and “getting the retribution of karma and being burned by heavenly fire”, the text also hinted that some stories happened here.

Then, I was attracted by the words of the NPC. Following the guidance of this “Night Dream Monk”, I originally just wanted to see what happened here, but I found a branch line that required participating in the “funeral” folk custom…

In this way, I followed the funeral procession, scattering banknotes along the way, went to the Buddhist temple, kowtowed and made wishes with people, and guided the lonely souls harmed by the natural disaster to return to peace… When I woke up from the dream at dawn, I stayed there for a long time.

One thing after another, from wonders to scenes, from NPCs to side quests, and from side quests to a melancholy folk story – this story is not explicitly presented in the form of a “mission”, but every place my eyes fall naturally draws me to the center of the story.

It can be said that those small and interesting people and things have been leading me to the corners and crevices – it seems that as long as I have the heart of a knight, I will always encounter all kinds of strange people and things.

In fact, people’s stories include not only the adventures in the game, but also the interactions between players.

I was also curious before, why Yanyun, while emphasizing immersive exploration and combat, would launch multiplayer social interaction? Later I found out,MultiplayerThere are at least two points worth emphasizing:

One is itsStrong independenceits existence itself will not interrupt the flow experience of single-player mode at all.

The other is to provide a lot of content for players who have experienced it or want to take a break.Extra Funsuch as experiencing a multiplayer BOSS dungeon and taking a look at other people’s construction craftsmanship.

And looking back, I actually quite enjoy the occasional sense of companionship during the journey, such as running into someone else’s world to heal other players who have gone astray in their practice. In a single-player experience with an overall cold tone, this can really dispel the loneliness that sometimes inexplicably strikes.

In general, before I actually experienced it, my impression of Yanyun was still based on the formula of “martial arts + open world”. But if I were asked to describe what kind of game Yanyun is now, I think Yanyun might be an ancient society woven by content, a natural and chaotic world.

Conclusion

Compared with the first two tests, it can be seen that Yanyun has made a sufficiently solid iteration this time.

In terms of exploration content, the third test opened new areas including Fanlou, making the impression of Kaifeng, a place where different cultures blend and people of all kinds mix, more deeply rooted in people’s hearts. At the same time, the female main character hinted in the previous PV was also implemented, and the multiplayer mode also expanded the fun gameplay such as scrubbing the bath.

In terms of combat experience, not only have several new bosses with interesting designs been added – such as the valiant beauty Rong Yuan, the wise and foolish, free-spirited Taoist monk – but also a unique “umbrella” weapon has been opened. During the battle, you can jump into the air with an umbrella and enter a unique “floating” state, presenting a gorgeous and beautiful combat experience.

Overall, Yanyun’s third test was full of sincerity, and the player’s content experience was still put first. Looking back, they really fulfilled the promises they had made before, one by one.

Looking back at this year’s summer season, on the one hand, Yan Yun will undoubtedly contribute a “fight between gods” with other works as the first echelon;

On the other hand, Yanyun’s new experience model and excellent stand-alone content quality have undoubtedly opened up a new track for NetEase and even the entire martial arts game category, and will have more advantages in attracting players.

The quality demonstrated in this third test has made me more confident in the quality of Yanyun, and I look forward to what kind of results it will deliver in the public beta.

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