Skip to main content

New World: Aeternum made a lot of necessary changes to work on console

Key art for New World Aeternum.
Amazon Games
Summer Gaming Marathon Feature Image
This story is part of our Summer Gaming Marathon series.

Amazon had a rocky start in the video game industry, but eventually found its footing with PC MMOs like Lost Ark, which was only published in the West, and New World, which it developed internally. Since it launched in 2021, New World has been a PC-exclusive, but that’s changing soon. At Summer Game Fest, Amazon announced that it is bringing the game to the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S this October with some major content reworks and updates, as well as a new name: New World: Aeternum.

I went hands-on with New World: Aeternum at Summer Game Fest Play Days this year, and while I only played a little bit of New World on PC, I can already tell that a lot of work has been put into making this PC MMO feel good to play on console. On top of that, the solo experience also doesn’t feel off-putting, as is typically thae case in MMOs.

New World: Aeternum - Announce Trailer

For those out of the loop, New World is a fantasy action game set in the era of colonization on an island called Aeternum that travelers get stuck on. Players forage for resources to craft food and gear and then keep completing quests in order to level up and improve their abilities. New World is a pretty tried-and-true MMO that doesn’t push the needle much, but it has a solid community that enjoys it. It does require grouping up with players sometimes, and its menus and much of the user experience are very much tailored for PC.

As such, Amazon had a lot of work to do in order to bring New World to consoles.  At a digital preview event I attended prior to my Summer Game Fest demo, Lead Console Designer Dave Maldonado explained that on the technical front, Amazon added things like HDR and 4K support, and it also had to rework the user interface, controls, hit detection, lock-on system, combat camera, and more so it felt good on the controller. Basically, Amazon wants New World: Aeternum to feel less like a PC MMO and more like an action RPG made for consoles.

Game Director Scot Lane also explained how this mentality inspired Amazon to make New World’s single-player experience much better. “When we started thinking about console players, a few things jumped out to us pretty quickly,” Lane told Digital Trends. “One was solo gameplay — having that experience that a solo player can play through the story from beginning to end. And then, at the endgame, they can also have activities to do beyond crafting and gathering with solo trials.”

Gameplay from New World: Aeternum.
Amazon Games

I got a feel for this during my Summer Game Fest demo, which showed me the reworked opening of the game. While a couple of small features, like being able to auto sprint in menus, hark back to its PC origins, New World: Aeternum felt great on an Xbox Series X controller. I never felt like I was fumbling over buttons, and features like lock-on were intuitive. The addition of an Archetype system (move over Metaphor: ReFantazio) also means that players have a more direct idea of what weapons and playstyle to pursue from the start. Lane also highlighted how Amazon reworked the story and narrative delivery to feel more like a console game.

“When we started thinking about an action RPG on console, we thought about how they tell stories and how we can enhance ours because we love the deep stories of Aeternum. There’s so much to explore. We wanted to give tools so players can get pulled more into that storytelling through our enhanced dialogue systems, in-game cinematics, and prerendered cinematics, just to really help build that experience around what I would expect as a console gamer.”

Players rushing toward a mountain in New World: Aeternum.
Amazon Games

That sentiment was reflected in what I played, as New World now had more cinematic and in-engine cutscenes and dialogue presentation that felt more like a Dragon Age game than World of Warcraft. Overall, I think New World: Aeternum is shaping up to be well-tailored for consoles. I’m not sure what the hardcore PC community will think of this early-game overhaul; they’ll probably be more interested in the late-game raid and solo missions coming with the update.

New World: Aeternum will be released for PS5 and Xbox Series X/S on October 15. The PC version of New World will be updated with all these new features on that same day.

Tomas Franzese
Tomas Franzese is a Staff Writer at Digital Trends, where he reports on and reviews the latest releases and exciting…
Wii classic Donkey Kong Country Returns gets an HD remaster
donkey kong country returns hd dk

During the June 2024 Nintendo Direct, Nintendo announced that an HD remaster for Donkey Kong Country Returns will release on January 16, 2025 for the Nintendo Switch.

It's unknown which studio is handling the remaster, but the game's original developer was Retro Studios. It was the first game in the Donkey Kong series that did not involve original developer Rare, which Microsoft acquired in 2002.

Read more
A brand new Mario & Luigi game is coming and it looks gorgeous
Mario and Luigi high fiving each other with stars surrounding them.

Mario & Luigi: Brothership – Announcement Trailer – Nintendo Switch

Mario and Luigi are coming back to the Nintendo Switch, but this time in their own spinoff called Mario & Luigi: Brothership, which is releasing on November 7 for the Switch console, just in time for the holiday season.

Read more
The best RPG you’ve never played is coming to Nintendo Switch
The hero of Fantasian runs.

Mistwalker's Apple Arcade exclusive RPG Fantasian is making its way to consoles under the new title Fantasian Neo Dimension. Fantasian was originally released in two parts in 2021, and Fantasian Neo Dimension will contain all the game's content when released on Nintendo Switch for the 2024 holiday season.

During the June 2024 Nintendo Direct, Fantasian Neo Dimension was revealed to be coming to Nintendo Switch in time for the holidays. Fantasian is a turn-based RPG featuring an amnesiac protagonist named Leo who awakens in a dimension known as the Machine Realm. In the Apple version, players would tap on locations to move Leo around the maps and engage in random battles. However, using the Dimengeon system would allow players to disable random battles against foes they already faced and store them in the titular Dimengeon to explore uninterrupted. There is a limit to how many fights can be stored, so players cannot avoid every fight in the game.

Read more