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Set in a world called Telara, RIFT at first looks a bit generic, the style of the game is pretty standard fantasy stuff, but it soon shows itself to be unique in some important ways, and very well designed.
You begin as either a Guardian or a Defiant, and the develop your class from one of four 'callings'. These are your fairly standard Warrior, Cleric, Mage and Rogue, but can be augmented to alter and improve your characters abilities. It looks complex to start with, but the system is introduced gently, and gives players a great deal of choice and flexibility as their game progresses.
The background of RIFT, that Telera is a world on the brink of destruction, throws you straight into a dramatic struggle right from the start. The introductory sequence of missions teaches you the ropes well, and is likely to get you hooked. RIFT looks great, and the the relatively compact world means you won't be travelling for too long between quests. The RIFTs themselves are tears in reality, which allow evil monsters to pour in from another plane. These add an interesting dynamic to the game, and are great looking dramatic events.
RIFT offers some innovations inthe fantasy MMORPG genre, while being totally accessible to fans of these games. It can be a little confusing for absolute beginners, but RIFT's excellent community and support forums mean you will be able to get the help you need.
RIFT doesn't reinvent the fantasy MMORPG, but is a well rounded and very playable alternative universe to WoW.