Reviewed up to level twenty.
It's hard not to love an adventure role playing game like this. I love
these kinds of games so much I can put up with a lot. But this game has just
ground me down.
First off I should say I'm not familiar with MMOs. This is my very first one
so I've nothing to compare it to. It may be that the things I like and dislike
about it are common to MMOs, so take it with a pinch of salt.
When I first started playing I was really pleased. I have a fairly old
computer but thanks to the highly customisable engine I managed to get it
running fairly well with shadows and grass off and some affects toned down. Even
then it's a nice game too look at (even if there's no difference between well
lit and dark areas and the nights are nearly as bright as the days). Also, the
HUD and user interface is very customisable so you can (thankfully) turn off all
the target highlights and damage floaters and crap like that.
I started out on the beach, exploring, killing a few crocodiles and talking
to the two characters there and generally being quite impressed by it all, and
soon eagerly set off on the first quest. It's here my opinion of the game
plummeted as it turned into a tedious grind. There are enemies every few feet.
Literally. You just hack your way through one after the other after the other.
They made no effort at all to try and space them out in such a way that keeps
the action flowing but doesn't get boring and loses suspense. It's kill a few
enemies, run a few feet, kill a few enemies, run a few feet, kill some more
I almost gave up here but I held out until I reached the first settlement,
the city of Tortage, and things improved… somewhat. Here's one of the main
things I like about the game; the quests. There're tons and tons of quests to
do. A seemingly endless supply of them. I really can't get over just how many
there are. I love quests no matter how basic, which is good because most are
simple bring it/kill it jobs, but that's fine with me. Usually. Even I, a self
proclaimed quest-a-holic eventually get a bit bored with the collect thirty
crocodile skins, or twenty snake venom glands or whatever, but the characters
are good and often have little back stories to tell which helps make the quest
more interesting. The main story quests are better so I would be prepared to
stick it out. But I'm just SO SICK of the endless grind of the combat. Not to
mention the respawn. That's the other serious issue, how ludicrously quickly
the monsters respawn. I know things have to respawn because other players are
doing the same quests I am, but sheesh… it's literally seconds! You haven't
even finished fighting them when they start to respawn. Let's say you take a
quest to kill some pirates and pick up some gems from their corpses. You head to
where they are, kill them and start to loot their corpses, but before you finish
they respawn and you have to kill them all again. You can easily find yourself
being stuck there… killing the stupid things over and over as they respawn
again and again! And if you try to run away they chase you and somehow manage to
continue to do damage to you even though they're literally meters away! I was
running away from a pirate and turned the camera around so I could see how far
back he was, and I could see him swinging his knife and hitting me… and he
was about six meters away from me! WTF?! Plus the fact that as you flee you'll
just run into more monsters and end up with them chasing you as well. You can
quickly have a small army chasing you, all easily hitting you again and again no
matter how fast you're running. So in short if you run you die.
I literally got sick of doing quests because of all this. As hard as that is
for me to believe, I ended up ignoring people when I knew they had a new quest
because I just couldn't face the complete and utter tedium of the combat that
was sure to be involved. I also find myself actually not wanting to explore.
Normally, give me a large open area to explore and I'll happily spend hours
poking my nose into every corner and looking under ever rock. But the endless
grind of the combat and the frequent respawn discourages me, and I find I just
want to finish the quest and get out of there before I have to kill another
hoard of damn crocodiles or gorillas or whatever.
The game looks and feels as good as you'd expect in a modern big budget game.
I like the look and feel, which is so important to me. The animations are good
for the most part (though my character runs as if she's suffering from some
sort of affliction). Voice acting is good and the dialog is well written, and
very importantly the language sounds appropriate to the setting, which I find
makes a huge difference to immersion. I can't stand games with a medieval or
fantasy setting and people are using modern language or speaking with broad
American accents. I'm actually quite impressed with the dialog. Quest givers
offer a bit of a back story and you even have options on the tone of your reply
(helpful or snarky, sympathetic or indifferent). You feel you're having an
actual conversation with the person.
The monsters are cool, some of the landscapes are gorgeous, the music's fine
and all that. I love the design of some of the clothes and armour, but weapons,
particularly bows, look oversized.
There is definitely a lot to like about this game. In fact, it's quite
tragic because I can see how good it could be if not for the combat and respawn
issues. And it's possible I'm not being fair because like I said, this just
might be what MMOs are like. But it's such a shame because this kind of game
would be sheer bliss to me. Bliss. And I really want to like it, but I just
can't stand the utterly tedious grind that the combat becomes. Though I will
probably stick it out to the end of my trial period, I won't be subscribing for
Tip: If you don't know what server to choose, and you're into role playing
and not PVP, I can recommend Gwahlur (Oceanic) as a role play friendly server
with not too many other players.