"NCSoft fails to deliver"

Well, most people have heard about this game since it went into closed beta, waaaay back when the servers weren't crowded. Then the open beta was released and crashed every server, leaving the lucky few who could play the chance to play a decent 3rd person MMORPG. Then, the retail release on April 28th. This is were I draw the line.
As closed beta, the game was decent. As open beta, the economy flourished and the game became pretty good, albeit there being a few botters running around killing everything within a certain radius and kill stealing everything too.
Now, retail release.
What do I expect? Less bugs, less botters, a whole closed beta account wipe, an actual storyline, retail-only things.
What do I get? Same bugs, as many (if not more) botters, no beta account wipe, no story, nothing different from the Open Beta. The only actual difference is that most of the cheap people who didn't want to pay per month for a MMORPG are gone, making all of the servers severely uncrouded.

I'll follow up with my traditional separation of the aspects of the game.

Gameplay
6/10
The gameplay gets a passing grade simply because it's simple and very easy to learn how to play, even if you've never played an MMORPG nor any FPS or 3PS games.
One bad thing about this is that mages NEED to preset their spells into their quick selection box. This is quite horrible when you need more than 5 spells on top of your other standard quick presets (Map if you're lost, sit/stand, create private store, create private buyer, and many others).
The bad thing is that you can be caught up to by anything that you attack once, then you get enough momentum to run away, though most monsters follow you until you're either dead or it's killed by someone or something else.
Another bug is that you can't target while you're moving with the arrow keys. This makes it especially difficult to aim for monsters with a mage, since you need to be far to aim at something, yet you can't arbitrarily aim and click to get a monster in your attack gauge unless you're standing still.

Story
1/10
Ok, so the only thing that's keeping me from giving this department zilch is the promise that NCSoft will be unraveling a storyline within the next 12 updates (called chronicles). Well, even though you might do quests, talk to NPCs or progress in levels, there is absolutely no story behind any of it. NPCs do local quests for interests, there have been no explanations as to what is going on in the world (aside from the explanation given on the main Lineage 2 website and instructions manual).
Well, NCSoft has failed here, brutally killing off most RPG lovers from a lack of story, even stories within the game quests.

Graphics / Sound
8/10
The graphics are incredible, I'll give this game that much credit. Based on the Unreal engine, the characters are blessed with marvelous looks and very smooth animations. Both male and female characters have very detailed looks, changing as you change your armor and weapons.
The characters aren't the only ones who look good, everything is very well layed out, the maps are gorgeous and the monsters are very well detailed. All in all, this game excels where most MMORPGs fail to deliver without having to cut down minimal requirements.

The sound is very good too. The music that plays from time to time is quite soothing, the sound effects are realistic and fading due to depth away from you is excellent. Another strong point of this game.

Play Time, Replayability
Practically forever, or until you get offended by the massive amount of cheaters
The explanation says it quite well. As with any MMORPG, you can play it forever if you want, but you DO cap off at a certain point and the game then offers nothing more to do other than gain more SP for special abilities or gain more adena so you can buy expensive trophy-esque items.

Buy?
No, unless the game gets a huge overhaul before other big MMORPGs come out, skip this game. It's not worth the $15 USD every month, especially if you're going to pay for a game with 1 month free that you'll spend on a buggy and exploited game.

Final Recommendation
Ignore this game. As of this writing it's not worth it.

Final Score (Not an average)
3/10


Reviewer's Score: 3/10 | Originally Posted: 05/02/04


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