Review by LanceHeart Gothann
"Anarchy Online Classic... Classic game, futuristic fun"
Anarchy Online, a game created by Funcom some time ago, is pretty much the first and only MMORPG to be based in a totally new Sci-Fi world as of this writing (There COULD be Star Wars Galaxies that falls under this category, but the SW universe already existed beforehand)
A game that has been boosted, and expanded (twice over), the community of hardcore and leisure players is quite strong, considering the age of this game and it's genre.
The gameplay is unique and impressive, even in the classic game. The massive number of mobile windows plus a locking right-hand bar makes the GUI interesting and efficient, even at the lowest resolutions. The handling is quite good, too, with a two keysets for movement and four official camera angles (with FPS mode being quite good considering that the game usually requires 3rd Person view)
In addition to the movement and efficiency, combat is very well balanced. With each classic class having their own style of combat, you can progress in the game quite easily as time goes on. "Tank" classes such as the Enforcer and Soldier have high damage and mid-to-high HP, leading to a lot of melee/ranged attacks and few buffs, "Caster" classes have heavy reliance on Direct Damage and Damage over Time, "Pet" classes have increasingly powerful pets that deal damage for them or alongside them, the Doctor class being the most useful and vital one of them all with the only good healing nanos (casts) in the game.
My only complaints are the way going linkdead is handled, where you could potentially die if the server doesn't go offline when you go LD, the graphical lag that emerges when many mobile enemies are moving (even on a P4 2.4 GHZ computer with 512 RAM), and the nasty crashes that can potentially get you killed in game.
A continuously progressing story, the world of Rubi-Ka is extremely well developed. With a backstory that spans as far as the creation of the game (and it's own release-backstory) up to current-day, this game has a LOT of story content (assuming someone reads it).
Since most story continuation coincides very often with patches, it's safe to say that the story will continue for as long as Funcom keeps working on this game.
Now, I'll keep this real. Yes, now in 2005 (the time of this writing), graphics surpass this game's looks by nearly tenfold in development. BUT, if we take the looks and place them at the time of the latest release (the last expansion, which didn't change the graphics), this is quite lacking.
Now while the graphics are lacking in 3D, the 2D sprites are very good. With literally hundreds, even thousands of sprites, I admire how good the quality of the 2D is.
Although I'm still humming the newbie island's tune (it was fun and relaxing), the rest of the music is quite interesting. The apartment and city music is very well composed, with the exception of battle music. If there is only one song I found irritating, it's that tune. Good thing you can take it off!
The voices of the game are also quite fun. With the recorded voices that sometimes pop up, it's always fun to hear NPCs talk rather than send written messages.
While this game has a finite amount of good weaponry and nanos per class, any and all equipment is subject to any player's preference.
This is what I like in MMORPGs, and I like it in this game.
Try, then Buy
With a monthly charge, this game is part of those P2P (pay to play) MMORPGs. Like most of them, this game has a 14-day trial period (as of this writing). Try it, then if you like it, keep playing. Oh, and if you even THINK of renting this, let me know who is letting people rent the game, I'll report them to Funcom.
Gameplay - 8/10
Story - 8/10
Graphics - 6/10
Sound - 6/10
Final Score (not an average, as you can see) - 8/10
Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 01/12/05
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