Review by cycloneVB

"Without preconceptions, it's a ton of fun"

Ok, I've never done this before so I'm sure I will ramble. However, I've noticed a total lack of reviews and thought I'd put one up that might help other people decide if the game is for them.

The quick synopsis in case you don't want to read is that the game is a lot of fun if you are just willing to learn the rules and enjoy it for what it is.

Graphics:
Overall I'd say they are more than sufficient to capture the feel of the D&D world. I can run everything maxed out and it looks great and uses pretty much all the latest tricks. I would suspect that it can be hard to run this game on an older machine. In fact, I'm not really sure that the min specs listed would do very well. On a bit of a side note, I feel that the animations are very well done.

Sound:
Not much to say here. It gets the job done. Some of the music is nice and some of it just fades to the background, but never gets annoying. The DM text that gets spoken aloud adds a nice touch. Built in voice chat capability is very nice as well and I have had no problems getting it to work.

Controls:
This is the first MMORPG I've ever played so I don't have anything to directly compare it to. However, that being said, it took me some getting used to. I think there's a lot of flexibility in the UI once you set it up for your preferences, but getting to that point is a bit of a pain. Once you get the hang of the controls it's very easy to navigate and fight.
The tool they have set up for grouping works quite well once you play with it a bit. It took me awhile to figure out how to properly search it and advertise my character, but now I can group within 5 minutes or so of logging in at the worst.

Overall Gameplay:
This is the area that seems to be taking the most heat from what I've seen on the forums. I have never played a MMORPG before so I don't have all these expectations based on hours of play in WoW, CoH, EQ and the rest. So I personally just wanted to see if I enjoyed it. And it turns out I am now very addicted. In general most of the people I have grouped with have been great, which I realize can really color a persons view of the game. A lot of bad groups will make you hate the game. Which brings me to the big point everyone mentions about not being able to solo. It's true that it is very hard to solo, but I don't see that as a problem since I chose to buy a MULTIPLAYER game. Just realize going in that you will need to group most of the time. I terms of how much content the game has, I don't now how to compare it to another MMO, but it has kept me busy. A big thing to keep in mind here is that every dungeon is it's own instance. The important part being that every quest you take is handcrafted. I feel that it stacks up very well in content comparable to a single-player RPG. The real trick will be seeing how well they do expanding it in the future to justify the monthly fee. Only time will give us that answer though.

Summary:
In the end, I highly reccomend this game. Sure it has some issues and the occasional bug is being squashed, but in the end it's just plain old fun. I have played a whole lot of single player games on a variety of platforms and nothing has ever come this close to making me feel like I'm actually exploring a dungeon fraught with peril.

See ya online:
Gonnagal and Ithnil on the Ghallanda server


Reviewer's Score: 8/10 | Originally Posted: 03/16/06


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