Review by TriforceX5

"An extremely good MMO - if not the best."

Elsword is a Free-to-Play side-scrolling action MMO published by the Korean company KoG. It is currently hosted by Kill3r Combo.

Elsword is different from many other MMO's in the fact that it is a side scrolling bet-em-up. It has an arcade feel to it but after playing it you can tell that it has it's own unique feel. Therefore to truly grasp this game we have to pick it apart piece by piece and see just how much this game has going for us.

Elsword has Simple Anime-inspired story line helps set the mood and adds depth to the world. Banthus, and evil thief has stolen the El from the tree of El and it's up to our heroes - Elsword, Aisha and Rena to save the day. But as the story goes on we find out about an evil king, an army of robots called Nasods and Demons! Oh no! The story line is told through a series of chain quests called story quests. Before and after the completion of each quests the NPC`s from the village will talk to you and reveal more about the story. The story is nothing too great but it`s interesting enough to keep you into the world. The biggest problem with the story is the playable characters themselves. Although most of them have a back story (some of them very good), all the speaking lines during the story quests are shared for every character (which is quite humorous when raven is telling raven that he is good now). The only other time they have a thought on the story is at the end of a dungeon run, when they get a single line of dialogue about the dungeon. Although this is great for character development, it doesn`t invilve them in the story enough. Overall the story is sub par, but did you really download an MMO for it`s story? Didn't Think so...

Of course the gameplay is where this game truly shines. Gameplay is Dungeon based, that is, you enter a dungeon by yourself or with a party of 3 other people. Dungeons themselves are very linear, this is also to reflect on the arcade style as most arcade games are very linear. In order to progress through the dungeon, you have to kill every enemy on the current map. You can attack enemies with either the Z or the X key, with Z generally being a weak attack and X being the strong but slow attack. By pressing different combinations of these two keys, you can perform character specific combos and attacks. Early on you can just mash the z key and mostly everything will die which is boring and dull. Of course, later on enemies will take much lower damage when they are knocked down. In order to avoid this players must utilize different combos that keep the enemy standing to inflict more damage. This combos are very fun to pull off and very simple as well. No need to use any complicated inputs, just simple taps on the arrow keys and Z or X. You can also use special actives, which you can assign to the A,S,D or C keys to truly devastate your opponents. There are a ton of skills and to describe them all would take all day, so I'll skip that, you just have to look them up yourself!

Characters can also advance into one of two jobs, each job has completely different skills and even new combos to deal even more damage. The most interesting part about these job changes is that the character gets older as you advance. They get a completely new hairstyle and their picture looks more mature. Of course, what better way to try out your new skills then to destroy someone else in PvP. PvP mode is very combo based. You can knock off almost half of your opponents health in one combo! If you can do the combo that is. You can also hold down Z or X to charge your MP. When hit in this state, your character will fall and you will break out if a combo! PvP is very fast paced and fun and a great alternative to the dungeon mode.

If I were to explain everything about the game it would take all day, so I'll end with my thoughts. Overall Elsword is a very polished game with addicting side-scrolling action. I Highly recommend everyone to try this game because, hey, it's free! What do you have to lose?

Overall Rating 9/10

Pro's
+Addicting Gameplay
+Tons of Skills
+Tons of Content
+Skill-Based PvP
+Detailed Enhancement System

Con's
-Lag can be bad at times (minor)
-Stamina bar restricts playtime (can be bypassed)
-Can get repetitive


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 08/29/11

Game Release: Elsword (US, 05/04/11)


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