Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Allods Online – Game Review


As online gaming goes there are many genres, from the basic 2D platform games to the 3D shooters, from the fantasy based games to the sci-fi futuristic scenes and of course there are the online strategy games spanning from all times, myths and bizarre ideas.

What most people might don’t know is that at these days a growing trend of the companies that develops the games is: “The game is free to play! But if the player wants he/she can purchase with real money more features and unique perks”.



And then came “Allods Online”, released on February 16, 2010 this MMO was one of the first to bring the players the sum of many ideas and concepts.
Created by “Astrum Nival”, the company behind “Heroes of Might and Magic V” and “Rage of mages”, and published by “Gala Net”.
“Allods Online” brought together many years of experience and creativity to this amazing MMORPG. Ranging from the cinematic soundtrack by Mark Morgan, the composer of “Dexter”, “Fallout 1 & 2”, and “Planescape: Torment” to the game’s visuals which were designed by artists who won the 1st, 2nd, 6th, and 10th place awards at “Dominance War”, one of the most prestigious global art competitions, “Allods Online” is the largest game development project in Russian history at $12 million.

As we first approached “Allods Online” here at SaVa Reviews we were skeptic… we are all veterans of MMORPG’s, coming from games such as “World of Warcraft(WOW),”Guild Wars(GW), “Lord of The Rings Online” (LOTRO) and so on… we held very few hopes for “Allods” as it was a free to play game that at first glance looks like a clone of WOW.

But as it seems to be the deal for most things that first glance was misleading as we began experiencing the uniqueness of “Allods” in every aspect of the game and we believe that it’s worth an honest review.

As you first launch the game there is no cinematic trailer or any movie to see.
When you launch the game you are presented with the “Select Faction” screen and from the moment you see this screen you know that this is a different game from any other MMORPG you thought it would be.
The “Select Faction” screen displays the two factions the “League” on the left and the “Empire” on the right, in a picture that shows all the classes of the factions charging at one another in what is a beautiful piece of art.

 "all the classes of the factions charging at one another in what is a beautiful piece of art..."
The “Faction” selection is done by pressing on the image of the wanted faction, highlighting that side of the image. Then, in a fluid motion the animation slide to show the “Select Faction” image hanging on the wall of a chamber. That is the chamber where you are given the opportunity to create your character.

A beautiful thing that was done in “Allods Online” is the differentiation between how each race grasp the idea of each main class (A.K.A Archetypes). By giving each Archetype a different name for each race and a different set of special abilities that the specific race can use as that class, the possibilities are plenty.
“Allods” present the player with the option to choose from six available races to play, each faction allows the player to choose from three races, each unique and has its own special feel.

On the “League” side you will be able to choose from the Kanians (Humans), Elves and the Gibberlings (small furry creatures that comes in threes – you have to see to grasp the notion).

Kanians
Elves


Gibberlings


On the “Empire” side the player will see the Xadaganians (Humans), Orcs (Need no Introductions) and the Arisen (a race of undead who are augmented with mechanical parts and scary masks).

Xadaganians

Orcs
Arisen
 
The animation of each race is unique and of course the player will be able to choose the gender of each character created, displaying a unique feature for each gender, and I don’t mean the usual anatomic differences.

There are 8 Archetypes and 30 classes available for the player to choose from, 15 classes for each faction with unique looks, skills and feel.
Here is a little taste of the available abundance that is there for the players:
For those of us who love the thrill of a melee battle, seeing the action up and close we have the Archetypes Warrior and Paladin.

On the “League” side only two races can play the Warrior Archetype, allowing the player to create the Kanians Champion and the Gibberlings Brawler.
On the “Empire” side only two races can play the Paladin Archetype, allowing the player to create the Xadaganian Avenger and the Orcs Reaver.

Due to what I believe are understandable reasons I will not write all the available classes, but I will let you know all the main Archetypes available for the players, and they are: Warrior, Paladin,Scout, Healer, Warden, MageSummoner and the Psionicist.

Click for an enlarged view
Once you selected the Race, gender and Class you can customize the look of your character with a really nice variety of body types, unique racial additions, hair style & color and ideally what is always the hardest part… selecting a name.

When the character creation phase is completed you can log-in to the character you created and go through a very simple and intuitive set of small tutorial zones, learning the basic ropes of the game.
One of these basics that I feel I must put an emphasis on is the fact that there is no “Auto-attack” mechanism in “Allods”. The player has to be active during the battle or else his/her character will just stand there doing nothing and the outcome of that scenario is obvious to us all.

I for one thinks that this is a really nice change, as it came to be in other MMORPG’s when your character is high enough to kill mobs (enemies) with just its auto-attack, then the game lost meaning as I usually just set there gawking and yawning while the mob died and I got the XP and loot.

By default the game provides the user with three “bags” one for the regular items that the character will receive from mobs and quest givers. One for all the crafting materials the character will gather and require using for its crafting skills. The last one is for items bought or received from the “Cash Shop”, which is the online store in which the players can spend real money to enhance their characters if so they wish.

Another positive and strong uniqueness of “Allods” is the entire crafting system.
The system is built from a series of “mini-games” which means that the player will not just press on the item he/she wants to craft and by that it will be done. The player will have to be active in the crafting process, choosing and selecting specific options that can change the outcome of the end product, either making it better, giving it different stats, making it as it was intended or going totally wrong, creating a useless item.
As a crafting enthusiast I must say that at first I was lost, but then a good friend directed me to a Crafting Guide and from there on the smile never left my face as I create items my friends and I can put to great use.

"choosing and selecting specific options that can change the outcome of the end product..."
The only down side on the all crafting system is that a character can only buy one skill as a start and in order to be able to buy another skill you would either have to use the “Cash Shop” or complete a set of daily quests for proximately 76 days…

Other fun features will be everything that is based around the “Astral”, the stuff that broke the world into many “allods” (floating islands). The players will be able to travel across the “Astral” on-board “Astral ships”, doing battles with demons and enemy players, both as the ship crew and as individuals.

Also “Allods” brings together fantasy and sci-fi (Steam-punk) in a fashion that not many other games were able to do. The Steam-punk essence is as present as that of the fantasy, and the player is able to notice distinct effect of both genres on both playable factions and the rest of the game world.

"travel across the Astral on-board Astral ships”...
It’s time for a short note about the game graphic engine.
As it was said in the beginning the graphics resemble at least at first glance to that of WOW, but as you continue to play you will be able to differentiate that the graphics that makes “Allods” so special and appealing is more than that of the game it’s so unjustly compared to. Having a special line for the graphic engine, the graphic’s team did an amazing job creating a very sharp, fun and unique feel to the game.


So now let’s see the bottom line, let’s see the total score we are giving to this game:

The Good:
  • New and active
    crafting system.
  • Active battle system.
  • Abundant of unique
    classes.
  • Astral battles.
  • Fantasy and steam-
    punk co-existence.
  • 3000 Quests
The Bad
  • Only one crafting skill
    at start of the game.
  • Crafting tutorials lack
    on details.
  • No movies.
  • Several items
    available only from
    the "Cash Shop".


Total Score:   
8.5/10

Thank you for reading, and I really hope you will find yourself at least a little bit interested in venturing to the vast world “Allods” brings for the players, as we as people should give all our support to the companies that create these game for no monthly fee.

You can also find “Allods Online” on the gPotato portal for free MMO games.

With Much Respect,
SaVa.



Reactions:

4 comments:

umaroy said...

that not many other games were able to do. The Steam-punk essence is as present as that of the fantasytop online strategy games.
real time strategy game.

manik hossain said...

Therefore, image deal with is the issue driving people to engage in online Games

Provash Joddarbd said...

The players will be able to travel the across.space strategy games.
top online strategy games.

Investing Guru said...

I found the MMOs.com allods review more up to date. I'm glad you liked it though, I personally played it on gPotato but never the newer Mail.ru service. The review I read was Allods Online MMOs.com Review

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