Chronicles of Merlin
- Release Date: 2011/4/28
- Publisher: KoramGame
- Developer: Koram Game (China)
- Genre: MMORTS
Chronicles of Merlin is a free browser game that largely draws the inspiration from Batheo, Warflow, Golden Age, and Evony. The game, which has also been considered as a pure copycat of Three Kingdoms Online, is aimed to attract American and European gamers with the boring medieval setting. With new buildings and characters yet repeated algorithm, it has been a slightly successful game available at App Store, and browsers.
Let’s just state honestly and openly: Chronicles of Merlin is mediocre, a third-class strategy MMO that provides players with something playable yet not innovative enough to be immersive. It hardly has anything of its own in terms of core gameplay to distinguish itself, if not stand out above, from those with the same genre like Indomitus, Immortal King, World of Lordcraft and Castlot.
Generally, you will build and then fight your way through the whole game, which is the traditional mode of most strategy games. Not that Chronicles of Merlin lets down in this aspect; it disappoints players, instead, in failing to make the two key gaming mechanics interesting and enjoyable, due to the lack of creativity and novelty.
All starts with choosing your first hero out of five characters, different in unit and skill, such as Cavalier skillful in Charge and Catapults in Bombardment. The initial choice seems to pose little influence on subsequent fighting and the tutorial is a brief summary of the game as a whole, covering both building and combating elements, so that you can simply conceive a general idea about the good and bad when you got the newbie guide done.
Tutorial begins with a military task about occupying a castle seized now by bandit rabble. In the first battle, you click (following the guide) only to see two squads of identical soldiers standing on each side, waving weapons without moving to launch attack in turn, and then a number indicating Casualty rising up ahead and finally gameover when one side is eradicated. The combat does show certain animation, such as soldiers’ yielding weapons, visual effects of certain skills in shape of fork-shaped lightning and swirling shields, and corresponding reduction of soldiers in the field under each attack. However, behind the superficial goodness, you may still wonder, if not confused, how many soldiers in your side are sent to war, since you are not asked to choose the number, type, formation or whatever concerns the army build-up beforehand.
Of course, you are able to win the very first battle to claim the castle as your base for the dev team has designed this mechanics to encourage players to move on the next stage smoothly. First is the City Hall, followed by Tower of Trials, Armory, Residence, etc. one by one. To build or upgrade architecture consumes resources, takes times and entails laborers, following the usual rule, that is, higher level, greater demand. To compound it, there is imposed cool-down setup that slows down progress by asking building team to rest after each building project. (And cool-down is not only in building part, but also in military move, which will be mentioned below.) to be fair, the only saving grace in construction lies in no cap limitation on the building list at a time.
With the support of necessary buildings in the castle, you will be able to collect taxes in City Hall, buy and enhance gears in Amory, and recruit, train and equip heroes before sending your army out in Campaign again to challenge more powerful enemies of higher level. And no matter how eager you would like to forge strong well-equipped heroes, you will have to first upgrade the corresponding facilities, for the maximum gear level is subject to the level of Armory while the hero level subject to that of City Hall.
Horning martial arts of your hero in the castle is ultimately for dispatching him/her in war. The major combat task in the tutorial is to sweep away one bandit after another to finally encounter and counter Robin Hood. Sounds interesting? Yet all battles are just the same: you click and you watch no control and no strategy. (Still, you’ve no idea where your soldiers come from.) Again, cool-down is forced upon the battle by way of limiting the number of Banner, consumed one per battle and replenished one per hour.
Moreover, sound effects are plain and repetitive; and graphics are just so-so: just look at the Region interface which show lines of almost identical castles annexed one another, too tidy to be interesting (why not randomly locate each castles to create a more realistic, artistic regional map? )
Chronicles of Merlin bears not much connection with the anecdotes of Merlin; as a strategy game, it conveys no engaging strategic play. So, if you miss out it, you won’t miss it.
Honestly, Chronicles of Merlin tries to simulate Medieval Total War with its licensed Dynasty Saga’s programming codes. As we already knows, such codes can be purchased from Chinese guys. The ready-made games are Batheo, Dynasty Saga, Warflow, each of which places you into a different world of different value, but in the same way .
The title “Chronicles of Merlin” involves nothing about Chronicles of Merlin, never embodying a single historical anecdote that Merlin created. Each action in the game lured you to build and upgrade you buildings in your initial stage.
For instance, you will have to upgrade your City of Hall in order to collect taxes, upgrade more advanced buildings and increase the chance of obtaining Gold. Of course, all is to prepare for the future battling in the battlefield.
But the game is never boring. players on Facebook reviewed it as if it were a clone of Total War and Batheo. And Koram Game knows exactly what it wants to draw our gaze to. As long as you want to spend money, the game is addicting and far beyond.
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