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Drakensang Online Review
Mar 12,2012 01:03 by Sara Lau1
Produced by Bigpoint Game, Drakensang Online is a free-to-play web-based action-packed PRG which brings players into the fantasy world of sword and magic. There are so many games of the same genre coming out every month. I’ve played a lot of them and have also given up playing a lot. So I really got impressed after I’ve spent a decent chunk of time with Drakensang Online. Generally, the game is an old-school Diablo-esque APRG with MMO elements.
It came no surprise that If anyone else who plays Drakensang Online is reminded of the Diablo series since the game bears pretty much with Diablo: from the storytelling, to quest-performing and to graphics. All of this Drakensang Online has should be given a credit to Diablo series. In this review, I’ll try to summarize what a good web MMO game should consist of, especially when it is closely associated with Diablo series.
The storyline of Drakensang Online progresses through 6 acts, with each act following a more or less predetermined path. You must get primary quests from NPC and follow the path to proceed across the storyline. Combat is in real-time, and is shown in an isometric view. You need to fight against monsters through dungeons and wilderness in order to level-up your character and gain better equipment. Right from the very beginning, I was prompted to get a simple task from an NPC, blasted off into the countryside, passed through the dark cave or the dense forest, and generally either killed mobs or collected stuff. The 3D environment is fantastic and the graphics are outstanding, I think the 3D rendering of the game is on the edge of being one of the best by the standard of a browser-based game. The control is also very user-friendly. You click the left mouse button to move, or press and hold it to keep your character moving continuously. Skills and magic can also be dragged into the hotkey slots and are triggered by numeric keys. One nice touch is that, you can use “Tab” key to toggle between two of your most commonly used skills bound with right mouse button.
There is some interesting gameplay mechanism making it stand out from Diablo 2. The first is the way how damage is applied. In Diablo 2, characters who have higher overall defense value have better chance to dodge melee and ranged attack. But here, defense is the value that determines how much damage can be absorbed per hit, which is shown by a certain percentage. This means enemies always get 100% hit rate against any non-shield-wield characters who do not have shield-block bonus. This makes enemies armed with ranged weapons, which becomes very annoying, especially when a fragile spell caster is engaged in close-ranged combat against swarms of deadly shooters, who are ready to hurl arrows with uncanny speed and accuracy.
The second is about the character class and skill. The Dragon Knights use rage instead of mana, which builds up by hitting and killing enemies. And most of their skills need a certain amount of rage. So it’s a good idea to work out a way to chain skill combos in a certain sequence while you are dealing with specific enemies in certain scenario.
The game also has a nice and wide selection of items, a way to improve/craft them; and shrunk version of skill trees compared with client-based MMO games. I think most of you must have experienced enough about the same mechanism, so I exclude it.
Like other freemium games, it also has its in-game premium currency – Andermant. But note that the currency is also gained as quest rewards, and can be dropped from monsters at a very low rate; so, although collecting them is a hard job, at least the game provides players with an alternative way to encourage them to stay online for more time.
Overall, I would say the game is a visually superb title and has borrowed many successful ideas from other RPGs. If you love dungeon crawler, then you should give it a try for a few hours, and I can guarantee you will be impressed with the visuals at the very least. And I personally will be enjoying it until Diablo 3 is rolled out.
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