By Bryan King (Bryan), Onrpg Journalist
Warning, you are about to enter a 1990s flashback...
As a kid, I remember sporadically crashing my Lego creations together, creating wars of different childish robot parts, making different sound effects (my mom would look at me funny) and eventually destroying parts of the robots. Those were good times. But as society has advanced, so has our thinking of mechs. So much even that SnailGame created Age of Armor, a game based around the automatons.
The Storyline of the game revolves around the competing for resources by the Federal Union, disbanding of the United Nations, and the battle of the Federal Union against the rebel Arthur Alliance. So, where do you stand in this war?
After dealing with a confusing character creation and a slap in the face with resolution issues, I let out a sigh of relief after finally getting inside of the game. Unfortunately, the least of my problems had not started. I had been given a tutorial that barely explained anything, other than giving me a couple of tips on what to start out with in sentences of broken English. This was a minor turn-off for me, but I had faced worse before.
The interface, in my opinion, is actually quite impressive, it's lightweight and sleek, and gives the most critical information in an easily visualized pattern. The combat in the game is based around the simple fact that you battle and defeat mobs with you being in a mech.
As for actual combat, you basically click on an enemy, target it, and watch bullets fly, missiles hone, or your sword swing. It's nothing really special other than the fact that it at least attempts to bring some sort of FPS feeling to it; it almost breaks out of the norm, but fails at doing anything impressive. Combat is extremely slow, and I found it taking forever to finish quests, even though I had some of the craziest pimped-out items that were available at my level.
One part where Age of Armor (finally) manages to outdo other games is in the customization levels. I had flashbacks when I was able to actually make my mech look like Optimus Prime. There areloads of parts for your character, allowing you to customize everything from your Control Cabin to your Engine. This may be bittersweet to gamers, due to the fact that some people prefer to keep things simple and straight to the point, not having to customize virtually every part of their character.
The controls felt mildly slow, with the WASD controls, it didn't feel fluid in any way, shape, or form. I constantly found myself being frustrated over the fact that when I tried to shoot a target, my character would end up power sliding or moving even closer. It's just the fact that the controls can be unresponsive that pretty much ruins the gameplay.
There is a feature where your mech can turn into vehicles like a jet or a car, which is pretty cool, but is a rather obvious and blatant rip off of the well-known Transformers series.
Quests are absolutely terrible, giving you no clear direction of what to do in the beginning of the game other than a name and maybe a general direction. Of course, like other MMOs, a large portion of the game is based on this quest genre, so players have to ask the community where an NPC is. One quest I found ridiculous was when I was asked to "befriend a level 45" character... there is little left of what was the community, and finding a level 45 character is almost impossible.
One last thing that I have to summarize gameplay with is constant crashes, any type of popup in the background caused my client to crash, and this included Xfire messages, IMs, anything of the sort. Snailgame really needs to get it fixed, for every type of system.
Graphics & Sound
As for sound, Age of Armor simply does nothing special. Low-res textures, badly detailed models, and horrible monster and creature design made the game fail in all aspects of graphics. Animations are stiff, no, not in the sense of how a robot moves, but in the sense of every gun firing, NPC actions, it doesn't flow well together.
Sounds are repetitive, with the same sounds being used for everything. The starter machine gun makes the same "pew pew" sound as the level ninety pistol, the starter swords make the same sound as the level fifty ones. Snailgame either needs to remake this in a large game patch, or completely renew the system all together.
Age of Armor does a good job recreating an environment where players can go toe-to-toe and defend and attack for their faction. There is a city siege faction where an invasion process by each faction in order to try to push into a city and eventually try to capture it, players get rewards by owning these cities.
There is also a Server Destroying war in which both factions compete to destroy a central guard, and whichever faction fails to destroy the guard is exiled to the island of Exilian, an area where players can only receive a set amount of EXP over time. This period will last for seven days, but the losing faction will have a chance for one hour to kill the guard and take back their land. If they fail to do so in seven days, the Battle Planet will be destroyed after the main city is occupied.
However, the winning side is showered in gifts such as ammunitions, body dye-ups; attribute raising accelerating cards, Double Exp cards, Stable chips and Slot connectors and some other Items from the Item Shop.
In conclusion, Age of Armor does not deliver on much other than a built storyline and an interesting Player vs. Player aspect.
- Decent Storyline
- Intense PvP
- Nice Interface
- Plenty of customization.
- Horrid Tutorial
- Clunky gameplay
- Boring combat
- Frequent Crashes.