Argo Online: Steampunk VS Hippies
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor), OnRPG journalist
A world shattered by Seperstis, the World War 4 in the 23rd century. Not only complete cities and landscapes have been destroyed, even whole continents have been reformed. But two races rise in these ashes and rebuild their civilization in this post-apocalyptical world according to their different philosophies of life. Now the battle for control of Earth rests in the hands of the steampunk Noblian and the mystical tribe Floresslah. Which one would you chose? Do you see the future of mankind in the evolution of technologies or in the symbiosis with nature? It is one of the most important decisions a human has to make. Enter the next generation MMORPG, ARGO Online, and fight for your belief.
When I first got into the game I was amazed by the story. Unlike other MMORPG’s that tell/show the story, Argo offers you a cinematic about what happened in the past between the two factions. This helped immerse me into the reality of cataclysm of the Seperstis War. After seeing this beautiful cinematic it was time to choose the faction I wanted to play for and to create my character. I chose Floresslah. After this I could choose my class and customize my character. There are a lot of options to choose from; you can change the default setting such as your hair, skin color and your eye color. But there is also an advanced customizations tab where you can customize every part of your character.
Unfortunately the class is race bound which is kind of disappointing, I chose to play to play as a Sagittarius. This class is a male class but I refused to look like a guy and decided to create my own female version. Isn’t she err… he a beauty?
The Floresslah are a nature loving nation who evolved and adapted to fit the barren ground environment. Their bodies have evolved to survive in the contaminated environment. They are highly intelligent and highly sensitive to nature which has influenced their development and arts. Floresslah has given the attributes of the elemental spirits to Earthdium, which is used to cleanse power sources and nature. The Floresslah believe that nature is the Mother of All Life and they have an obligation to take care of it, causing an inevitable confrontation against the Noblian, who they believe are destroying nature in pursuit of comfort.
The Noblian are a nation who escaped to the underground, then returned to look for Earthdium. Noblians excels in academia and have a strong desire to learn. They are always curious about new environments. They are committed to utilizing nature for convenient living by developing mechanical engineering, alternative engineering, and natural sciences. Noblians use Earthdium in commonly used items such as lighting, power sources, water purification, fuel, medicine and even weapons and mechanical devices. Noblians believe that they are the chosen nation, possessing rational souls and intelligence. They have been fighting a fierce battle with Floresslah, who believe everything has a soul, for control of Earthdium.
ARGO Online is a game based on steampunk and fantasy. The environment shows this off and every class has its unique style of gameplay. Every faction has 8 unique classes ranging from melee to support. I chose to play as a range class; the Sagittarius uses guns to fight monsters from a distance. After messing with the controls I found a special ‘Aiming mode’, this mode activates a crosshair in the middle of your screen and lets you shoot manually. If you prefer to be lazy and just let it automatically shoot I recommend you avoid this option. The aiming mode is an unique feature in a MMORPG that not many games use. It adds challenge and fun in a way that most MMOs don’t dare to try.
The controls in this game are well polished and there are two different options to move your character. You can use the WASD keys to move your character or you can point to click which can be quite handy if you have to walk far distances. The controls offer quite a bit of freedom and you can even perform acrobatic flip jumps to get around! The skills you gain by leveling can be put on the action bar on the bottom of the screen. There are no other buttons such as your inventory, character info, etc.
These menus can be opened using the corresponding keys on your keyboard. You can view and change every hotkey in the options and even assign new ones. Unfortunately the world doesn’t feel finished or really like an open space. For example, I tried walking up little hills and mountains and you just can’t get far up. Even small objects tend to block your path and make the game feel too much like a theme park on rails than a living breathing battleground world. But at least the combat in the game is fast and intuitive, making you glad you went along for the ride.
Now I am not really a person to compare games because of their features but I must show the map textures in ARGO do look a little familiar. I recognize the map style as being straight from WoW but I can’t say I don’t like it. I have always been a fan of the textures, and we here in Holland have a nice expression. ‘It’s better to steal something good than create something bad’. And I must say the maps blend flawlessly into the game’s overall feel.
The graphics in this game is really beautiful for a free to play MMORPG. The environment is really well made and people that are playing on high graphics can view the well-polished surroundings in great detail. To play this game you need to have a really good processor, the website says you need an Intel Core2 Duo Core i5) processor as minimum. If you have no idea how good your processor is then visit your control panel> system and security> system and take a look. Luckily only the processor requirement is high. Memory requirements are relatively low and the minimum video card is about 4 years old as well.
As most of the free MMORPGs, ARGO Online has a Cash Shop. In the Cash Shop you are able to buy bag expansions, experience bonuses, gold bonuses, skill boosts, and costumes with stats. These items that can be bought will benefit you mostly in acquiring experience and gold.
ARGO Online has far too many features to cover in depth in a single article. Player versus player, battlefields, loads of class variety, and unique looking vehicles are just some of the features I didn’t have enough time to check into. I really like the steampunk atmosphere and some creatures look superb. I’d say this game might be a huge success with a bit of fine tuning and more public awareness. The website isn’t finished and some text in the game has a few grammatical errors. Nonetheless this game is a really well polished compared to the bulk of its competition. I’d advise every player to try this game out because it defies the standard MMORPG mould and has enough potential to rival any F2P MMORPG on the market.