Country Wars Online Review - A Small Game With Small Potential
By Bryan King (Bryan), OnRPG Journalist
Within an enormous egg, stands 'Silvadoo' the tree upholding the world. On the top three branches of Silvadoo hang the Sun, Star and Moon for each of the six continents upheld by the six branches below. Inside the trunk, nourishing the nine roots flow the 'Waters of Circulation', actually delicate web strands spouting from the tail of the black spider inhabiting among the roots of Silvadoo. It is believed that the world tree 'Silvadoo' nourishes on the vital energy and records of the history and fate of all living creatures within each string. 'Airel' a gigantic bird controlling the weather and season, flies among the skies of the egg, turning its' cries into thunder, flaps into wind, tears into rain and changes rain into snow by its' possessed 'Nin'.
Country Wars Online, published by Cisos Software, is a game released after the closing of the Indian version, A3 India. Country Wars follows a storyline based on war, deception, and evolution of the land of Helmarsh. The game promises an "epic massive multiplayer online role-playing fantasy, action and adventure game", but does it deliver? Let's take a look.
Character Customization... or lack thereof
Country Wars Online has four classes, which are unfortunately gender locked. The Warrior and Holy Knight, your typical, toned, blonde haired, blue-eyed macho men. These characters focus on two different aspects of melee combat, the Warrior focusing on more aggressive combat types, and the Holy Knight focusing more on the defensive combat types. Next, you have your two females, both being the generic youthful, busty phenotypes that every F2P MMO gamer has come to know. The game offers no character customization beyond later armor choices, and this simply cannot compete with other games of this generation. Players don't achieve any sort of unique looks other than armors that they may earn.
Following my favored archetype, I went with a Holy Knight and entered the game. Upon entering, I was greeted by being surrounded by a group of ugly monsters, named Memora. While reading the first quest the game, I noticed that not one, not two, but THREE of these monsters were attacking me at the same time. By the time I had realized this, it was too late, and I was already long gone...
This experience was the first bad moment of a long and painful beginner journey. After spending much unnecessary time having to find an unmarked NPC, I realized that my character wasn't regaining health. This means that the only means of regaining HP is by spamming potions or being healed by a Holy Knight. Skills in the game are acquired by defeating monsters and a skill book being dropped from them, or purchasing them from another character. However, these books are often hard to find, and upon asking a high-level character in the game, take hours to days of endless grinding to obtain.
An interesting feature in Country is the Pet Shue system, this allows players to have a pet that grows along with them as they level, provide bonuses, and evolve along with your character.
Combat in Country Wars works in the fashion of clicking a monster, auto-attacking, and selecting a skill. Right clicking on yourself, monster, or an ally will activate a skill. The game works on a click-and-go basis, and this actually isn't that bad for a game like this. It's simple and easy to use, and can be very welcoming for a new MMO gamer, however, for more experienced MMO gamers who have been spoiled by better combat systems, this type of combat may feel blocky and be a bore.
The camera angles in the game often became obtrusive, and detracted from my game experience. To move the camera from left to right, you need to use the left and right arrow keys, and to shift the camera up and down on a vertical perspective, you need to use the up and down arrow keys. For a right-handed player like me, having one hand on the mouse to move and zoom in and out, and the arrow keys is uncomfortable. Having no way to change this (unless you fiddle with the .ini file, maybe) makes this all the more annoying. You can drag your middle mouse key along to move the camera, but doing this and clicking at the same time, along with moving? It just seems impractical...
One thing that is pretty unique about Country Wars was the fact that players can hire NPC mercenaries to help them in their travels. There are four classes available as mercenaries, Warrior, Paladin, Archer, and Mage. These mercenaries can use skills just like players can, and can often be the difference between life and death for a player, depending on what class mercenary they have. When your mercenary dies, you must revive him or her at the Bar (the same area you obtain one from). This system might be one of the saving graces of Country Wars, because it does offer something that isn't seen in all MMOs.
An interesting thing, GMs held an all-out GM War last year, which apparently was an event to capture castles and earn points to win for their faction, Quanato or Temoz, each of which who have kings who rule the faction.
Country Wars Online's graphics would be good... four years ago. The graphics don't stack among most 3D games at all, but can be a practical solution for someone with an aged computer. The user interface serves its purpose, although the bottom bar can be a little too packed. The graphics within the game has many issues, first starting with texture errors, while moving, my camera often jumped to area under the game's ground region, causing me to completely lose track of where my character was going, and even die at some points. It seems like a minor issue that can easily be fixed, but the game has been out for about two years and this hasn't been fixed as of yet. In conclusion, graphics are fine for players with older computers.
Country Wars doesn't offer much to the average MMO gamer. However, for players with a very (VERY!) low-end computer, this game might be an option. It doesn't offer much in terms of gameplay or graphics, and is relatively packed with bugs and glitches that can ruin a gameplay experience quickly. If you're an experienced gamer, chances are this game will not be of your interest.
- Low requirements and good option for players with low-end PC
- Mercenary system
- Interesting and addicting pet system
- Recurring conflict between factions brings intensity.
- Plagued by bugs and glitches
- No character customization
- Skill system is painstaking
- HP recovery and certain game mechanics uncomfortable.