DarkEden: Chaos of Old Returns
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor), OnRPG Journalist
We all have a game that introduced us into the serious side of the MMORPG genre, opening up a whole new world to discover. I started my adventure in Runescape but the content at the time wasn’t able to hold my interest for long. I ended up jumping to the original DarkEden. Now DarkEden stuck with me as one of the main reasons that I am still enjoying MMORPGs up to the present. Its unique style, a forgotten relic of the earlier years of MMORPGs, is hard to find in today’s market, which made me quite nostalgic when DizzyPW offered this assignment to me. I spent many hours with my cousins playing DarkEden and don’t regret one minute of it. But that was a long time ago and times have changed. Would I still find the joy and excitement I remember so fondly this time around?
A colleague of Dizzy’s got me set up with a high level account so I could quickly jump into the game and compare it directly to my original account. If you’re new to the MMORPG scene, DarkEden is a free-to-play online horror action MMORPG taking place in the fictional eastern European country of Eslania. A war rages between the Vampires, Slayers, and Ousters and each one of them competes to take control of the powerful Blood Bible.
In this apocalyptic world every race has to gather its experience differently which makes the approach to the MMO grind rather unusual. In this hack-and-slash game the Slayers only have to attack a monster or player to gain its experience points. However the Ouster and The Vampire need to drink blood from an unlucky foe to gain experience. Each character or class is specialized in different stats in which they gain various benefits from; you have Strength, Dexterity and Intelligence and your choices will have a noticeable impact on your playstyle. For instance, I was given a gunslinger purely specialized in dexterity allowing me to DPS like no one else’s business. Intelligence/dexterity combinations are used for almost every ranged skill and spell, except for a few melee type skills. Dexterity and Strength are best used for the melee type classes so they will have the most optimal defense along with the best offense. The ranking system can make a character stronger as well. In this ranking system each rank you achieve allows you to learn one of many rank skills. I went with a Heavy Shooter build to ensure I could finish off my foes before they ever inched close enough to harm me, allowing me to successfully utilize my glass cannon build.
If you’re unlucky enough to have never played DarkEden, then here are a few features you should be aware of before jumping into the game. It is mainly inspired by the Diablo series with some elements of Dungeons and Dragons thrown in. The game also has a day and night cycle which will affect your visibility so watch out for surprise attacks at night. The day and night cycle also has a different effect on the races. The Vampires are for example more powerful at night and the Slayers are relatively more powerful during the day.
Are you a real player versus player freak and like to backstab some players when they are not watching? Then DarkEden is really a game for you to test out. In DarkEden players are open to attack almost anyone anywhere in the realm except for a few safe zones. This makes the game more challenging while adding to the mood of a true horror game where you never truly feel safe, even if you ARE among the creatures that go bump in the night. But don’t let your bloodlust get the best of you as strong tactics and proper use of the night/day are key to ensuring you came out of battle satiated.. and breathing.
To keep the servers up and running there is a Mall in DarkEden as well that will bring in some cash for the developers so that they are able to provide enough support and updates for their precious game. The items in the mall are bought with iCash and consist of various equipment like weapons and armor. And if you think walking is too slow in DarkEden you are also able to buy your own Hell Bike so you are able to cruise to your destination like Ghost Rider. If you are not so happy with the chosen gender you can always choose to buy a Transgen set and chance the way you take a leak, oh and of course the gender model. And if you have too little space in your backpack you are always able to buy an inventory expansion.
DarkEden is a game similar to Diablo and it is easily compared with such a great title. The graphical presentation could be compared to an isometric view of Fallout, with signs of the apocalypse around every corner. The graphics are simple but appropriate for the theme being used. To play this game you will need the following system requirements:
OS: Windows XP/Windows Vista and above
CPU: Pentium 3 600MHZ and above
RAM: 256 MB Above
Hard Drive: 800 MB and above
Video: 16mb Above/ DirectX 9 Above
DarkEden is a really special game that conquered my heart in the early days of gaming. When the game launched originally it had its flaws but gained a loyal following with its unique features and gameplay. I had a lot of fun back in the day but its current state is far more polished and a real pleasure to try out for a second time. If you are a big fan of this genre and you are a big fan of action hack and slash games with the general Diablo and Fallout feel then I would strongly advise you to test this game because it goes where most MMOs today fear. Just watch your back as I’ll be waiting for you!