Dawn Of Nations Review: Does It Compare To Its Peers?



Dawn Of Nations Review: Does It Compare To Its Peers?
By Kei Beneza (Dividelife), OnRPG Journalist

Dawn Of Nations is an MMO web browser game set in the unforgiving campaigns of World War 2. The game actually feels a bit TOO much like Evony Online, but since it shares the same war theme, it's a given that it will also contain the generic browser game basics. To be honest, I'm not really sure why the sub-genre (web browser wars) refuses to evolve. We've seen countless games that share the same system, as though the developer's only goal was to launch something that completely matches the recent threshold of enjoyment rather than create something new and potentially better. So what separates Dawn of Nations from both its predecessors and successors? What makes this war game so different? I guess we'll soon find out.

Starting Up

Upon starting the game, you'll be prompted to create your commander. Not much to talk about really. At least the game was gracious enough to provide a set of character portraits. Aside from the basic information, you'll be asked to create your own city in a location of your choice. You will be given a status report regarding the area's population, allowing you to distinguish the number of players in each area. There's also the TROOP BANNER name option, but I sort of remember banners being designed and not named. Oh wait, of course! Photoshop and MS paint didn't exist back then in World War 2 right?

Dawn of Nations Starting Up
Dawn of Nations Starting Up

After creating your commander, you will be catapulted to the in game tutorial. May I say that the tutorials were exquisitely presented? Not only do they explain the basics pretty well; they also highlight keywords and key panels to familiarize players with the important parts of the interface.

The Better Cake: Officer System

Although the game has expanded its genre's generic game play, it doesn't change the fact that it's just a well-iced cake in freezer full of cakes. The object of the game is very simple: save up, sustain a stable economy, create an army of epic proportions, and DESTROY. The question is... how special is this icing?

The first thing that caught my attention was the "Officer System" which is similar to the RTS Hero system, although unlike heroes, officers are assigned to perform specific tasks, some of which are not combat-oriented. All officers have different stats which allow you to distinguish their specialties. An officer who's high in politics for example would greatly enhance your construction speed, while those blessed with knowledge can speed up your research time. Also, players are able to equip their officers with various items to increase their capabilities. It's actually quite refreshing to see heroes that know something else other than combat.

Dawn of Nations Officer System
Dawn of Nations Officer System

So what are the downsides to having an officer? Their salary of course! You didn't think these sly tacticians would lend you their talents for free now did you? Yes... Officers must be paid in gold for them to continue their services. Failure to do so decreases their loyalty bar, resulting in abandonment. This is BAAAD!

Dawn of Nations Equips
Officer Equips

Quests

Yes, the game does have quests (missions). They are a bit linear and rather repetitive at times, but I would strongly advise you to grind them as they give exceptional rewards that can really aid you in your journey (or skirmishes).

PLS! WAR NAO!

I don't know if it's just me, but I strongly disagree with the rookie protection system. It does help you mass up for 7 days without being attacked, but isn't there a way to turn it off when you're ready? The part I hate about these types of games is the waiting factor. Declaring war can take as long as 8 hours, depending on whom you are attacking. Declaring war on allies forces you to wait for 8 hours before actual bullets are fired, while attacking players from the opposing faction takes 4 hours. To make up for the epic wait, the game displays a graphical description of the actual combat. It's pretty satisfying, but would definitely be better if they lowered the wait factor.

Dawn of Nations War Nao
Plz War Nao

Graphics and Interface

The graphics are actually pretty impressive and greatly satisfies the average browser game's general lack of animation. In this game, you are able to indicate which of your buildings are being built though an animated wrench on top the structure. It's not that important, but the mere fact that this game carries an animated action separates it from the average web browsers graphics. The interface is also something to look at, as the menus and options are conveniently placed on the visible portions of your screen. Also, since there are so many resources to keep track of, I'm pretty happy that they managed to find images that perfectly suit the corresponding resource. Some games actually have incomprehensible images, making it hard to distinguish which specific resource it represents. When it comes to graphics and interface, I'd say Dawn of Nations beats its predecessors by a mile.

Dawn of Nations Verdict
The Verdict

Verdict

As a browser game, Dawn of Nations proved to be much better than SOME of its predecessors. It's not the best one around, but definitely one of the better ones. The officer system is superb, and greatly expands the depth of game play. One thing that strikes me though is the fact that PAYING players have a big advantage over those who are playing for free. Yes, players can purchase diamonds from the online marketplace, allowing them to speed up their progress.. I guess this serves as a hint for players who want to play the game seriously. Wanna rule? PAY! With an awesome interface, a deep (yet simple) system, and a whole lot of micromanaging, Dawn of Nations is a game worth trying out.

Pros:
- Great Interface
- User-friendly
- Officer system
- Different war vehicles.

Cons:
- Waiting time
- Cash is King
- May get boring after a few tries.

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