DK Online Review - MMORPG Comfort Food
By Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF), OnRPG Journalist
DK Online is a traditional MMORPG set in a fantasy world that is facing an all-powerful evil. Easy gameplay mixed with fast leveling and combat are what make it appealing. The Guild versus Guild territory control gives PvP an exciting twist where you strive with your friends to crush your enemies and take one of the six available castles for your own. All this combined make for quite the exciting experience.
The name of the world in DK Online is Latos. And let me tell you, it is beautiful. They fill each nook and cranny of the world with a special DK charm that give it an eye-pleasing graphic style. Latos is a large and interesting world filled with expansive cities. These cities are filled with amazing architecture. Packed to the brim with NPCs and players, you will always find something to do or buy. Unfortunately, this comes at a price. I found the game to be poorly optimized and my beast rig was struggling to keep up. I had to concede and lower my graphics settings to get a decent frames per second.
While I feel that there could have been more variety in the animations, what was available was superb. Combat is filled with awesome special effects that allow for a feeling of constant action. When you kill an enemy, loot will fly out of his corpse. That was particularly neat when it was a weapon, which would embed itself into the ground. I appreciated the sleek user interface, most of which could be moved around the screen freely.
In DK Online, there are four races. Each race is gender locked and are limited to two classes each, one of which is shared with all the other races: Warrior. I have got to say I was disappointed with the lack of choice when it came to classes and races: specifically the class selection. There are only a total of four classes. I have heard rumors that another class will be released in the future, but I do not think this will make much of a difference.
Besides the class and race selection, you are given an OK amount of choices when it comes to actually deciding how your character looks. You can customize your face type, hair style, hair color, facial hair and even face decorations. You can also choose your initial armor color which you start in.
After your character is created, there is some customization but not much. Each time you level, you gain a point to spend in your stats and a skill point to spend in the skill trees. As far as I have been able to tell, there are two skill trees for each class. Which means there really is not much variety to choose from. I would have preferred it if we were given more choice and freedom in the customization of our character.
There really is nothing new when it comes to the controls of DK Online. If you have played an MMORPG in the past ten years, you are inclined to be familiar with the controls instantly. There is both WASD and point-and-click movement. Holding the right mouse button allows you to move the camera around. Using the F key, along with the left mouse button is how you will interact with the world.
Everything did work, though there were a few problems I noticed. The biggest thing that takes getting used to, in my opinion, is the slight delay when using the movement keys. When you press W, it takes a moment for your character to start going. When you let go of the W key, it takes a bit for your character to stop. Other than that, the chat system spam protection was a bit annoying if you wanted to connect more than one sentence at a time. The only other thing worth mentioning is the jumping. Something about it made me feel like my character was hitting his head against an invisible ceiling. Luckily, the jumping animation is something trivial and does not take away from the functionality.
Playing the Game
I will start by re-iterating that DK Online is a traditional MMORPG. As such, it has your typical MMORPG combat that was made famous with games such as World of Warcraft. It also has the redundant quest system that is the bane of most MMOs. It is filled with kill quest. In fact, I can count on my hand how many quest I had that did not require killing ten or so of some mob. I recognize that they did their best to make questing as painless as possible by clearly marking all quest locations on the map.
And speaking of mobs, there are countless hordes of them. Everywhere you go, it is a sea of monsters. I guess I cannot be too disappointed about this. It is basically required due to how many people F2P games usually have playing them. The monsters were fairly unique. Some of the ones I came across were completely new to me. Others more familiar creature names, such as kobolds, did not resemble what I am used to from other games.
The ease of which I could slip in to the game made for a really enjoyable experience. The quick leveling mixed with fast-paced combat helped with that. There is a lot of high quality voice acting, which you are introduced to at character creation. Added with the epic music, this really helps with the immersion. One thing that had me really scratching my head was that a majority of the NPCs seemed to have the same catch phrase, “You must of heard of me...I am hero!”
Combat is quite satisfying. You almost feel your greatblade splitting your foe's head in two. I was thankful that if you try to use an ability and are out of range, your character will automatically run closer to the enemy so that it can hit it. Other than the exceptional combat effects, it is the same system you would find in any other theme-park MMO. The biggest disappoint in combat, however, were the limited options in weapon choice. The class I tried only had two weapon types it could use. In total, I came across three different weapon types: Greatblade, Longsword, and Staff.
In conclusion, DK Online is an alright game. It has an interesting story centering on the struggle between the forces of good and the evil forces of the dragon Kharvag. Latos is a stunning world and I found myself stopping to take screenshots constantly. While I do wish that there were some new and innovative things thrown in to the mix, I appreciate the feeling of comfort I got from playing a game that I was accustomed to from the instant I logged in. It is like MMO comfort food.
Graphics: 4/5 - But they were poorly optimized during my time in the game
Customization: 2/5 - The fact that each race only had two classes was a huge downer
Community: 3/5 - It was OK for an MMORPG community
Controls: 4/5 - They were familiar and easy to learn
Features: 3/5 - Nothing new, but what was there was done well