By Jordan Hall (ApocaRUFF)
Therian Saga is a browser-based, turn-based, 2D MMORPG brought to us by Studio Fatecraft. The game has all the elements of a good RPG – questing, crafting, exploration, gold, and loot. It has a large focus on player-to-player interaction, encouraging players to work, trade, or adventure together. Therian is one of the few games where you can focus on the side of adventuring that isn't strictly combat related, by participating in a craft. Therian Saga has all the makings for an epic adventure, and should be a grand way to spend your time.
Customization in Therian Saga is very straightforward and typical of MMORPGs. You are given a few options at character creation, but not a large amount. That's to be expected from a game with 2D graphics, though. After creation, you are able to customize your character’s path and choose what specializations he has. You're also given the ability to equip armor and weapons that can customize the looks of your character. All-in-all, it's nothing spectacular but nice none-the-less.
The graphics in Therian Saga are 2D. Personally, I generally find 2D graphics to be a bit harsh on the eyes. However, due to the bright art-style used in the game’s artwork, I found I enjoyed the graphics quite a bit. The fact that most things are static and there isn't very much in the way of animations may have contributed to that. In the end, I did enjoy the artwork of the game quite a lot.
The game can be played completely with the mouse. You'll be clicking a decent amount. Between the sometimes long wait times, that is. Basically any action you do will come with a 10+ second wait time to complete. But I'll get more into that later. The UI, and the game itself, was very responsive and I only noticed bits of lag when I was loading other websites at the same time. Otherwise, it was completely fine.
The community in Therian Saga seems to be of a healthy size. Each time I log on, it seems like there's a constant stream of chatter in the chatbox. The community seemed fairly nice, though I did notice some name calling and insulting a few times. Whenever I had a question, I did get an answer from someone helpful almost immediately. Overall, it's your typical MMORPG community.
The combat in Therian Saga is a bit different. It's played more like a board game than anything, I would say. A massive board game with thousands of players that can all make turns at the same time, that is. You travel around the map, visiting locations to find quests, resources, to craft, etc... Dungeons are fairly simple, and are done quite similar to how it's done in a MUD. Move North/East/South/West into different “rooms” of the dungeon/cave, fighting anything you happen to come across or interacting with things you find. It's all actually quite fun.
As I mentioned in the introduction, the game does have a fairly decent amount of crafting. Personally, I found myself enjoying the crafting portion of the game more than anything else. It's a fairly typical system – you get ore, smelt it into nuggets, smelt that into ingots, use it to craft blades, use wood to craft handles, combine them to make weapons. That sort of system. It was a decent amount of depth, considering how new the game is.
Notice the 30 minute wait time.
As you might suspect, combat is turn based. And fairly simple. Just like the lay-outs and exploration of dungeons, the combat is basically the same as in a MUD as well. Thinking of it like that, I would have to say Therian Saga is closer to a graphical MUD than a board game. It has (most) of the elements that make MUDs so fun, but has the advantage of having beautiful artwork to help suck the players in and keep them interested. Best of both worlds, really.
Exploration is a pretty big part of the game. You won’t find something unless you look for it, as they say. Exploring around can be your path to riches, but it's not for everyone. Such as myself. Although I knew how important exploration was to the game, I just couldn't enjoy it and found it more of a chore. Others, however, enjoy it a great deal and will say it's what makes the game so fun. At its simplest level, exploration is traveling around the map and then searching around for something interesting.
The feature that makes this game most interesting to myself (and possibly others), is the fact that you can find your own home. The website talks about building cities and becoming a lord. Myself, I much rather prefer the hermits life, so I will probably settle somewhere more quiet. Any game that offers this sort of feature deserves a chance to be played, as it's a game where the players can truly craft the world and help write history.
The energy system is kind of a downer. Not because it impedes in your gameplay, but simply because of the idea that you might be restricted. However, while I was playing, I never noticed a problem of running out of energy. Perhaps later on, after you've been playing for a long while, it will become a larger problem. I can understand the need for it, though. Although I don't like it, I have to admit I didn't notice much of a problem with it.
Therian Saga is a magnificent browser-based MMORPG. It combines what makes MUDs so great, with a neat graphical interface and other MMO features. It has politics, adventuring, crafting, and more. Everything needed for an epic adventure in a fantasy world. As it's free-to-play, I would definitely say you should give it a chance. The only downside to the game, which is something I can understand the need for, is the energy system and the sometimes annoying timers. Other than that, it was a great deal of fun to play!
Features: 4/5 – Great features!
Customization: 3/5 – Could use a bit more.
Graphics: 4/5 – I loved the artwork.
Controls: 5/5 – I noticed no problems.
Community: 3.5/5 – Typical online community – sometimes helpful, sometimes vile.
Overall: 4/5 – Definitely worth a try!