Europe 1400: We Play Dirty
By Kei Beneza, Onrpg Journalist
Europe 1400 is a browser based MMO set in medieval Europe. The game focuses on trading, business, and politics. Here players start out with a small buy and sell business which will eventually expand further and bring them more options as they progress in the game. The best part about this game is how competitive the economic system can be. Aside from simply just buying and selling materials to increase their income, players can start digging dirt on various players, thus swaying the game in your favor as you wipe the board clear of competition.
Don't Leave Me In The Dark
One thing I really didn't like about the game is how the tutorials were laid out. The tutorials did explain a couple of basic features, but after teaching you how to buy and sell, it leaves you in the dark along with a pack of ravaging wolves. I tried looking for a FAQ page, but the only thing it did was lead me back to the crappy tutorial page. I know browser games should be relatively easy to learn, but not everyone has played the genre long enough to breeze through the features without proper instructions.
It's Politics... As Real As Can Be
Honestly, I really love how the game exercises positions and various political movement. Once a player earns enough money and influence, they can start their political career and run for a range of positions, depending on which one your influence earns you. Note that you will be given various privileges and can easily work your way around sticky situations using these offices. The Mayor, for example can have people arrested, change laws, or have someone protected from various individuals. Your income may also increase dramatically once you advance to a higher position. Don't think it's THAT easy though. Being corrupt and power hungry has its advantages... as long as you don't get caught.
As far as the interface goes, Europe 1400's visuals are probably second to none in this genre. It's amazing how the map scrolls around, giving players a semi 3D effect everytime they browse through it. Menus and features are also displayed in convenient locations, which is good since you will be using these panels a lot as you go through the game.
Need More Jewels
Once again the power of paying members prevail. Once you enter the game, you will encounter a couple of missions (quests) that will give you a good amount of gold. The painful part is that you will need JEWELs to start these quests, and the game will keep on charging your character until you either complete the quest or give up. Jewels can be acquired through labor (hard labor), but can also be acquired via the game's item mall... for a price.
I'm still of two minds about this game. First of all, the game is quite deep, which means that players should have a lot of things to look forward to. There iss also a good amount of betrayal and spying to keep players busy, especially since everyone wants to know what it's like to rule the place. This good amount of features however, is shunned by the game's constant lack of tutorials and a decent help page. As much as I would want to play a complex game that gives me a lot of options, it would be a lot easier if I would at least know what everything does before playing, rather than figure it all out on my own.
-Tons of things to do
-It's still a fresh awesome concept
-Being able to rule and abuse authority rocks
-Paying members will really get more stuff, and it will take you a long time before you can catch up
-Lack of tutorials and a good help page.