Kingdom Heroes Preview: Is It Any Different?
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
Kingdom Heroes is an Oriental-themed MMO that stretches the limitations of the average MMO. Here you will see structures inspired by ancient Chinese culture, complete with emperors, warlords and the weapons you'd commonly see in those Chinese variety shows. After seeing the awesome cinematic intro, you could say that the game pretty much got me pumped up for dynasty war goodness. How different is Kingdom Heroes from the other MMOs that carry the same theme? I'm hella excited so let's jump right in!
It's not the best, but I'm pretty much satisfied with Kingdom Heroes' character creation interface. You'll be choosing between four unique classes, each with their own set of skills and trademark specialties to fit their users' preferences. The four classes are as follows (with subclasses):
The Warrior- Your typical well-armored, high damaging, melee death bringer. Evolves to Tiger Captain or Fang Captain
Fencer- A nice mixture of the average rogue and the long-ranged bow wielder. He fights with utmost speed using either blade or bow. It's quite weird that they decided to call this class a fencer because I see no fencing whatsoever. Evolves to Blademaster or Imperial Guard.
The Tactician- Your everyday healer. Again given a weird name that doesn't specify the class' main profession. Since when did oriental tactician gain healing powers? Anyway, don't think this healer is weak like others. The tactician also sports a nice set of damaging skills that will blow you away. Unless you want a burning barrel to come your way (serious about the barrel part), don't underestimate the Tactician. Can evolve to Scholar or Strategist
The Conjurer- Other than the warrior, the conjurer attains a title worthy of his/her profession. Conjurers act as the nukers/spellcasters in the game. They are physically weak but provide powerful spell damage, making them a threat at long distances. Evolves to Mystic or Taoist
Please Select Your----Build?!
Yep! That's right--- build! Unlike other MMOs, Kingdom Heroes allow players to pick their desired physique. There are four character builds to choose from (two for each gender), each with their own set of custom faces to allow extra customizations. If you want your dude to look like an oriental brute, then by all means pick the Strong Man build. Want to look like the lead guy in Mulan? Youth would be the way to go. It is a shame that we're not allowed to get muscular babes in the game; then again, who would want to pick those? Unlike male characters the difference between the two female builds are minimal. Seriously... Maiden or Beauty? Loli or Legal would be more appropriate.
Without a doubt, the game's control scheme is very easy to grasp and quite comfortable when it comes to mobility. Players can always choose to play the traditional way by exploring with the point and click system but can also make use of the WSAD keys to move around a bit more accurately. Holding the left and right mouse buttons will also make your character run, allowing you to steer with the mouse itself. Controls serve an important role in MMO gaming. Not only do they strengthen the playability and comfort level of each game, it also allows you to perform well in the midst of battle. I mean come on, isn't the point and click routine a bit outdated by now?
ALL OUT WAR!!!
Early in the game, you will be asked to pick your faction. It was pretty confusing at first since I didn't really know what it was for (either that or I just hate reading quest texts). The Kingdom War Feature (still under development) allows users to enter an all-out war scenario to see which faction reigns supreme. Once a faction is declared the victor, they will be opted to dress up their kingdom, at least to protect it for the upcoming war. War here we come!
It's amazing how things just strike you when you least expect it. By the time I thought this would be nothing more than a generic experience, the game offered me the ability to recruit soldiers (that's right! Recruit!). Let me see, the last game that gave me the ability to do this was Guild Wars, and as always the feature is a welcomed option. It's pathetic since I only got one servant to start with, but judging by the swarm of soldiers inhabiting the leveling grounds, I'd say you can get more than five. Not only does it help you beat down monsters, it also makes things a lot easier (not to mention faster).
OMG REALLY?! PART 2!
Other than the awesome soldier-recruiting feature, the game also allows players to mount more than just your average horse. All this time, I've been craving for an attacking mount. I guess I just didn't see it coming. The game allows players to ride siege engines and warships during the Kingdom war. Only the Guild Leader can access the main panel so make sure you stay friends with your leader; that is if you want to ride that badly.
Kingdom Heroes Interface
Graphic and Interface
As much as I hate to admit it, the game's in-game graphics couldn't keep up with its awesome gameplay. The first thing that strained my eye was the water detail, which looks a lot like a big JPEG file enduring a series of frame tearing. Just to clear things up... I didn't say that the graphics sucked; however, some of the elements (like the water detail) tend to pull it down to SUCK level.
Old or new, Kingdom Heroes managed to display a marvelous set of features that are sure to impress any MMO gamer out there. To be honest, I was starting to think that MMOs that share this theme will continue to provide generic features, and boy was I wrong. The Kingdom War feature is definitely worth checking out. With extra features like mountable tanks and ships, who would want to pass up an opportunity to play a game like this? The graphics could use some intense tweaking. It's still in open beta, so let's hope the final product does the game more JUSTICE.
- Fun gameplay
- Simple interface
- Mounts (ALL OF 'EM)
- The ability to hire servants
- ALL OUT WAR
- Graphics could use some tweaking
- Questing is nothing more than a grind for experience (kill this, kill that)
- Needs more monsters (The place is so crowded at times, it's hard to spot targeted monsters)