By Kei Beneza (Dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
"Mir 2: The Legend continues" is a classic MMORPG with outstanding credentials. The game runs on the traditional isometric bird's eye view system much like other ancient role playing games. Although you may think that this is just another fossil that is ready to hit the tomb, I'd like to say that there's more to this game than meets the eye (I can use this tern right?). Despite the presence of its descendant (Mir 3), the game still appeals to most people. Exactly how good is a game for people to keep playing it even after the arrival of its own sequel? Elitism? Fanboy-ism? Or is the game really that good? It is rather puzzling to know that unlike console games, the new releases don't necessarily require people to play their predecessors for them to understand the game's plot and etc. Will the game shower me with disappointments, or is it really as good as they said it was? Let's take a peek shall we?
Immersion: Nostalgic stuff here
I won't deny the fact that Mir 2 shares the same visuals as most of the hard hitting RPGs back then during the late 90s. The trees looked quite familiar just as the shadowing effects hit me with a sudden bolt of nostalgia. It then occurred to me that this game would've reached tremendous rating if launched during that moment in time. An MMO that uses digital figures, all pimped up with medieval armors would most definitely be irresistible to most people (especially back then). The system is quite traditional, and although it's all considered basic by now, that amount of features used to be the epitome of GODGAME during the early days. Mir 2 was quite famous in Asia back then and is still played a lot of people even up to this date [http://mir2.gamepotusa.com/]. I've heard that the game used to go on a "Pay to play" basis, but then turned "free to play" due to its competition (I mean come on! The game looks like a fossil and there are lots of better games to pay for).
And you thought this would've been easy by now
Other than the visuals, one of the first things that caught my attention was the controls. Being the modern day gamer than I am, I placed my hand over my keyboard (specifically : W,A,S,D) thinking it somehow shares today's MMO controls. I guess I was wrong, as I then found myself stuck on a clicking fest (CLICK-A-LIK-A-LIK! ATTACK!). Yes, it turns out that the graphics weren't the only that was outdated. The game immerses you in a world of scrolling and clicking. This would've been bearable back then, but we're not exactly living in that kind of world right now. Still, it was rather amusing how it took me back to the old days when the mouse was the only thing that separates you from certain death. Yes, the game has PVP (which is swell!) but the thought of you randomly clicking on opponents would only come down on to who hits harder or who has more potions (Not so technical).
Let's get it on!
Character creation can be considered as a breeze in Mir 2. You'll be opted to choose between a small array of characters namely: The Warrior--- who obviously doesn't need any form of introduction, The Assassin--- who's not so assassin-like in this game, The Wizard--- who doesn't wield big swords and are total sissies in close combat, and of course the Taoist--- also known as the priest in other games (LOL).
I was surprised that the warrior actually had more than just attacks here. It's quite surreal for warriors to wield magic to begin with. As for the assassin, you'll be surprised at how much these characters have evolved throughout the years. It was as though people had a completely different understanding of the word back then. The assassins in this game are rather loud and vulgar, with a bunch of skills that'll do more than attract the attention of his target. In my opinion, they should have just renamed the class as brute or something. Other than those issues, the only thing wrong with their character creation interface is the lack of classes (cause 4 doesn't quite cut it).
Let's break down to bits and analyze
The game's interface seems generic enough to make people mistake it for another game. Then again, the game did inspire and even act as an archetype for other games. "The original is always best" I must say. The visuals are as classical as ever, complete with crispy trees and repetitive landscape. Indeed digital sprites have grown up to be 3d models, but hey! This isn't so bad once you've tried it. The game also retains the traditional "Action-RPG-ic" HUD that lets you drag and wield skills at a push of a button. The characters look quite crisp as well. The in game armors look nice and shiny as well, though the lack of variety makes these good looking elements a bit tiresome to look at.
One thing about the game's graphics is the really choppy framerate. I'm not sure if it's running on a 3 frames per move basis but I don't think a PC that can run the most up to date games would have any problems of showing this game's true potential.
The spells and effects are rendered to perfection and would sometimes give off a feel of realism. The graphics aren't really bad if you were to compare it with the other games that were launched during its period. Yeah it's not bad, but it's not exactly good either.
The soundeffects are also classical but doesn't really compliment the game well. Once again it's an issue of the clips standing out instead of blending. Some of the in game 'crunches' doesn't suit the game as well. If I were to describe this issue further, it's the same as putting cutesy anime music in an X-men movie.
Who said an old dog can't learn new tricks?
The game is going through some hefty updates. If you think that's all there in, then worry not for the game will continue to bring you new monsters and new maps as time progresses. The game just launched an item mall lately, established by their ingame currency called "potcash" which can be purchased by logging in to their official site. As you may know, this transaction involves real money but for something that allows you to get instant dungeon passes and other items that make you more awesome than you already are, the price is quite reasonable.
Ye Olde Verdict
Mir 2 is more like a godfather of MMO games. Its system and classical gameplay allowed most MMO games to excel further, as this game can somewhat be considered as an archetype for any MMO out there. A PVP system has also been implemented in this game so I guess that's enough reason to play it. The Graphics are also quite outdated and would no longer attract modern gamers as our knack for better visuals evolve continuously. If I were to sum it up, the game is pretty good. The only problem is that it's now 2009.
- It's a classic!
- PVP awesomeness
- Nostalgia is always good.
- Outdated Graphics
- Variety of classes
- Music is terrible (if not gone)
- Choppy gameplay
- Slow Gameplay (which doesn't quite compliment the skill factor since it's just click and attack even in PVP).