Neocron 2 Review- Morpheus Could Be Wrong About The Future
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
When it comes to MMORPGs, nothing makes everything less linear than a fresh non-medieval setting away from dungeons and (woot) kobolds. If you're tired of swashbuckling inside the king's courtyard, then perhaps this game can keep you company with its futuristic appeal. Neocron 2 is a post-apocalyptic MMORPG that takes over its previous installment, taking players into a dark delinquent future where danger lurks at every corner. Here players will behold an almost red-light-district world, similar to the cyberpunk future brought by the Fallout series with a mix of Samurai Jack (yes, the cartoon) and Duke Nukem 3D. I really don't know why MMOs don't respect the possibilities of us having a bright future, but it does seem cooler that way. The game has been getting some mixed reviews so far, and I just had to see it for myself.
Because First Impressions... Last
One thing that certainly caught my attention was their trial program. I really want to state that the game is really on a rush to get money from players who are interested in checking out their FREE TRIAL, asking players to prepare payment through Click2Pay the moment they start their 10 day FREE trial. I'm not sure if it's an issue for other gamers, but these things are better off asked after the players decide to actually continue the game. Another thing that must be stated is the game's lack of tutorials. Not only do they only give basic "duh" explanations, the tutorials hardly say anything significant at all. You can't go back to the last message after proceeding to the next one, so don't press on until you've absorbed its content.
The character creation interface is somewhat confusing, presenting an array of character jobs that will further define your character as you go. Note that this selection is not the actual list of archetypes, but rather a list to see which classes you can or cannot take. There are 4 classes all-in-all: the Spy, Private Eye, Tank, and Psi-Monk. Players however will not be able to pick between the 4 classes for the jobs in the previous list are only compatible with two to three jobs. E.g.: if a player picks the Driver job, he can only pick between: Tanks, Private Eyes, and Spies.
What Is Wrong With This Game?
Upon choosing their desired class, players are taken to the character customization screen where they can pick between an array of premade faces and clothing to suit their taste. The selection is a tad disappointing, with only a few hairstyles and clothes to choose from. There's also the model selector option, which does 'God knows what' since it does not seem to affect or change anything at all.
Who Are You Fighting For?
Once done with all the confusing details, players are opted to choose their faction. Although these factions are blessed with their own logo, history, and set of VIPs, choosing one is the same as choosing between a cheeseburger and a burger with cheese. All factions are the same, with only their starting details that serve the difference. It does not matter if you're a member of N.E.X.T or the Council, as they all have the same privileges with almost no differences whatsoever.
Whether it's talking to an NPC, buying items, or just wasting your time killing people, Neocron 2 lets players experience the action from a first person perspective, making it different from most of the MMORPGs today. It's basically point-and-shoot, which is rather refreshing after playing a lot of click -and-attack-based games. The skills and weapons however, are generically placed and are easily accessible through the number keys. The conversation format may annoy some players due to the lack of a bigger NEXT button on the talk interface. You have to click on small words (your answer) to continue the conversation, which is hardly ever relevant as these conversations merely revolve around simple examples like "YES! I would like to browse your wares". What's wrong with clicking an NPC to view their goods? This system may work wonders for roleplayers, but the repetitive process loses its shine after seeing the same thing over and over again.
The in game visuals are mid-ranged, with fine textures similar to games like Matrix Online and Half-Life. The character movements are awkward and unrealistic, especially when moving up stairs and other places. It almost seems like they are limping somehow. The game brings one of the most diverse set of areas, from coded matrix grounds to fallout wasteland, giving players a brand new world to discover and explore.
In my opinion, the game lacks more than just gameplay. For a pay to play game, Neocron 2 has more bugs than many free-to-play beta tests. Truth be told, I encountered 4 bugs shortly after I started the game. There's also the terrible crash issue which is somewhat annoying since people are practically paying for this game. If you're going to sell something, at least make it less buggy than the free alternatives. Sometimes, simple actions like picking up armor can cause nasty errors that crash you back to your desktop. Some conversations just pop up with nothing, forcing players to press the escape key instead of finishing conversations the natural way (clicking words).
The game's plot and concept is really something, and it's sad that they did a poor job at implementing it. Neocron 2 does have a lot of potential, only to be wasted by bugs and crash issues. The graphics are bearable, and the whole FPS system is refreshing for those who are tired of the traditional isometric birds-eye-view. The game has PVP, quests, and awesome places to explore, all fit for an MMO player to enjoy. It still needs a lot of work. Another issue that's plaguing this game is its lack of players. For an MMO game, Neocron 2 lacks the Massively part, with servers that are only 2-4% full most of the time (yes, the game states the server population upon logging in). I guess you could say that rare items are easier to find than players in the game. It's not the worst game out there, but if you can get your hands on another game, do so.
-Lack of Players
-Stiffness of Controls.