Return of Warrior Review: Skill matters?
By Markus Nivasalo (Thas), Onrpg journalist
I've never really enjoyed pure RPG games with turn-based battles that can last for hours (like the Final Fantasy series). I've always preferred action RPGs over them. Game series like Seiken Densetsu (mainly the early ones) and The Legend of Zelda, are still on my top10 all-time favorite games. Just spam that button and your character attacks, and hold the other one and he/she blocks. Simple as that. It was way more fast-paced the regular turn-based style and I loved it. We had to wait for a long while to see something like this in a MMO however. One game that tried this was Youxiland Digital's Return of Warrior.
Plenty o' classes
Return of Warrior focuses on the war of the two factions in the game; humans, and Ak'kans. You can choose your faction only once per server as there isn't an option to change it.
The humans have four starting class choices, fighter, rogue, mage and the acolyte, which can all then be upgraded into 2 different classes at level 10. The fighter and the mage both have one DPS and one support class to upgrade into. For example, the fighter's upgraded classes include Warrior, which is a DPS class, and Defender, which is a tank class. The rogue only has two DPS classes to be upgraded into, the assassin and the archer, whereas the acolyte has only two support classes to be upgraded into, the cleric and the priest.
The Ak'kans on the other hand only have two starting classes, the combatant and the officiator, but they both can be upgraded into three different classes. The combatant's classes include attacker and templar, which are the melee force, and the gunner, who uses a gun arm to shoot from far away. The officiator's classes include rune officiator and life officiator, which are the casting force, and the shadow officiator, who is the assassin of the Ak'kans.
The class amount is a surprisingly high and chances are that you'll be spending quite a while figuring out which class you want to try out first.
The good old action RPG style
Return of Warrior takes an interesting step in the MMO business, at it's combat is nothing like we've seen before in a MMO. You can choose from two different interface modes; the mouse and the keyboard. When you're in the mouse mode, you'll do everything with the mouse and it's just the regular thing we've already seen in pretty much every MMO. If you go into combat while in this mode, you'll just watch when your character automatically beats the mob with auto attack, while you use skills from the hotbar.
The keyboard mode however, is the special part of this game. When you're in this mode, you move with the WASD, do the regular attack with the left mouse button, and after choosing the skill you want to use from the hotbar with your mouse, you use the right mouse button to execute the skill. The mages and archers also have to aim their spells and arrows because of this. You also use E to pick up items.
The combat feels like a breath of fresh air at first, but there are flaws in it too. For instance, the fastest way to attack while in the keyboard mode is to basically just hold the left mouse button down. This makes it pretty useless to be in the mode in the first place as it's pretty much the same as just using the mouse mode and watching your character hit the monster by himself. It also doesn't matter where mages or archers aim their hits as they always do the same damage anyways (not literally but you get the idea). I've also heard that because of the combat system, the game requires more skill than your usual click to move MMO. I think not.
Sad thing about Return of Warrior is that other than the combat system, it's gameplay doesn't offer much new things. The quests are mostly your regular "kill x amount of y" or "bring A to mister B". Also, the grind kicks in already before your first class change and it's something that might scare new players away, which is a shame since the game gets easier and more interesting once you get your second class.
The pvp is one of the good parts in this game. There's the regular open pvp, but also Statue- and Guild Wars. In a Statue War, your faction must destroy neutral or enemy statues to claim them as your own. After that, you must defend them until the war is over. Guild Wars take place every Friday only, and in them, you build and defend your faction's fortress while trying to destroy enemy's fortress at the same time. Both are very unique kind of pvp modes and both are very enjoyable.
Appearance and sound
The graphics are not this game's strong point. The mountains look kind of un-finished since they only seem to have a very bad quality texture on them. The ground texture is decent but nothing mind blowing. The characters feel very blocky for some reason and overall they could've been made better. The monsters are again for some reason a bit better looking than the characters. What bothers me the most are the sun ray effects that aren't even really that impressive, but lower the framerate quite a lot even on the newer graphics cards.
The music is pretty cool and it varies quite a lot. The songs seem kind of medieval and Chinese music put together. I don't really know why they put the best song into the launcher however. Attack sounds are decent but not too great. There aren't too many of them either so you'll be hearing the same bash sounds over and over again.
The interface is decent. Maps, inventory, quest window etc are all decent looking and easy to use. The thing that bothers me is the font as it's your basic Arial style. It could've been easily changed and it really doesn't fit into the game.
Overall, I'd say Return of Warrior is a decent game in the free-to-play MMO market. It's certainly an attempt to make something new, but it's "newness" wears off too fast. If you're a pvp player however and are willing to look over its grind, you might get quite a lot of fun out of RoW.
- Amount of classes
- Versatile pvp
- Pleasant music
- ...that grows old pretty fast
- Bland, dated graphics