Soul Captor Online First Impressions
Soul Captor EU is a free to play MMO from Gamania Digital Entertaintment. Soul Captor boasts a unique Anima Soul System and has five of its six classes available for play: Warrior, Shaman, Priest, Onmyoji (currently disabled as if writing this article), Mystic Fighter, and Celestial Master.
The God of Creation created two realms: the Mortal Realm and the Dark Realm. Combined these two realms are known as Dual World. The God of creation created the Gates of Truth on Cloudflow Island where he assigned the Great God Chief Cloudius, which is Zeusa and the other gods to oversee the Dual World. The God of Creation left the Dual World while in harmony but his departure awakened chaos that would eventually lead to Zeusa calling on the Heavenly realm and the divine angels. Currently evil threatens the Dual World. This is where the player comes in.
The art style of Soul Captor EU is very cutesy with an Asian feel. The zones, few that there are at this time, are not incredibly varied yet the colours are rich and cheerful. Even areas that are meant to be a bit sinister are not overly dark or forbidding. Monsters are rather benign in appearance and include mushrooms, bamboo shoots, peaches and the like. However, the inhabitants of the Dual World can put up a good fight. The motto of this game should be that looks are deceiving. While this game is very cute, almost childish, in its art direction it plays like a more mature game though it is easy to learn and forgiving at lower levels.
Graphically, Soul Captor is not intense. Shadows are blobs at maximum settings while particle effects are bright and sparkly. Soul Captor does not use physics. Water does have some reflection and is probably the best thing graphically about Soul Captor. Very average overall. On par with World of Warcraft whose graphics are quite dated.
The sound effects are in keeping with the theme of the game and run towards the cutesy. Music is Asian sounding as well but unobtrusive. Soul Captor does not include voice acting.
In character creation the player is given the choice of male or female, the six classes and a handful of choices regarding appearance. There are no races other than humans.
In-game customization for characters is done through skills (sacred and passive) gear, crafting and divinity slots. At this time, it does seem as though the options for any of the above are quite limited. Given what Soul Captors contemporaries are capable of, in terms of character customization, Soul Captor is behind the curve.
Movement is either click to move, WASD or arrow keys. The player can also move by clicking on names or location from the quest interface or by clicking anywhere on the map (m) or an icon such as the condor or a vendor. The pathing is excellent.
Combat is standard key pressing or clicking of action bars. Soul Captor uses a combo system which is essentially combining attacks though that isn't nearly as exciting as it sounds. There is little indication of the combo attacks being anything spectacular given the combat scrolling text is quite cluttered.
Questing has the potential to become a “grind”. The quests are the typical kill x amount of y or drop off this item to x and then return to y. There are numerous dailies both individually as well as with a group or guild available. The rate at which a character levels is exceptionally fast from levels 1 through 14 during the tutorial quests; however, that does slow down considerably past level 14. There won't be much room for re-playability as the player would just be going over the same content doing the same quests. The story, or lack thereof doesn't inspire replay, either. Currently, the level cap is 40.
Soul Captor has what is called the Anima Soul System and that is essentially your companion, called an Anima, steals souls from monsters that are killed by your character. Souls can then be converted into items to enhance your character. Your Anima can fight alongside you and has the holy trinity of roles to choose from: supportive (heal), offensive (dps) and defensive (tank). Through quest rewards, and one can only assume the item mall when available, Glowstones can be acquired and converted to tokens which can then be used to purchase customization for your Anima.
One of the best things about Soul Captor is the mount system. Mounts can actually be found in the wild from scrolls that drop off monsters or bosses. Not only are there a wide variety of mounts for your character but scrolls for animounts (mount for your Anima) can drop as well. Your Soulpedia keeps track of all the monsters encountered as well as housing the interface for converting souls.
Crafting is, if you are a crafter, a bit of a disappointment at this stage. Hopefully, it will be improved. As it is now gathering is done simply by clicking on either the garden clippers or mining pick you will have purchased from a vendor. This can be done anywhere and resources are automatically collected. While in this mode your character cannot move from where it started the process until manually aborted. Producing items is done by learning formulae which are also sold by a vendor and is as simple as clicking a button.
Not only production and gathering are available however. Refinement, enchant and inlay are also available to every character and the tutorial will go over these. Essentially, they are just additional ways to enhance items. Crafting cannot be learned until level 26.
If it seems there is a lot of converting, purchasing of items, and different currencies it is because there is. All these items and currencies the player has to micromanage can feel a bit cluttered.
At the time of writing this, the item mall was not currently functional. The player every five levels or so does get a bag of goodies with items that will likely be found in the item mall.
Currently there does not seem to be PvP. When introduced there will be the ability to duel other players and skirmishes in designated areas.
Overall, this is a very average free to play MMO with some stand out components like the mount system and Anima Soul System. However, where this game fails is in its story telling. There lacks a sense of urgency and due to the nature of the art direction, immersion. Though if you do enjoy a game where you can just kick back and kill some monsters then this is a great little game for that. At this time, unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be much going for it in terms of end game, dungeons, or PvP. The focus seems to be on questing and dailies. With some more TLC this game could really shine as it is fun to play but it runs the risk of being very “samey”.