by Chris Scarbrough, Onrpg writer
I recently sat down to play Talisman Online, one of the lesser-known free MMORPGs around. Is this game worth playing? Let's find out.
Storyline and Lost Plots
The storyline of Talisman Online does not run very deep, and is mostly linked to the quests you complete in the game. After the first few quests, (the ones that give you a general idea of your reason for being there and explain the status of the world) the following quests do not really tie to any grand story. While some games will take this route for an intriguing and compelling storyline, Talisman Online doesnt really manage to pull it off.
Firstly, you will log in and start your first quest. This quest consists killing a monster and returning to an NPC with its drops. Chances are, every time you log into this game you'll be doing the same thing: starting quests and completing them. That makes it a casual MMO, but might not inspire deeply rooted RPG gamers for long.
Point and Click Gameplay
In terms of characters, you have five class choices: tamer, monk, assassin, fairy, and wizard. These classes range from melee solo classes to avid magic casters ?according to the game at least. The difference between the classes in this game is not as clear-cut as some other MMOs. The most revealing difference between jobs was the class was either a damage dealing class, or a mage. This reflects in the PvP as well, as there is not much difference between the classes.
Playing any class of your choice, you'll end up with the same battle system, that consists of left-clicking a mob and watching your character having a go. You will have access to hot keys that give you quick access to potions or whatever else you've assigned to them. The development team could have made the combat system a bit more complex and challenging for me.
Talisman Online contains a large number of simple quests that require a lot of grinding ?the chore we all hate more than mowing the lawn. However, in Talisman Online, this is particularly tedious.
Most of the time I spent playing this game, I felt as if I was not actually playing it? I was only pushing a single button once every minute or two, and my character was doing everything on its own. This allowed some more room for discovery, but it made the game seem plain as well. Although you have the option of manually finding the NPCs, the way the game is designed makes this nearly impossible, unless you know every nook and cranny of the area that you are in. So, there is an adventure after all! Once you have completed your quest, you will gain experience points and, sometimes, items. Though, it takes a while until the good gear starts coming.
Customization in Talisman
The character customization in Talisman Online is rather limited as you only have about twenty-five possibilities in total. That means you may log in with your newly designed characters and see others looking exactly like you! If a personalized look is your thing, then this game might disappoint you. That is part of the free MMO scene we all know and love!
The end-game content, however, could use some more individuality and customization. Sometimes a game can take five classes and give you endless possibilities. This is definitely not the case with Talisman Online. At the highest levels in the game, most characters of the same class will be exactly the same. Perhaps some expansions might bring some changes for that in the future.
The camera will not move directly behind you. It will only move up/down at a strange angle. This sometimes makes it hard to see where you are intending to go. You point the mouse to the place you want to go and click to move in any direction. If you hold down the button for three seconds, your character will continue to move in that specific direction. This provides some difficulty in enclosed areas, such as caves or tunnels, and it takes a bit of practice in open spaces, too. After a few hours at a time, it can become rather troublesome to focus on moving around so much.
The menus and the NPC texts are often poorly translated. In some situations, I had a hard time understanding what was being said. Luckily, it is fairly easy to communicate with anyone in Talisman. The chat log and systems used to communicate between characters are simple and easy to master. The biggest problem here is the Real Money Traders (RMT). These RMT will create accounts, log in, and spam your chat log advertising their websites in order to sell their gold. All games have them of course; the sad part is that no action is taken against them in this game.
Graphics and Sound
While the backgrounds and details to the environments you can explore look great, the character models are designed in a very simple fashion. This is a shame, because the design of the characters does not seem to fit in the environment at all. Turning up the graphic options in the menu does not improve the situation. It only creates some lag. Ones amount of lag is kindly displayed at the bottom left of your screen, which is funny in that regard.
The music in Talisman Online is alright, but not very special. It has a tendency to disappear suddenly, and after a few minutes of silence, it will startle you by starting up suddenly!
- Easy to use communication system
- Enjoyable (though oddly timed) music
- Storyline falls apart instead of coming together
- Limited character customization
- Poor translations, making quests difficult to read