By Vincent Haoson, Onrpg writer
Subagames, the company who brought games Priston Tale I and Priston Tale II into the MMO market presents ACE Online, an online 3D space shooter.
The lowdown in ACE
Basically, ACE online puts you in the middle of the action as a mercenary fighter pilot for a planet at war. You first start of as a newbie pilot doing simple tasks and quest up until you are well suited to be hired by one of the two warring factions in the game.
There are four types of units in ACE, the units are called gears and each gear has its own set of pros and cons.
Lets start off with the B-gear, or as the game calls it the Brandy Burg. The B-gear is considered as the games bomber type among the four, it has the most balanced when it comes to stats among the four gears. Next is I-gear or the Idle Sniper. This plane is the fastest among the four, the I-gear is the fastest among the four and the air-to-air tailored type of fighter. The third gear would be the A-gear, or the Anime Mortar. The A-gear is the most unique of the four because its the only gear where it can act as a tank. The last gear would be the support gear among the four, the M-gear or the Meadow Burgle.
Aside from the gears you can also choose the type of look you will have in-game. You can choose from 10 pre-rendered avatars, five male and five female. Your choices range from looking like a strapping young pilot to a surly eye-patched veteran.
Normally, on space fighter games you get to damage when you hit a monster or another player. Ace online provides the RPG experience by allowing players to have stats where allocating points on them gives your gear boosts depending on the stat you allocated.
Each level up provides you with five points to use. You can then put your points to the six stats namely, agility, spirit, shield, attack, fuel and defense.
Allocating on agility gives your gear a higher evasion rate, while spirit gives your unit more points to spend on skills. Adding to shield gives your gear higher shield strength while allocating on attack and defense stats gives boosts to your gears damage and defense. While allocating more in fuel adds the limit of your gears fuel capacity.
The gears controls are the basic A,W,S,D keyboard keys for the gear, the mouse for aiming, and the mouse 1 and mouse 2 buttons for the primary and secondary attacks.
As you move through the world of ACE online, you would get from time-to-time missions from your commanding officer. The missions vary from eliminating monsters to shooting down AI controlled gears.
The missions in ACE online is unique because when you are doing the AI gear missions you will be ordered to go to maps where you dont normally find the required gears. Upon activation of the mission the games system would then infuse the AI controlled gears on the map where you are supposed to hunt them down. Plus, the AI controlled gears are also seen by other players who are not doing the quest, making you feel that you are part of the whole story.
There are missions in ACE online where you actually need to pay attention to the map. The missions officer will give hints where you need to find specific monsters and eliminate them.
Hows the Look?
Ace online has huge varied maps, depending on the area you are in, the landscape would change from a rugged mountainous region to a jungle or forest. You can also see ruins of old outposts, bases and cities that are littered around maps further enhancing the experience of Phillos, where the planet you are in, as a barely inhabited planet.
Your sight in-game is limited to a certain distance because theres a fog of war system in ACE online. You can see only as far because the landscape further is blurry, and the only way to see what lies ahead is to go forward and see whats in store for you.
ACE online is one of the few games Ive tried that really delivers a good experience of flight. The controls are smooth and responsive making dogfights with monsters and players a fun and exhilarating experience.
Missions do actually give you the drive to do something in-game, but the missions are linear, and sometimes dull, especially while youre just a lowbie. This is practically one of the biggest hurdles in the beginning for new players as thatll be what you would primarily need to do till you reach the level where you can participate in nation wars.
The game has a very nice community system too. You get plus experience points whenever you add friends or be part of a formation, the ACE online equivalent of a party. This encourages you to actually be alive and active in-game.
Furthermore, the nation wars would be ACE onlines best community attraction. You can get to fight as a representative for one of the two warring nations in ACE Online. This is an exhilarating experience as you go head to head in with other gears.
Also, gears from you or your rival nation could make raiding parties and invade maps of the enemy nation just for the fun of it.
The game system of ACE online is craftily made for a very active community. You can have fun and enjoy the game as long as you have people in the server. Thats the point, though is that if there are people in-game.
The people issue in ACE online would be the next problem, with the game just getting out of Open Beta last November, people have yet to flock the servers. I am sure as time passes and the number of users increase playing ACE online would be fun and very exciting. That is if you are willing to stay that long and want experience what ACE online has to deliver.