Anarchy Online Review: Customize Your Skills!

By: Vincent Haoson
Anarchy Online is a 3d sci-fi game from Funcom, the company which brought to the MMO industry Age of Conan: the Hyborian Adventures.
If you’re familiar to the sci-fi series Star Trek or with the Star War’s universe you’ve pegged the overall feel and look of Anarchy Online.  The game’s premise is that you are a newly arrived colonist of the planet Rubi-Ka. As a new colonist you are either given the choice of helping out with the taming on the land through various missions provided by the game’s NPCs or follow you own path.
In Anarchy Online you get to choose from four different races namely the Solitus, which are the basic all-around race, the Opifex, which is your fast and agile race, the nanomage which is your Anarchy Online version of the typical intelligence inclined race and lastly the Atrox race which is your typical brute/tanker type race.
The races are not gender locked except for the Atrox race. The three races have their female counterpart which makes the game more gender friendly.
With the seemingly limited and generic characteristics of the races in Anarchy Online, the game makes up with a ton of job class choices that you can choose. Anarchy Online has 14 default jobs available to choose from and each class has its own special skills.
You can either be a Metaphysicist, Adventurer, Engineer, Soldier, Keeper, Shade, Fixer, Agent, Trader, Doctor, Enforcer, Bureaucrat, Martial Artist or a Nanotechnician. All the jobs are available for any race except the Keeper and Shade wherein you need to be subscribed to the Shadowlands content.
The vast amount of choices that you have in Anarchy Online is one of the plus factors the game has. Unlike most MMOs in the market where you are only limited to one-digit choices of job classes the game allows you to choose 14. This not only gives you more freedom and breathing space for customizing your characters, this adds the fun factor and the game re-playability because you can toy and experiment the mixes of race and jobs.
Another big thing in Anarchy Online is that the stat and the skill allocation. Besides from the usual stats you can add your points to, you can also allocate to major skill categories which are namely, ability, melee, misc weapons, ranged, speed, trade and repair, nano and aiding, spying and lastly navigation.
Allocating in each category has its own ups and downs. Your character’s effectiveness is dependent on where you allocate your points to. It seems daunting for newbies but the game system has an explanation for each stat you can allocate to. Or you can go with the suggested point distribution that is pre-determined by the game system. 
The vast choices in allocating the stats in Anarchy Online will either make you stay or move on with another MMO. True, the vast choices you have gives you more customizing choices than most MMOs. It can be very tiring and irritating if you are more a person who doesn’t like to make lots of choices. However, if you are more into stat allocations and character skill customization, this can really hook you into playing the game.
Anarchy Online’s uniqueness is not only anchored to its customization but the game also has one unique camera feature that other MMOs do not have. You have the choice to toggle the first person view, though this feature has yet to show any significant reason, it totally gives you a different perspective at least, on what your character sees.
Anarchy Online may not be one of the most visually stunning games in the market. Plus add the fact that the game audio gets awfully repetitive when you play for hours on end. However graphics and sounds are not the things that make this game go toe-to-toe with other MMOs for nearly a decade in the industry. It’s the story and the content that keeps people stick to playing the game.
The constantly changing and consistent increase in the overall content gives you more things to look forward to. Customization is also a plus factor because you are given enough space in customizing your in-game character except in the sprites as you are provided with a limited amount of choices on how you can make your character look different.
Though the graphical limitations of Anarchy Online may be addressed now that Funcom is trying to upgrade the in-game engine and make the game more compatible with Direct X9. Though the engine design upgrade may help the game or not visually has yet to be seen it would definitely give the game a breath of fresh air.
This idea of the graphics upgrade for the game may seem enticing but the fact remains that there are a lot of games available on the market that can go against the content value of the game but are visually superior and free.  The saving grace for the game though is that it has extended the free play feature till this year giving new players an opportunity to try and feel the game.
It is your decision if you’d like to shell out for the premium content. Though I must say that you can’t really judge Anarchy Online with the free content play, because most of the good stuff you can get from the game is found at the premium content. One content upgrade that you can look forward to in the premium content is that you can actually ride mechs to go against other players in pvp battles.
For seasoned MMO players, Anarchy Online doesn’t have anything new to put into the sci-fi genre that other MMOs of the same type have not improved upon. Still the level of sci-fi experience Anarchy Online provides still has that certain sci-fi kick that some games of the same genre fail miserably to provide, that is why don’t eliminate Anarchy Online as a pooh-pooh game just because of its graphics and sounds. I suggest at least trying the game for the meantime and seeing if what they offer suits you just fine, if not then drop the game and look for something else.
• Consistent updates and fixes
• Engaging storyline
• Character skill customization
• Game’s graphics engine is outdated
• The Game’s BGM can be repetitive
• The choices can be overwhelming for new players 
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