by Rick Charbs
Atlantica Online is a brand new MMORPG published and hosted by NDOORS. Currently in the open beta phase, this title is constantly improving and polishing its features to be favoured by the public. Ive had great pleasure playing this game; however I found many aspects I personally think need some improvement.
Atlantica Online is one of the very few MMORPGs, let alone free MMORPGs, that introduce a landscape modeled to that of real world continents. The game currently features Asia and Europe as playable turf. Some would consider this unoriginal, but personally I found the feature extremely plausible, as I would be able to explore real landscapes through the game (okay, so its not anything compared to the real thing, but it is still interesting). The games storyline is heavily based on ancient civilization, notably: the mythical city of Atlantis, ancient Greece, ancient Rome, Babylon, and Egypt. Many historical figures show up in the storyline, and some may possibly join you in your travels!
Undoubtedly, the Asian culture has also been drenched in the game for obvious reasons. This compliments the atmosphere and playability of the game, for it adds a whole new world of possibilities with the Asian culture being so vast and integrated.
Basic game play
Atlantica Online brings a bundle of unique game play features with its current release. Firstly, the game is entirely party based. Each player may control a party of nine characters at a time, one of them being your main character, and the rest, being mercenaries.
Mercenaries are hired from special NPCs. They advance with you in experience levels and you may also outfit them with equipment you find in your journeys.
The combat style is fully turn based, with a slight twist. I would say this rather unique system reminded me of Final Fantasy X. You are given a time limit of thirty seconds during your turn to strike the enemy side, and then your enemy side has their own time limit of thirty seconds to strike back at your side. During that allocated period of time, each one of your nine mercenaries may attack the enemy side at least once. It may prove difficult at first, but the learning curve in order to master the speed necessary to play the game is very short. You will also be given one turn, after all of your enemies are vanquished, to collect their loot. One might ask If I already travel with nine characters, can I not play with my friends too? Of course you can! You may join in a party with up to two other people, meaning you can have up to twenty seven fighters on your side at a time.
I will not be getting into PVP all that much, but imagine a battlefield with twenty seven of your allies versus twenty seven of the enemy forces? All of that aside, it still requires a lot of tactical thinking and skill in order to prevail, a great bonus for elitist gamers. If you truly enjoy PVP gaming, Atlantica Online also features the challenge system. Basically, the challenge system is an elaborate opponent selecting system. It pairs you up with people either near your experience level, or with the same amount of characters as you chose to fight with. There is also a free league division in which even low level players in strength can pair up against high level players, with temporarily enhanced strength attributes in order to be able to battle a fair fight. You may also set bets on the line for the winners reward.
One final unique system I would like to introduce is the stamina system. Every player is given a set amount of stamina, and as a player still has enough stamina, they will gain extra exp and items for every monster they defeat. Every battle reduces your stamina by one point, and you start with a hundred or so stamina as you create your character. Do not fret though, there are many ways to gain stamina, such as community participation or simply just waiting until the server allocates everyone more points (this happens quite frequently).
The questing aspect of MMORPG is most certainly not where this game shines. I found the quests I had completed very generic and unrewarding, however the storyline behind each quest is quite interesting to listen to for the most part (thats right, I said listen). Some quests even feature an auto walk feature that brings you right to the needed NPC. I disliked this due to the promotion of laziness, but the feature isnt always offered, so I cooperated with it.
Graphics and sounds
The graphics are quite over demanding in machine power for their true beauty, however they are considered quite well put together for a free game. My computer, being more or less okay for gaming, didnt accept these graphics very well, and so I had difficulty playing even on the lowest quality graphics. However, I do not believe this game should be judged negatively on its graphics quality, because they are still decent enough to be labelled average. I found them to be very generic though.
As for the music and overall sound of this title, I must say I was impressed. I have not experienced travelling the entire game map, but I am eager to hear the music each area provides. They put you in the right setting and mood, I highly approve of it. I do not suspect one would be disappointed over the music at the very least. The various sounds are acceptable for the most part, and the characters voices are surprisingly well done- which is a lot to say for a title translated into English, previously being in Korean.
Playing Atlantica Online has exposed to me a completely new style of MMORPG gaming. This game is extremely unique, so if you are looking for something eccentric and different, this is a great game to try. Consequently, by saying different, I only imply the systems and general game play this game offers. The graphics are very generic, I cannot stress that enough. If you are sick of the current free MMORPG market, you will have to set aside your hatred for these generic graphics to be able to enjoy this game.
Another disappointment was the lack of customization. Your characters will severely lack uniqueness, because there are only approximately four hair styles and face styles per gender, and only a few color choices. You will find many clones of your character running about. For an open beta though, this game still has a lot of room to grow, and I see a positive future for its current player base. I give Atlantica online a B grade.
– High-end graphics
– Unique style of gaming
– Interesting environments/world map
– Turn based
– Requires a decently powerful machine
– Little to no customization