By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor)
There are only a few MMORPGs that fans can be looking forward to in the next year, despite the genre being extremely popular, and always growing. Revelation Online is a game that’s been out in China for over a year, but us westerners weren’t as lucky to get access so soon. The closed beta recently went live for everyone who bought into it, with an open beta looming in the near future. But since I’m very impatient and was craving a new MMORPG, I decided to buy in and check out this new promising game.
Why exactly is the game promising? Well except for the fact it’s one of the few games we can look forward to, Revelation Online is a game that I would describe as the ‘full package’. So let’s talk about what exactly the game has to offer. Upon launch the game will be completely free to play with a cash shop. My.com will publish Revelation Online; I’m unsure in what kind of state the game will be released since this publisher is notorious for… well let’s just say, liking money. It’s plausible that the game might be in a form or shape of pay to play, but that discussion is something I do not fully want to commit to yet, since for now everything is speculation. We know that the game will be free, and there are several packages you can buy into to get a headstart and to be able to try out the closed betas. These packages only include cosmetic items and longer ‘premium’ days so we’re off to a good start.
In Revelation Online there are currently six available classes with a seventh assassin-like class already released in China. For now our closed beta options are Gunslinger, Blademaster, Spiritshaper, Vanguard, Swordmage and Occultist. Despite the fancy names, these are pretty much your generic classes with slight tweaks to the formula. I have tried all of the different classes personally, and I have to admit, I’m not entirely sure which ones I like or not. But as to why, it isn’t just a typical matter of playstyle, but actually different ways to play the game that is giving me a hard time.
I know that sounds a bit strange, “different ways to play a game,” what exactly do I mean with this. Well, you can play Revelation Online like any MMO that you have played. There are currently three types of controls. Keyboard mode, giving the standard Warcraft scheme of third person MMORPG. Then there is the Mouse Control style, which switches the camera to a bit of a top view style, ideal for ARPG rapid clicker players. Then there is Action Control style, what in my opinion is probably the best controls to play the game. In Action Control style you basically aim, just like in a shooter, at your targets, and thus have to correctly aim and hit all of your spells and attacks. Each class comes with a default and special attack on the mouse keys, unless of course you use a different control style. And other abilities through the normal 1 to 0 keys on your keyboard. But with Action Control style, it just feels a lot more fluent to get a grip as to where you aim to hit your spells. It also adds a better element to the gameplay, making it feel a lot faster paced. I did try the other two styles, but especially in the PvP I felt I had a disadvantage, even with classes that have recommendations to use the other two styles.
So why exactly is Revelation Online the full package? Well apart from the incredible Player versus Player modes, both in battleground style and arena style, it also offers for awesome guild versus guild elements. If you like to PvP, this game has it all, and is probably looking like one of the better PvP MMORPGs on the market. I know a lot of you like to PvP, and I personally do as well, so I can definitely recommend you to check out Revelation Online for the PvP. But Revelation Online clearly didn’t go all-in for PvP, as the PvE is solid too. There are a lot of dungeons you can go through, especially throughout the levels they try to team you up with others to defeat huge monsters, but you can also do them all by yourself. There will also be raids and other difficult challenges, but I haven’t personally seen those yet, and I’m not even sure if they are in the game as of now. I know that it’s weird to say I don’t know exactly what the game has to offer, but it’s rather complicated as I’ll now explain…
Currently the website doesn’t tell us a heck of a lot of information. In fact, the information is really lackluster. That would be fine if the game was straight forward and near finished, but the closed beta itself even feels unpolished and a bit rushed. After an hour of playing, you will notice that most of the translations are simply missing. Sure the beginning gets you a good grasp of the story and what exactly is going on, but after an hour of playing there aren’t too many translations yet put in place. Collecting quests just becomes a clicking game as you have no idea why you’re fighting anymore. Still cinematics will play leaving you feeling more lost than before. And even though I usually do not care that much about the lore of a game, I do felt like I was missing too much of the story to figure out what exactly was going on. Even getting into a dungeon was tricky as they aren’t labeled in English for you to differentiate, let alone figure out how to get there. The game is really deep and has a lot of features to offer, but you’re going to be in for some serious guess and checking to figure them out without looking into translations from overseas players.
The game looks beautiful, astonishing even, but the world doesn’t feel like it is alive. There are a lot of places you go to while leveling, and that’s only a fraction of the overall offering since levels were limited in the beta compared to the full versions overseas. From the little we have seen the game looks extremely nice, but it is missing that actual feeling like the world you’re ‘living’ in is special. The game does quite a good job of minimizing the traveling time of one part of the world to the other. After only half an hour of playing you already get a horse to travel with. And before you know it you also get the function to teleport to other places. I honestly had no sense of where exactly I was going, and on top of this you can also click on all of your quests, and your character will automatically move to its destination.
This honestly doesn’t get me engaged into the world at all. I probably have been everywhere the game has to offer, but if I have a map in front of the world right now, I couldn’t tell you where on it my character logged out. Later into the game you also get your own set of wings to fly, which I hope will give me a better understanding of the geography via a bird’s eye view. Traveling shouldn’t be a hassle in Revelation Online. The interface is also really cluttered with all sorts of random elements and items you get by logging in just like one of those cheap browser games.
Perhaps this is all a bit of a mess because the game hasn’t been modified to fit western standards. I know Asian games do it differently but right now it feels like the game is missing too much, and the closed beta doesn’t give me the right look of the game yet. But what can we tell already besides this? Well for starters, I am a huge fan of the gameplay. I know some people aren’t as positive as I am about the gameplay, but I think it actually feels really solid. The character movement for me is really done right, it feels fast paced, and it brings an element of skill into play. Especially with PvP this will make a huge different, but besides that it also gives you a better feel of the game. The graphics are also really beautiful looking, but since I am not a big fan of ‘Asian themed’ games as in the style, it is a bitter pill to swallow. Luckily the gameplay more than makes up for it. With elements such as dodging, aiming your spells, and making sure you don’t stand in the fire I am sure many people will enjoy it for the exact same reason as I do. And on top of that you can sprint, jump insanely high and fly even!
As you can tell I’m still quite unsure what the final game will have to offer. As of now it feels smooth and looks solid but is an unpolished mess in more ways than is acceptable in 2016. The state of translations is a joke, but I suppose not being completed is better than games that have already provided shoddy translations with no intentions of improving it. The game will be free to play once it launches, and although the closed beta has been fun, I do not think that the preorder packages are really worth it, unless you really need an MMORPG fix badly, and know you will be playing this game at launch. Especially since it only gives you cosmetic items, and premium days, which mean nothing if the game ends up not being what you want. For me personally I will keep a close eye on the game, and will definitely try out the next betas. I’m already invested, but I’m not urging my close friends to do the same just yet. Hopefully by open beta this ship gets a course correction and starts looking like a next gen MMORPG challenger rather than a rush job.