Scarlet Legacy: A Sparkling F2P Jade
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor), OnRPG Journalist
Scarlet Legacy, a game developed by InterServ International, is a free-to-play MMORPG published by Games Campus. This game is based during the Jin Dynasty period; this sets it apart from other Chinese games due to most of them being based during the 3 Kingdoms (Wei, Shu, and Wu). The game features beautiful dungeons, world pk, pets, mounts and guilds to ensure all the MMO goodies are available to the player.
Since ancient times the Chi forces of Yin and Yang which comprise all of existence have been in an uneasy balance, with the Immortal Yang Chi rising to create the Heavenly realm, and the turbid Yin Chi sinking to create the Demon Realm. The human realm is between them; with the delicate balance of Chi between the two keeping it stable enough to exist. The Immortals of the Heavenly Realm agree to a voluntary ban from descending to the world below in order to prevent their Chi from tipping the balance and threatening to destroy the human world.
One day Goddess Yana of the Heavenly Realm and Immortal Keeper of a Holy Relic known as the Celestial Mirror, glimpses a man named Chao through her omniscient Celestial Mirror and falls helplessly in love. She disguises herself as a mortal woman and ventures to earth to join him, violating the agreement between the gods not to venture to the human realm. This unorthodox marriage is not condoned by Chao’s royal family and he is forced to move to the remote Spring Village in the hopes of remaining hidden. Yana eventually gives birth to their daughter, Princess Scarlet. When Yana is forcibly returned to the Heavenly Realm by the other Gods, she gives her daughter the Celestial Mirror to remain linked to her family; however its power is greatly muted with her departure. Thinking Yana forever lost to him; Chao decides to return to the royal court with their daughter while rumors swirl around the countryside of terrible happenings and dark creatures. Families of villagers simply disappearing overnight, entire towns being butchered… this is where your Legacy begins…
I went to look up some screenshots of Scarlet Legacy first; I usually do this to get a feel for what I’m jumping into such as the graphical interface. I saw on the webpage that players can upload their own screenshots and add a description under this. At first I was put off because image after image I scrolled through was really low quality. This led to quite a moment of shock when I actually logged into game. The game doesn’t look bad at all and is really REALLY beautiful. In terms of the interface I disliked the use of images instead of text for menu options but I suppose it was necessary to prevent clutter since there are so many features you can access. Still I had to click every button in order to find out the purpose of the button, making the interface unfriendly to new users.
After I finished gawking at the graphics it was time to explore; moving is done by the standard WASD buttons or through mouse clicks. This works really smooth although the camera is sometimes unwieldy and causes you to run at an odd angle. In the end I found steering myself with the camera was the best solution. The map of each region is interactive and allows you to click on a given npc to autopath there.
After the first quest I was given a Magic Mirror, this magic mirror provides extra background story behind quests and you can look them up at your convenience. The Magic Mirror is right next to your mini map if you need it. Unfortunately if you have a scene to watch it pops up in front of your mini map and you can barely see anything. My press account with a lvl 20 character had over 20 Magic Mirror cutscenes ready so you can assume that one unlocks about every time you level.
After doing a couple of quests you are given a tutorial quest to practice using the unique double jumping feature. This system was a bit wonky since your character’s leaps resemble bouncing on the moon and are too slow motion for a martial arts game. Nonetheless this is a great addition to the game as they do a good job in utilizing it in various jump quests! Speaking of quests, a useful utility bar rests on the bottom right of your screen. You can click on this to view your active quests and automatically walk to the quest objective; there is also an option to use a piece of spirit scroll to teleport to the quest objective.
The skills in Scarlet Legacy look marvelous and are just stunning to see. As I played a warrior I had several different skills with different animations. The variety that even the warrior class has is impressive and I enjoyed watching the enemy corpses fly off in different ways depending on which finishing blow I used.
Have I said the graphics are really beautiful? To be honest this is actually one of the most beautiful free-to-play MMORPGs I have played. To play this beauty you need at least a Pentium 4 processor 1.8GHz along with a 64MB video card that supports DirectX 9.0c or higher. If you have no idea what kind of computer you’re running and you’re not really into specifications and detailed information. I would say everyone with a computer that isn’t turning yellow because of oldness is probably able to play this game. This is surprisingly low considering the graphics quality and shows that the graphics settings are quite adjustable to accommodate lower end machines.
Scarlet Legacy is still in open beta, but the game offers a wide variety of features and the gameplay is really stunning as is. The controls and game mechanics are well thought out and work well with a bit of practice. This game however still needs some minor tweaking and optimization to be even better. Luckily the small issues I had are likely going to be ironed out by the time the game enters full release.
I really enjoyed playing this game spent an unusual amount of time reading the quests and storyline to keep up with the plot (partially because it’s so interesting and partially because the localization still needs some work). Every map looks even better than the previous map you encounter so I always felt I had something greater to look forward to. The Item Mall wasn’t activated in the open beta so I have no idea if this game will turn out to be a buy to win game.