War of Angels: Heaven or Hell?
By Bryan King, OnRPG Journalist
War of Angels, developed by NJ Interactive and published by Neowiz, is an MMO fantasy roleplaying game with a unique set of features, including a guild city system, as well as aerial and underwater combat. Players can link up to explore massive scaled dungeons, chat in town, and fight with other players in order to rise to the top.
10,000 years ago.
Earth faced the greatest danger to its existence.
Dertgotz, a fallen angel who once was a celestial god, was expelled because of his greedy, cruel nature.
He marched into the human world with his army of evil.
Many lives were lost and much of the land was destroyed. Slowly yet surely, the human world was consumed by Dertgotz’s inconceivably vast and evil power.
The war for survival against Dertgotz continued for many years.
A human hero eventually appeared, and grew powerful enough to rival Dertgotz’s might with the help of his trusted comrades.
After a long and perilous journey, this hero and his comrades were finally able to defeat Dertgotz and his evil soldiers.
B—BUT I WANT TO BE A DEMON. (Character Creation/Customization)
War of Angels’ character creation isn’t a far stretch beyond anything we’ve seen before. Upon initial creation, characters are able to choose a single class, and then upgrade to a subclass at level 20. As of right now, there are four classes. The Fighter, Rogue, Ranger, and Mage. The Fighter is able to promote to Warrior or Knight, the Rogue is able to choose between Scout or Avenger, the Ranger is able to choose between Hunter and Archer, and the Mage is able to choose between Cleric or Sorcerer. In order to fulfill my fantasies of casting hellish… err… angelic magic bolts from the sky, I rolled with a Mage.
WoA doesn’t offer much in terms of customization, with a generic Face, Hair Style, Color, Weapon, and Armor Color selector, along with a size selector. However, the amount of effort that went into the armor and weapon selector is quite impressive and provides a good insight on how a character is going to look at later levels.
Flying in Style (Gameplay):
Although War of Angels mixes the best of Eastern and Western developer clichés in MMOs, it at least produces a tolerable MMO soup. The same basic principles from other MMOs apply: hotbars, targeting, casting and combat are all present and standard. However, the added element of Flight adds a whole new dimension of fun.
Flight has become an added plane of gameplay in other games such as Perfect World and Aion, yes, but the fluidity in War of Angels is surprisingly well done, and provides an enjoyable experience throughout the entire game, because wings are available from level one and onwards. Another cool element about War of Angels lies in the Deathblow system, which allows players to gain a reservoir of energy from killing monsters. You are able to fill up to three tiers of this Deathblow energy, with each additional tier providing a greater and flashier killing strike.
I found questing in War of Angels to be quite a unique system, as choosing various replies to NPCs can determine your player’s alignment and what faction you join later on in the game. For example, gladly accepting all quests you come across will most likely increase your character’s disposition to “Good”, but if you gladly tell an NPC to “screw off”, your disposition will lower. This will determine what side of the grid your character will fight on inside late-game RvR, as well as your guild’s affiliation.
The coolest implementation of this system was being asked by an NPC to deliver a package to another. In most MMOs this would be a boring and pointless gopher mission. But in War of Angels the NPC kept stressing how important it was for me to return the package unopened. Of course, my curiosity got the best of me, and I opened it. Inside was great armor for my level, gold, and potions. However, this did not go unpunished, and my disposition dropped by a lot, leading me towards fighting for the faction of “Evil”. To be honest… I was okay with this. Can anyone say “Hell’s Angels”?
In conclusion, War of Angels’ gameplay is simplistic in nature, but every decision you make could shape your future, which provides a whole new level of fun and immersion. Being able to take combat to new planes of air and sea also allows for a whole new level of fun gameplay. There is a guild building system that has a ton of features, as well. Guild leaders are able to establish bases for their members that provide plenty of perks, and although I wasn’t able to test this, the general consensus of the population was that it is a fun toy to fiddle with and has resulted in some great guild “decoration” events run by veteran players.
My first impression with War of Angels’ graphics as of the recent graphics update was the amount of work that went into it. I had a short run in with War of Angels prior to their major update, and at the time took little notice of the game’s bland exterior. However, the new update has definitely provided a benchmark for the future of microtransaction-based F2P games, as the log in screen provided a feeling one gets after seeing that ugly girl from high school turn into a world-renown supermodel.
The water effects, character design, and general feel of the game has gotten a complete overhaul, and it’s apparent in the new login screen as well as the game’s environments. I am personally pleased to see the new graphics within the game giving a boost to the game’s general feel and UI, and players who left solely due to the game’s aesthetics should definitely come back and try it to see for themselves.
In conclusion, War of Angels is a cut above many somewhat generic F2P games. It has features that are very rare within the genre, and provide players with a strong community aspect in terms of guild base creation. Flight based gameplay and freedom of choice while questing also add to War of Angel’s overall value. The new graphics overhaul is what won me over in the end. For those who are looking for a game similar to AION but aren’t willing to pay, your search may end here.
Graphics – 4/5
Gameplay – 3.5/5