Alright, it’s MMORPG time again folks, and up to bat this week is Order and Chaos: Online. It’s been a while since I’ve been back on my home turf with a good ol’ RPG, but I’m pretty sure I haven’t lost my touch. For quite a while O&C has been a free to play title since it got rid of its subscription based plans in 2012, and then recently in 2014 it removed the cost of the game all together. Once that happened I had to get in and give it a go, so now this is a story all about how my iPad got flipped, turned upside down, and I’d like to take a minute, just sit right there, I’ll tell you how I became the prince of Generic Ork environment 4.
As much as the art direction looks like something straight out of Warcraft 3, the RTS and everything is probably as generic RPG as it gets with it’s environment design. OH LOOK A CART WITH HAY IN IT. NOPE, THAT’S NEW. OH AND WHATS THIS… PHYSICS? ANYONE?
Let’s back up just a minute and cover the basics. You get three character slots, and can purchase two more as an IAP, There are five races which I’ll refer to as “Human on steroids”, “Tall slender elf on steroids”, “The Orkback of Notre Dame”, “Oh look WoW had an undead race”, and “Tiny ape with a beard”. After that you get 4 choices of classes, which are fairly basic: Warrior, Mage, Monk, and Ranger. Each class then has two subclasses to unlock later, with the importance placed on warriors and monks since they’re the tanks and healers of the group.
For those who have played any sort of MMO will probably agree with me: who ever thought escort quests were a good idea, needs to get punched in the face, and O&C is no exception to this. Hope you enjoy partying up with a couple random nine year olds who you can barely understand their typing because if you don’t the escort quests… yeah… just skip those.
Now thankfully you CAN skip them, and in fact you can even skip out on dungeons and play the game like it was a game of Daggerfall, just grinding it out on mobs. One thing I felt really uneasy about was the gift boxes they give you. So one of the things that has emerged in MMORPGs as of late, is the concept of the Matryoshka doll gift box. Oh, you’re level 5? Here, open this! And look, inside was another box… for when I’m level 7… neat! No, it’s not neat, its friggin’ cancer to video games. You can’t figure out how to balance loot drops, and to help with that, you force the game to give me some items so I don’t feel like absolute trash getting wrecked by quest mobs. Sure, free gear, thanks. But isn’t the whole point for me to go on quests, perform heroic feats and EARN my gear? Guess not.
Another small gripe about dungeons: they’re hard. Which typically, I would be happy about. But this is a cellphone game. People play this before bed, while on the throne, and at lunch break. No one goes home, grabs an energy drink, dims the light, plugs their iPad into a set of stereo speakers and logs on to Order and Chaos. That’d be kind of neat I guess…. but you shouldn’t consider that for level 20, the first dungeon. Not to mention by the time I could even CLEAR a dungeon, and my group wasn’t completely plagued by afk-fluenza, the gear that dropped? Yeah, uh, thanks a lot Gameloft, this stuff is garbage. Oh, it’s because I out leveled the dungeon waiting for a competent group of people.. look at that. Ugh.
[RANDOM GRIPE ALERT] MAKE IT SO I CAN TURN THE IPAD. MAYBE MY CHARGER ISN’T ON THE RIGHT SIDE? MAYBE I WANT TO TURN MY DEVICE TO LAY COMFORTABLY WITHOUT BUYING A SEVEN-FOOT CHARGING CABLE.
All in all the game is really a feat of awesomeness on a mobile device. If you’re on the lookout for a major MMORPG on mobile devices, this is where you need to go. The game has it all, including global chat where players feel the need to talk about Ork butts. On top of that, the chat moves so fast it’d be like listening to this guy.
Good times. That aside, this really is the best fully-featured MMORPG I’ve seen hit the mobile market. While I feel strongly about some gameplay decisions, balancing things being off and a rather difficult dungeon curve, the game nails the rest of it. Tons of mounts spells, and gear. PvP (Player vs. Player) Arena combat, multiple zones with a huge world to explore. Even at low level I had a chance to experience the thrill of PvP, as I was offered a duel. Typically I auto decline because usually its some shmuck 40 levels above you, but he was my level. Long story short, it was close but I won.
I want to give this a four because honestly the game is really pretty once you give it the time of day, and get out of the starter areas. But that’s why I’m giving it a three. The starting areas in the game are what leave you with an impression. And honestly the only impression I got, was shaped like alligator teeth and about 2 inches deep. Stupid ‘gater came out of nowhere.
Great. Simply great. More than what I would expect out of a free to play MMORPG on a mobile device. Even the little PvP I did encounter I enjoyed immensely.
I’m not sure why this never is a focus in mobile games, maybe they feel everyone plays on mute so they can listen to the sound of their mom talking about what groceries she’s putting in the cart, like declaring it unlocks an achievement. The sounds aren’t bad by any means, but they were not “epic” level.
I struggled here. I wanted to give a 1 or a 2 because of the games cookie cutter style, and typical mechanics, but honestly what they did with scaling and bringing this to a mobile market was really well pulled off. So bravo, you got a bonus point.
It’s good. It’s really good, but the amount of time I need to dedicate at one time, to feel like I accomplished anything is too long. PvP battles? Hope no one looses signal on a train, or runs out of battery. “1% battery, sorry guys” PLAYER 1 has disconnected. *Rage ensues as we lose terribly*
What didn’t make it this week:
HappyCube: Bahahaha. This game is too simple for me to do a full review on, but its frustratingly awesome. Score: 3/5
dEXTRIS: I expected Tetris, I got some weird neon box game about avoiding spikes that make Blades edge mountain look like a nice place to land your dragon.