Exclusive Review on the Closed Beta of ArcheAge

ArcheAge - Review - EN


Pros: Great graphics and lore, some unique character customisation options as well as epic later game content.
Cons: The core gameplay is a bit too much alike to other MMORPGs.

Gameplay: 8
Graphics: 8
Sound: 8

Overall: 8

Last weekend, we dedicated some of our time to check out the new Korean fantasy MMORPG ArcheAge, which is published in North America and Europe by Trion Worlds. In case you’re unaware, the MMO is still in closed beta at the moment and will be launched as completely free to play without any subscription.

ArcheAge - Review - Image

ArcheAge is an open-world sandbox MMO in which you are able to travel the game world on land, by sea or air, build your own house and farm, craft high-end armour, raise and train your personal mount and compete against others for territory in exciting PvP battles. We took a first glimpse into the game in order to see with our own eyes what this was all about.

When entering the MMO, you are presented with 4 distinct races/ factions to pick from: the Nuin, a human race that devoutly follows Nui, the Goddess of the Hereafter, the Elves who share the continent with the Nuin but prefer the secluded privacy of the forests, the Harani, a race of survivors dwelling in the jungles of Mahdevi, who present an unrivalled self-preservation and strength, and the Firran, a nomadic, catlike race from the eastern continent, who roam the wilderness and dream of reclaiming their former glory.

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For our trial, we opted for the Firran and when it came to customising our character, we were presented with only a limited number of options to personalise our characters head/ face, which we found a little feeble compared to other competitors in the MMORPG genre. Nevertheless, what we actually were able to with our character’s head was pretty awesome. There were more than just a few different preset colours to choose from in order to customise our eyes and hair. Instead, we were provided with an eye dropper and a large spectrum, but even more thrilling were the scars/ defects we were able to personalise the character’s face with.

ArcheAge not only enabled us to select the style of scar from a huge array of long cuts, stitches, crossed scars and more, but also to place it with pinpoint accuracy into our character’s face, to resize to whatever tiny or large dimension we liked, and to modify the angle, meaning that the same straight cut could either reach in vertical direction along the character’s cheek, diagonally across its mouth or an eye. The result was an awesome level of detail that little more MMORPGs will copy in the future.

Having added the last personal touch to our pink afro-haired Firran character, we decided for the Occultist class, hoping to be able to summon a wraith as promised by the description. However, this skill unfortunately only becomes available at a later level, leaving us quite disappointed.

An interesting aspect of ArcheAge is that you choose your staring class and are then able to expand to additional skill sets, of which there are 10 available in total, ranging from defensive, healing, classical assassin to even more unique ones such as Witchcraft and Songcraft. This way, players are able to create their personal one-of-a-kind class with the help of these mix-and-match skill set combinations and to customise it by adding skill points to particular skills for their enhancement. And if the finally like trying out something different, they can do reset to start over again.

Upon entering the game world, we were welcomed by a rather extended cut scene that were meant to set the scene, giving an impression of our chosen race with a narrative over the top and illustrated graphics. This was well done, pretty interesting and truly helped to create the atmosphere.

Once logged in, the game itself had a very typical modern MMORPG feel about it, with huge yellow exclamation marks above the heads of NPCs to signify they have a quest, subsequent waypoints on the overhead mini map, and multiple quest markers floating around the character to give an idea of where to find the next active quest. The main story arc for our Firran character progressed and occasionally transitioned to illustrated cut scenes that presented some more background lore within the scope of the active quest.

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Combat was rather simple and anything but particularly different from what we have got accustomed to with other MMORPGs. The UI did a good job and was unobtrusive to give as much game real estate as possible, which also included a steady transparent overhead mini map as well as a character sheet that displayed the character’s main stats in the upper left corner upon activation. In contrast to the view-blocking windows often utilised in other MMOs, the gear and amour your character is equipped with is visible in form of icons floating around your character, allowing you to swiftly exchange items while still navigating around the map and without the need of taking your attention off the battle or what else is going on around you.

For what we saw during our first look at the starting zone, the MMO looks quite solid and has lots of potential, even more when it comes to features and promises they make regarding the later content, including large-scale PvP battles, nautical combat as well as personalised houses and farms ArcheAge players will be able to construct. After having spent some time in the game, we can imagine ArcheAge being anything but a complete smash hit with players.

And in case you’re interested in finding more about this game, just hit the INFO button below. And stay tuned as we will soon come up with a first look commentary video.

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