Drakensang Online Review


Pros: Fun combat, decent graphics, great talent system
Cons: Lag and disconnects, linear maps and quests, features are basic

Gameplay: 7
Graphics: 7
Performance: 6

Overall: 7

Recently we took a look at Bigpoint’s free to play RPG MMO Drakensang Online, a grim fantasy title where players can play through their browser or via a mini-client. Originally released in 2011 the game has undergone a host of upgrades, changes and seen much new content from various expansions; it’s an old title but for all of that it still looks of a pretty decent graphical quality that competes with a lot of current MMO titles, albeit does show its age here and there if you look hard enough.

With four classes to choose from we went with dwarven “Steam Mechanicus”, a gun wielding, bomb hurling ranged DPS that could throw down turrets for some extra firepower. Guided through an initial tutorial the game is pretty easy to pick up and our first impression was how dynamic the environments were, with plenty going on in lower levels, or dragons flying overhead, it added a really great ambience and feeling of immersion for the quest based objectives.


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Playing for a few hours we can say that the environments hold up and there are some pretty remarkable areas to adventure through, the biggest drawback is that many of the areas have extremely linear portions to them where there’s just a single basic path through them. Sometimes they lead to more open areas, and sometimes maps are a little larger with multiple routes, but unfortunately any exploration based elements are nullified by the optional quest tracker that leads a footpath guide right to the quest location as well as marking it exactly on the overhead map. Linear elements and guided waypoints aside, there were two considerably more annoying aspects to the PVE questing that aggravated us.

Firstly is the back and forth between NPCs, constantly were we sent out to a new area to complete a quest then have to head all the way back to the original NPC quest giver.. to then be given another quest sending us all the way back to where we’d been; it’s just tedious and bad game design. Secondly was the minute inventory space we had access to (inventory expansions cost Adamantine premium currency, which was earned in small portion as we played); the reason this peeved us with the PVE is that our bags were constantly full with items we needed, whether consumables, improved gear that we weren’t quite high enough in level to wear yet, or the half a dozen quest items we needed to collect that took up our standard inventory space. The result was having to constantly leave sellable loot on the ground from the scores of dead bodies we left.


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Combat is pretty fun, at least with the Mechanicus, and at level ten we did have a handful of abilities to use, but in general we relied on throwing down our turrets and watching them obliterate everything that came onto the screen. With most enemies appearing in large groups it felt like a horde mode cutting through all the enemies, but unfortunately it was ridiculously easy and there was zero challenge to PVE and even the elites/bosses of an area were just hitpoints with some flashier abilities and nothing particularly interesting. We hope that things do crank up a little later in the game and PVE becomes a bit more challenging (Dungeons were unfortunately out of our level range, as was PVP), as the combat does seem pretty exciting.

What we did like about the combat elements was how the talent system worked, with each level up we got an extra talent to spend in the various skills that we’d unlocked as we levelled up. Our early skills had three talents that required 2 points, 3 points or 5 points to unlock (you could only put points in a talent if you had enough to unlock it), which would directly improve a skill in a certain way. What we loved was that our choices weren’t permanent and we were able to mix and match our talent spend, take them out of one talent and put them into another at will, offering lots of customization based on your location and the enemies you are facing.

Advancing through the game was simple, but at least didn’t feel dull, and there are plenty of features to unlock in the game and a huge section based on collections for costumes, mounts and pets. One of the biggest problems we had was with the game’s performance and we constantly suffered some bad lag issues that would freeze us in place or bounce us around, which was extremely frustrating; worse still was that with whatever these connection disruptions were they were enough to kick us out of the game around every 15 minutes and were responsible for a death or two.

In short Drakensang Online is a fun little game, but whether it’s the game’s age, it’s initial browser only platform, or by design, the game is a little too basic and easy and just doesn’t provide enough of a challenge when compared to other Action based RPG MMOs (Marvel Heroes, Path of Exile). It unfortunately feels a little dated in terms of content and the execution of various features, but still made for a relatively enjoyable experience.


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