I had been reading about Atlantica Online (AO) over at Hardcore Casual for some time now. I finally reached the threshold where I had to give it a try. AO is a free to play MMO which does use microtransactions to pay the bills. There are a couple things you should know about me first:
- I do not like anime and most JRPG style games.
- I do like party based RPGs, where I can build and arm my team.
Graphics. The battle graphics are decent and quite workable. The world graphics are not very good looking at all. It feels unfinished. I remember looking out on the ocean and seeing the squared edge of the world, apparently this one is flat and looks like a tile.
Sound. Not sure the best way to describe the sounds in the game. I am going to go with Anime and Street Fighter influenced. Not really what I am looking for in a game. The music was decent though, at least the techno/rock thing they had going.
Combat. This was very refreshing. It reminded me of Final Fantasy type combat. I did enjoy this part of the game, it makes a great change to the normal MMO combat.
UI. The User Interface is pretty awful in my opinion. It is unintuitive, clunk and ugly.
Party. Like I said, I do enjoy making a team and arming them for my playstyle. AO does this pretty well. For example, my party consisted of 3 Swordsmen with shields, who manned the front-line while I (Cannon class) and an Archer stayed on the rear line. Enemies would have to go through my tanks to get to my ranged folks in the back.
Crafting/Enchanting. This is another nice part of the game. I can use a lot of what I loot. If I get 2 shields, I can combine them to make a better shield. It does make the whole loot aspect much more interesting than the standard MMO model.
Grind. Syncaine was not kidding when he said this game was all about grind. That is not a problem if the activities are fun. AO does have a lot of things going on to help avoid the grind feeling.
AO has a lot of good aspects, but not enough to keep me playing. The style, clunky UI and the fact I am busy with other games force me to pass on it. I really like some of the ideas in the game. I would be interested in a polished Western version with a subscription.