Koramgame just released their browser-based free-to-play MMORPG game into “closed” beta and I wandered over to check it out. In playing, I found a standard fantasy game that has all the stylings of a fantasy-based Asian-import RPG that we’ve seen before–although I was caught by surprise that autopilot everything seemed to be default.
The game shows many of the things we see in Asian-import game, especially browser-based games. Due to the Flash-based nature of the game, it can be played on a multitude of platforms and it’s also designed to be casual.
I’d say that it’s a little bit of a chip off the 2D browser-based fantasy MMORPG block in that it does everything that every other game on the market already does.
Graphics and sound: Fairly nice graphics, RPG isometric 2D-sprite game
The graphics of Everlight are fairly middle-of-the-road for this type of game. Since it’s Flash-based and runs in the browser, it’s going to be casual and capable of playing on any platform that supports Flash–and we’ve seen quite a few games that do this already. It’s 2D and sprite-based with highly detailed backgrounds and simple animations for characters.
The UI is totally standard and people used to MMORPGs will instantly recognize how to use it. Action-bar, round minimap, chat, and portraits of characters on the sides.
Lots of text is involved with all of the quests and it pops up in the dialogue boxes every time one is thrust to me. This often includes a portrait without a background of a stylized character wearing odd fantasy-styled clothing. I’ve seen numerous women wearing robes, soldiers styled after Roman infantry, as well as an oddly clad mage ruler wearing a crown and holding a golden staff.
The maps of the areas are filled with detail and interesting artwork–this is all common to this genre–and often filled with oddly nonagressive NPCs that exist primarily for the PCs to slaughter. The animations are minimal and convey only what they need to about each of the different creatures. I’ve seen a large number of different fantasy-designed species and generally they fit their environment.
The sound in this game is extremely minimal.
Some clicks and snafts sound when interacting with the UI. The spells and magic zap and zerch when fired, with booming for the fire spells; there’s even some slicing sounds when blades are being used. It’s just not very consistent on the sound front; but the sounds of battle are sufficient to let me know something is happening (even if I’m not paying attention.)
There’s music, but it’s nothing to write home about. The generic fantasy music with multiharmomic resonance–it does seem to change between different areas, with happy fantasy to some epic undercurrent battle music in instances. Like most games of this type, most players may quickly turn it off in favor of their own music. The music here is certainly superior to most others that I’ve heard–but it is repetitious (although ambient feeling) and as a result, led me to turn it off personally.
Gameplay: Generic MMORPG with an unexpected autopilot
We’ve seen games like Everlight before here in GameOgre First Impressions series. It’s a sprite-based, 2D Flash game that runs in a browser. It has all the notable hallmarks of an Asian-import Flash game from the overdressed 2D characters moving around a lush map and autopathing between quests and
At first, I’m surprised by how the tutorial (in fact game) seems to work. I get going as usual, select a weapon and armor, talk to some NPCs to learn the interface–but then the strangest thing happens: I click on a quest to start the autopath and the game starts playing for me.
It took me a few minutes, but I discovered that “auto” had already been selected for me. When auto is on, the game literally plays itself. Every time I clicked to progress in quests or update my skills my character instantly set off to do the next thing. Ovidius runs off willy-nilly across the map without any other interaction from me–in one case she started to flash-fry some centaurs, in another she went and picked flowers, each time she returned to a quest giver and another dialogue with text popped up. The type of games that play themselves seems a little odd to me.
As for the manual gameplay. the game is point-and-click with an action tray. Enemies or friends are targeted with the mouse (also click) and then a number key or an action is selected.
There are four classes in the game that don’t feel very different: Warrior, Mage, Prophet, and Ranger. These run the usual expected types of characters where warriors are heavily armored and melee, mages are lightly armored but involve a lot of AoE damage, prophets can heal and buff, and rangers run ranged with bows and high damage at a distance. Overall, each of them have their own skill trees that feed into the action bar and pull out lots of devastating attacks. I played a mage because I love calling down lightning and throwing fireballs—it’s also a good way to look at the FX in a game—and while the animations are clipped and simplistic, they do get the point across adequately.
Players can receive mounts and pets of numerous variety. The beginning pet that I received happened to be a panda that happily mauled my opponents as my character casted lightning bolts and fireballs…
My first mount turned out to be a lanky-horned ibis-like animal, that seemed to have hooves and a very long face. It was black with white highlights and bright red horns.
Freemium: Free-to-play with a cash shop
Everlight is in closed beta, but the beta does have access to the cash shop. Koramgame uses a microtransaction currency, in and in Everlight it appears to be the Daimo. These currency points also seem to be exchangable for points in the game.
Much of the products available in the virtual shop appear to be set up to be limited-time items–however, everything that I’ve seen so far is permanent.
The item shop has a lot of quality-of-life services, as well as aesthetic costuming–from outfits, wings, and others. As well as a tab labelled “Drug”, and it would appear that drugs are just a mistranslation of “potion.”
Mounts and pets are also available in the virtual item shop. It’s hard to tell how they compare to the items available in the game proper, but the presence of equipment (pets) in the cash shop does bode a little problematic. However, since pets–like mounts–may be equipment, they’re also an aesthetic effect that players might want.
Conclusion: Browser-based free-to-play game that fits mid-market
It’s probably my reviewers bias, but I just couldn’t get into this game because it was doing everything for me from the get-go and I didn’t find any connection to anything that was going on. However, later on while playing there was less autopilot and more allowing me to play along–but by that point, I’d become bored with the game entirely due to this effect.
The graphics and sound fit together nicely for a browser-based game and with all the quality-of-life enhancements (like the weird auto-mission) means that players might turn to this game while doing other things. Such as, homework, or watching TV, or Internet conversations. Players can easily talk to one another via the game or on their own desktop without disturbing the game.
Koramgame is probably betting on the social aspect of the game to drive attention alongside the ability to run this in a browser window. As a result, the audience is going to be filled with people who otherwise might not be able to either afford or run Guild Wars 2 on their computer. A browser-based game provides an experience that can readily allow virtually anyone to join from an old PC, Chromebook, mobile device, or Internet café.