gPotato has come to us yet again with a new free-to-play MMORPG with an interesting twist on the genre called Sevencore. At the beginning, a cutscene tells the story of a new solider flying in to train up, but the facility is attacked by dastardly foes and they must make an emergency stop at a makeshift encampment where new soldiers are being trained up for immediate deployment on the island against the enemy.
While the beginning of the game is all on foot, Sevencore presents an emphasis on mounted combat. Not only do characters receive their own skills based on their weapons and talents; but mounts themselves must be leveled up, given skills, and then ridden into combat. In fact, each of the races receives their own boons that effect particular type of mounts.
As a genre game, Sevencore mixes both science fiction and fantasy and this is important to the game play.
The game features both beast and mechanical mounts so you can expect to get a lot of interesting gameplay by riding on dragons, raptors, fish, motorcycles, and hoverbikes.
Graphics and Sound: As a free-to-play game the graphics are fine, it just feels generic visually
Sevencore feels like it’s a little bit of an older MMO from a first look; almost like it’s made of plastic-cardboard props with medium polygon count—it reminds me of the Old West of MMO games. Chances are this is because I’ve been playing too many triple-A titles; as a game it just looks just a wee bit older, but the graphics are actually on the high end and the textures keep it looking fairly nice. This can be a little bit of a turn-off, but the game has a bit of a charming style that’s almost endearing—and it’s also very much the standard MMO setup, which means there’s no learning curve.
It’s in beta, so a little bit of graphical issues are expected. Perhaps it will reminds people of early World of Warcraft with a better textures.
The game itself is an odd blend between fantasy and science fiction elements and that really shines through with the technology and magic aspects. I ended up fighting monsters of various types from bugs to raptors and even separatists in power armor. I haven’t gotten far enough along in the game to see the dragons, or some of the more spectacular stuff—and there’s some amazing mob visuals in this game to be had.
The real striking quality of this game is the level of detail put into the mounts, which are a central focus of the gameplay. Much of the game is positioned to let people ride mounts and fight on them. In the trailers we’ve seen dragons, motorbikes, turtles, etc. And although I didn’t have enough to get myself a mount, they also deliver their own skills and animations to the game.
Music is minimal (in fact, I heard none) and there’s no ambient sounds in the game.
The sounds aren’t a very big part of the game right now, although there’s a fair amount tied to skill use. Gunners go boom, warriors shout and slam swords, and mages throw their spells with an appropriate zing. It’s just not enough to set it aside of any other game at the moment. Mounts probably can be expected to have their own screaming, wailing, and gnashing of teeth (and tails) when beating down enemies.
There’s more than enough to fit the UI, activities, and general stuff going on. For the most part the sounds exist at the minimum necessary to have a functional and working game.
As sounds go they’re fairly high quality and I don’t notice them because they’re what I expect to come from a game.
Gameplay: This is your basic MMORPG game with fantasy-mixed-science-fiction elements
There are three classes from the outset: Warrior, Mage, or Gunner.
I played most of the game in the beginning zone with a gunner—I just wanted a gun—and she could use a pair of pistols or an extremely large “cannon” type gun so-called “artillery.” At first, characters only have one skill and more skills open up with each level; also it seems to be possible to open up new skills or choose a skill path via questing.
The warrior and the mage classes work extremely similarly to what we might expect. The warrior has a lot more armor and extended loiter time than the gunner or the mage as with the usual expectation in this sort of game. Mages work via DoT (damage over time) effects connected to their skills and stack up curses on foes to bring them down. Gunners function with almost sheer ranged burst damage and it seems some AoE splash as well.
There are also three races: the sion, einher, and nuuk. The sion look a lot like humans; the einher are stout, huge brutes; and the nuuk are a tall, willowy elfin race. Each of them have their own racial traits that can be mixed and matched into classes. Sions are good as engineers and work well with mechanical mounts; einher have increased toughness and work well with beast mounts; and the nuuk have high magical abilities and get a health increase to beast mounts.
This game pushes a lot of focus onto mounts and mounted combat…and, being that this happens to be a fantasy-cum-science-fiction game there’s both technological and fantasy mounts. As a result, we can probably expect to see ridable dragons and motorcycles zooming across the countryside as people blast their foes from bike and saddle.
One thing that I found particularly amusing about the opening area is that the health food and potion are a burger and a Coca-Cola bottle. If anything, there’s a lot of semi-Americanism jokes embedded here and there. When is the last time you had a burger and a soda to regain health and mana in a video game, that alone made me laugh out loud when I received them.
Freemium: Still in beta, but gPotato generally runs cash shops
The cash shop run by gPotato uses a microtransaction currency and contains most of the items expected in a grind-style game with boosts, experience boons, and the like. There’s also a certain number of aesthetic items. The game is in open beta at the moment so some of what appears in the cash shop may yet change as players start to fill into the game and it goes into full commercial release.
One thing that people have been noting about the cash shop is that there’s elements of the feared pay-to-win in that enchanting requires use of the cash shop. Enchanting and item creation is a big part of the end game, any only users who can use the cash shop to buy components for making high level items will have easy access to them. In this vein, it could have a problem.
It’ll be a few months before the actual variety and accessibility of cash shop items for players shakes out, but early examples looking at the cash shop show that those who have money may find the game much easier than those without.
This could have a real impact on the PvP and political system planned for the game.
Conclusion: Free-to-play MMORPG with a worthwhile gimmick—dragons and motorbikes FTW
It’s hard to connect with this game for me because I play too many MMORPGs and all of them are looking for their niche. I’ve played through the beginning area and seen many of the graphics. Really, much of the game’s charm is going to come from the mixture of fantasy and science fiction elements. It does come across as a little bit cheezy; but that’s no reason to set it aside.
As a game, this is more or less a very East Asian type with a lot of nods towards the geek culture of both fantasy and science fiction. The graphics are okay although they feel a little bit outdated, that doesn’t mean that we’re going to dismiss it because of that. The developers spent a lot of time thinking of what makes games fun and it seems that they chose mounted combat.
Overall, although it’s still in beta, there were still a lot of people playing, killing monsters, and chatting across the newbie and intermediate zones.
Gpotato has plans to implement massive scale and interesting PvP scenarios—easy to see with a mount-based combat system—so you can probably expect to have a great deal of fun finding ways to fight other players with mounts as a type of combat-equipment.