Publisher: EIDOS Interactive
Developer: Funcom Inc.
N Amer - 02/08/2008
- Also available on:
E3 2007 Preview
It's no secret that the MMO genre is overcrowded. EverQuest and other success stories before it made the genre much too tempting for publishers to resist. Though we hate the cookie-cutter mentality, gamers may now benefit from the chaos. More and more developers are looking for ways to stand out, and that has led to RTS MMOs, FPS MMOs, and now, an action-infused MMO in the form of Age of Conan: Hyborian Adventure.
The game looks like any MMO in development: good graphics, loads of characters, and tons of large worlds. That's just the tip of the iceberg. Age of Conan has an excellent combo system that works similar to Devil May Cry but offers an on-screen indicator to show exactly which buttons and can be pressed for successive hits. On the bottom of the screen you'll find a circular icon with five notations: Q, 1, 2, 3, and E, each being applied to a key on the keyboard, and each offering a distinctly different attack.
Now let's say I start the combo by pressing Q. The 1, 3 and E icons light up, showing that any of those three buttons will allow for a combo to be performed. The E key could finish off the move for a one-two hit, but if another icon lights up, that means that a third hit is possible, and so on.
It sounds great and looks wonderful, but I say this as an action gamer, not a diehard MMO player. The developers want this to be a game that changes that, but they're not looking to make the next Devil May Cry. Thus, combos cannot be repeated several times in a row. You'll have to wait a few moments (how long was not specified) before a combo can be performed again. This was somewhat of a contradiction to the game's action-oriented style. Age of Conan does not have the same delays of other MMOs. Attacks will show up on screen the instant that you press them, as opposed to other MMOs that may feel a tad turn-based. As an action MMO, I want to be able to dish out combos to no end -- but not if it means the game is going to be highly repetitive. Judging from the other content, I'm going to trust that the developers did their research and are certain this is the right course of action to take.
Regardless of whether or not the combo system pans out, players are going to love the pets feature. Join the pets class and you'll be able to summon and control vicious creatures. Command giant scorpions and other beasts, and if you're the magical type, go for the Nuker pets. These tall, alien-like creatures are the game's version of a mage. They can cast deadly spells from a safe distance to destroy the colossal, larger-than-life monsters that overflow the game's worlds.
Controlling a pet should be easy. Assign a command and it will go in and do the dirty work for you. I thought this portion of the game looked like an RTS, but Eidos assured me that it is much simpler than that. You won't be commanding individual units or have to worry about a massive army. The main controls are designated to your primary character -- the pets are side characters designed to help you in combat.
Massively multiplayer online role-playing ACTION.
Reviewer: Louis Bedigian
Review Date: 07/14/2007