Summary: Neat attempt but disappointing results
Review: Little bit on my background: I got hooked into the online games with Ultima Online (4 yr vet), and preceeded to play many of the others: EQ, DAOC, Earth and Beyond, AC1.
The graphics are great but unless you just spent [lots of money] for a brand new top of the line system, you wont get to see them. You'll have to tweak down the graphics to play.
The game is boring. The only thing to do is fight MOBs. The MOBs are not a threat. The MOBs levels are arrange geographically, so its very difficult to find yourself in an area where the MOBs are out of your abilities. You never have to fear walking into an area to find an untimely end.
It's very unlikely that you'll unintentially draw a MOB that you cannot handle. You cannot move during combat as a strategy; the system moves you back to where the battle started.
You have to fights MOBs. The game will not allow anything to proceed without wacking some wacky creatures--everything requires fighting, including crafting to quests.
The crafting is a neat idea but again boring; a poor attempt at virtual socalism. You may mine materials, but you can only mine 5 of a material type per real life calendar day. You can use loot to craft, but that means spending most of the time fighting MOBs instead of crafting. There are no vendors to purchase materials for crafting.
There is little incentive to craft. You cannot sell your crafted items to a NPC vendor. Trying to sell your items to other players is very difficult and not rewarding. It's simply too difficult to find a buyer of the crafts you produce.
One real plus to the game: you are actually permited to ATL-TABing and windowing the game. Very nice for keeping a web browser open or capturing screen shots without needing special programs or separate computers.
In summary, this game is boring. While the Turbine engine provides some great looking environments, this game does not compare to AC1. It does not offer the variety of game playing styles like UO. It does not offer the fear of meeting the unknown like EQ. It does not offer much unless all you want to do is watch your GUMP wack at the wackies.
Summary: This Game Still Rocks.
Review: A friend of mine convinced me to try this game. So I did. The best part about this game is that you have to really try and make it work. What does that mean? Simple... You find yourself a patron and a good Alligeance and you get through the hard parts easily. I've made a few good friends too.
The graphics are good. The game play is smooth. Content is still being added. Plus Since turbine brought back the game from Microsoft things are only going to get better.
Review: AC2 has potential, but it has been in production long enough that a lot of issues still plaguing it should have been fixed but are not.
The developers seem to be concentrating on balance and content issues more than core game problems which is a mistake in my opinion.
There is still rampant lag even with only 600 people on a server at peak, tons of client problems and at least one memory leak, several texture loading problems, GUI issues with repeating chat, warping characters and creatures, server timeouts that leave you stuck, unable to move or perform any action but log out, anti-cheating code that hits legit players and groups (for example telling you "You receive no exp, that monster couldn't even reach you!" after it had been pounding on you the whole fight) more than "cheaters", etc etc etc.
I've played beta versions of games with fewer client/server problems than this, and it leads to a very frustrating playing experience which is very shallow to begin with.
While they struggle with class balance, the core problems go unaddressed leading to nothing but 4 classes grinding exp because there's litereally nothing else to do and the other classes are undesireable to groups who's only purpose is grinding exp.
Download the free 15 day trial and buy the game for an additional 30 days free and hope WoW or Lineage 2 goes open beta before your 45 days are up. You will have experienced everything the game has to offer in that time.
Summary: You have to manage your expectations when playing this game
Review: Excellent game! I've been playing AC1 for 3 years almost, ran a guild, wrote plugins, organized server-wide events, you name it, I've done it... I really hated AC2 in the beta, but it was because I didn't understand it. As I really dug in deeper into it, I realized there is a whole lot of complexity underneath the hood and they just made the entry into the game simple. Sure, there are no stats to pick, and templates to build when you creaet a character... but as you progress and huge skill trees open up to you, and you get to start making TOUGH CHOICES, then it gets fun!
Sure, the game is lacking some things from the first week of release. Just remember, the world is always full of people who like to draw attention to themselves by finding something to complaint about and feel better for belittling other efforts. Patches are coming every month, once a month, and are bringing more quests and monsters and places to hunt at, as well as fixes to balance and bugs. This is what made AC1 shine, this is what will make AC2 shine. Already a first patch in Dec was a strong patch with many balance issues put in place and chat interface fixed, not to mention new quests and items and monsters, and the beginning of the "epic" quest.
Overall, was a game rushed to be in stores for Christmas? Of course... do you know of any game that hasn't been? But overall, AC2 is a stable game, with alot of good quality features, you just need to know that they exist and that they develop into something before you buy that box.
Very very good game, overall. Thanks Turbine!
Summary: 2nd Month in, Kinda Disappointed
Review: The graphics are beautiful, but you will need 128Meg GForce 3 or 4, 1 Gig of RAM, and a ~2 GHz processor to see most of it. I had to turn all the graphics options to low on my system to have a reasonable speed to play. ( I am playing on a 1.5Ghz, 512M RAM, 64Meg GForce 2 system.)
They patched the chat, so now different types of messages show in different colors. Chat is still primitive compared to EQ and DAOC, it doesn't encourage socialization.
Overall pace of play is fast. Combat is quick paced, and by using a repeatable quest to buff yourself (like a SoW, shield buff) you can run fast and maintain your ability to fight higher level mobs with a minimium of crafting. You can level up to 13 very quickly - after that leveling begins to slow.
Not having merchants to sell player-crafted items means you are forced into crafting, it's just too hard to find someone to buy from. That also makes crafting as an occupation next to impossible. There is no economy to speak of.
Character skill development is more flexible than I originally thought it would be, there are some interesting possibilities by mixing and matching from the various skill trees.
My biggest gripe right now is the inventory system. There is no way to sort items into seperate containers, this makes crafting all the more tedious. I don't even pick up most of the loot that mobs drop now, so I don't have to deal with converting it to gold.
Overall, I give it 3 stars. Minus 2 stars for the really bad inventory system, no economy and to little content.
Summary: Simpleton's Review part Deux
Review: Been playing the Beta now for about 1 week having a background like most from one MMORPG to the next UO, EQ, AC1, DAOC, etc. From reading the other reviews some saying the Game is FANTASTIC to its all horribly wrong. In my opinion its is somewhere in the middle. First the game looks fantastic however at the cost of steep sys requirements (as of beta 2.1) even with Geforce 4 ti 4600 512Megs of DDR and a modest Athlon 1800 it lags with more than 5 people in the same area. Now the graphics are highly scalable which comes in handy to smooth out the rough spots but its so darn pretty with all the options on. ;) As for game play the basic fact is that altho its not frustrating it is repetative. Grouping doesnt help since say if u get 10exp from one kill solo... grouping now splits that 10exp 50x50 for each player. Get 4 peeps in that in group and its 25x25x25x25 or basically 2.5exp per kill. Now this wouldnt be soo bad if it where not for the large exp cost to lvl above 15th. The combat is repeatitive and skill usage can be frustrating (unless your an archer) due to the fact that most mobs can hit you before your even close enough to strike. Archers have an advantage over all since their long range can strike mobs well off the radar and still hit which is why Archers Call 2 wouldnt be a bad name due to the large archer population. Craft began as fun but now has degraded to extremely frustrating due to the ultra rare trophy required to make items as well as the fact that mastering and craft does not make u any better at it, failing just as often before you master the craft as after. The skill trees are kind fun to play around with but there is no balance in skills and everyone tends to lean towards what works over what doesnt which leads to lots of the same ole people with the same ole skills. Loot is plenty but 99.9 precent of it you will either convert to gold or give away to lower lvls who are trying to raise crafting. Magic items are extremely rare which isnt bad but I have yet to find one that can beat a player made item which is a shame since most of the magic partical effects look great. The story line is a great idea but the dungeons are not challenging at all and most of the time your just run through to the end without being hit once then stand in line or try to kill steal the boss so you can exit to get your exp bonus. However AC2 with all its shortcomings (ie. its still beta) has a certain flavor which even though with repeatition and frustration I still find myself going back to the ruined world of Dereth. Check out simpleton's call 2 review... his list of problems with the game are accurate and will seriously deter alot of peeps from playing or push alot of users away after a few weeks of play. Only 1 month to go lets hope the AC2 dev team has a more complete version they are not showing us!
Summary: Great MMorpg... Grewat value
Review: AC2 is a wonderful game with excellent graphics and a great storyline that's original and not "canned" the gameplay is a lot of fun especially when together with hoards of your friends in a completely online universe :) so come join the fun and help us all rebuild Dereth!!
morizadi of Frostfell
Summary: AC2 has grown up, and the future looks even brighter!
Review: I am not exactly sure what happened with the launch of Asheron's Call 2. It was a game that had everything going for it. The graphics were (and are in many ways are) unsurpassed. The ideas presented were very fresh to the MMORPG community. The implementation of a class based system over a point based open ended system brought a whole new dynamic that the original Asheron's Call seemed to lack. I would say, all in all the game had a very bright future ahead of it... then reality hit, and no one bought the game.
It's hard to say why. I think the fact that Asheron's Call has never been a "typical" fantasy setting put some people off. The setting isn't your typical Tolkien rip off - it is a breath of fresh air IMHO. I also think that a lot of the original players from Asheron's Call 1 were unwilling to "restart" their characters in a new game, and leave behind the high levels and the notoriety that goes along with all of that. Plus, the new class based system was so different that the old players felt betrayed in some way. Some people just hate change.
I played AC2 during beta and several months after launch. I ended up dropping the game because I couldn't get my online buddies to leave Everquest, or Dark Age of Camelot, or even Asheron's Call and join me on my adventures on Dareth. So I gave in and moved on - back to AC, then to DAoC, then to Star Wars Galaxies. Then recently I decided to download the free trial and give it another shot. And I wasn't the only one. After the Star Wars Galaxies debacle and the decent but mediocre arrival of Horizons my online pals were finally ready to try something different. So they also downloaded the trial. Now we are all hooked!
The changes that have been made to this game are amazing. The classes are finally balanced the way they were intended to be. With the addition of a hero level island the level cap has been raised from 50 to 150. The quest system in AC2 is the best I have ever seen in a MMORPG. It sort of reminds me of Morrowind in the fact that there are so many quests available. Actually there is so much new content in the game that I can't believe that the additions were part of the monthly updates, and not as a high priced expansion pack. The graphics engine for the game was / is so far ahead of it's time that the technology still hasn't caught up to it, so even after all of this time the game still looks fantastic. Also, Turbine is in the process of beefing up the crafting system, which is already great. I really can't say enough in praise of this game. I have done a ton of quests, and already seen many sites around the world of Dareth, but I haven't even scratched the surface.
To end I will say this, I have played them all (ok, most of them). You name the MMORPG and I have probably played it. I realize that everyone has different tastes, but what do you have to loose? Download the 15 day trial, and see for yourself. I think you will have a lot of fun, and I think that is something that has been missing from this style of game for a while now - FUN! Finally, Turbine has recently bought back the rights for AC1 and AC2 from Microsoft, and they are promising big things for both games, so the future is only getting brighter. I can't wait!
Summary: Much underestimated - changed a lot since launch
Review: A lot of people describe this game a mediocre or 'needs some work'. Well, the game received 'some work' from the Developers from Turbine. Lots of it. Classes are almost balanced now, content is coming in in big chunks (EVERY MONTH!), UI changes, crafting system is being updated. Player vs Player is being tweaked etc. etc. This game keeps getting better and better.
I've been playing it since Beta and I've enjoyed every minute (well, almost every minute) of it. The changes made are for the most part good ones. And since there's a 15 day FREE trial (see www.ac2insider.com) you can give it a go without paying. That's actually better than any review, because you can check it out yourself. See you in Dereth!!
Summary: It's not AC1, but of course it's not.
Review: AC1 and AC2 are different games. Neither is better in my opinion, but AC2's graphics are great, as is it's combat system. The quests are fun.