Buy 'ENDLESS AGES': PC
The world's first True MMORTFPSRPG! I'll let that soak in for a moment before I explain it. Endless Ages is the latest addition to the massively multi-player online role playing game scene, but as the back of the box proclaims it is actually a [deep breath] massive multi-player real time first person shooter role playing game. What that means is it's just like the others but with a few twists, more than a few actually. The draw of Endless Ages is its attempt to combine deathmatch style FPS gameplay with the RPG elements.
You start the game as you do with others in the same genre, and that's with taking your time to create your character you will use in the game. I was a little disappointed with the customizable attributes and character classes, only 3 with some texture changes to vary your appearance from others. Each class has different statistics and proficiencies which will affect how you progress. The Blobics have low agility but start with much higher HP, the human males have medium agility and middle of the road starting HP, curiously enough the human females have higher agility, but less dexterity and wisdom than their male counterpart. Lastly, the amphibious race has very high marks except for their base HP which is the lowest of the races.
You start the game in a sort of training area that will familiarize you with the controls, how to interact with others, buy things, and fight. You will get a brief overview of "familiars" which are creatures you can ride around on in the gameworld. After talking to everyone, you will be given a sort of mini-quest to bring a potion and an object dropped by the creatures in that area to a particular person, who will then grant you access into the game world.
The controls are responsive enough and the tutorial does a good enough job of familiarizing you with them. I had to re-assign my forward back left and right to [what I assumed was] the standard "WASD", the game defaults to "EDSF" which I found strange, not "touch you in your bathing suit area" strange, but strange.
The interface, while functional, looks really outdated and uninteresting. The artwork for items and weapons could not be more boring. While there is nothing technically wrong with the artwork, it just ends up looking amateur. Many creatures have one texture mapped tile over their whole bodies, and other landscapes have extremely repetitious tiles over them. I'd be lying if I said this game looked good, fortunately Avaria is working on a booster pack where they we will be upgrading all player models, graphics, a huge unified town and a lot more. Needless to say the game will benefit substantially from that.
You start off in one of three different worlds depending on the race you choose. The Colonies is an island that the Bloblic people come from, the humans live on Trendor, and the Amphibious race comes from The Amphibious Island. The first thing I noticed was the look of the game. Trendor had a futuristic feel to it, and the visual style reminded me a lot of Phantasy Star Online. The graphics are sub-par for the course as far as MMORPGs are concerned, and doesn't look as good as Everquest. I also found myself squinting to read any dialogue or information that popped onto screen. I can't recommend setting your resolution up higher than 800x600 unless you have some reading glasses, because the dialogue text all appears at the bottom of the screen in a little box that is quite a strain on the eyeballs if you have your resolution up too high.
The fact that its not clear where you should go to find quests is an annoyance, and leaves the player wandering around talking to anyone and everyone in order to find a NPC with a quest, which range from the not so exciting "kill this thing and bring me that thing", to the painfully dull "stand here for a day". The sound is okay, but the game needs more music bad as this game is far too quiet. The addition of creatures and jet packs and bikes to travel on is a cool idea, but its been done before and much better than in Endless Ages. I think the concept behind Endless Ages is great, and I'd love to see it developed further, but as it is right now is a mediocre mish-mash of the genres with outdated graphics.
I must clarify, despite all of my complaints about the game, it isn't bad for people who need a new flavor for their MMORPG fix, and I know you're out there. Those people who can sit and kill rats all day on Everquest will find some new and fresh things in Endless Ages. For those of you out there, by all means check out the free demo and see if it tickles your fancy. I, personally, am not in danger of being addicted to these kind of games, but then again I haven't tried Star Wars Galaxies yet. [must....resist....temptation] So, this game is not something I can recommend to someone who is a newcomer to MMORPGs. For those that can't get enough of this virtual way of life, may find something to keep them occupied in Endless Ages. I doubt you'll see anyone auctioning off their characters from this one though.
I think the game could be more fun if there were more people playing it, but lets just say I can count on one hand the number of "real people" I ran into while playing this game. The game boasts communities and clans, and had the execution been better I think it would attract more people to play, enriching the game world. In the end, its a great concept that was poorly executed. While Endless Ages can stand tall being the first massive multiplayer online real-tim first person shooter game [we really need a new name for that] its not enough to recommend a purchase.
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