Games Review: Aion

4.00

A worthy challenger to World of Warcraft crown

In the wake of some failed wannabe World of Warcrafts, gamers often wonder if there could ever be another game as popular.

It's too easy and too dangerous to make predictions here, but South Korea's NCSoft's vast new multiplayer online game, Aion for PC, is the latest worthy challenger. For me - as an alternative to WoW, I'm very impressed.



The game has a big following in South-east Asia and it's been adopted well for western audiences. WoW has more than 11 million subscribers, something other wannabes have not been able to even get near.



Early signs are promising for the Korean company, which was a successful pioneer in early online games.



In Europe, more than 400,000 had ordered the game before it was released and there are reports that there are more than 3.5m subscribers in Asia playing the game.



There's a lot to like here, starting with the stunning graphics (which uses the pretty world and creatures to dazzle), especially if you have a good graphics card (although not needed). Amazing natural effects - like water, mist, waves and trees in the breeze - along with spells and nasty monsters have a lot more polygons to show off than expected.



On top, the gameplay is silky smooth and Oceanic servers mean close hardware with less lag. It's built on a version of the Cry Engine, made famous from the FarCry FPS genre.



In the story, you've lost your memory in a world called Atreia, where you ascend to divinity and fight in a huge celestial war. It's a world that has been torn in two with the resulting two races trying to survive.



They have a common enemy for the civil war and need to help each other to keep living. Every character can fight and challenge other players.



Check out the trailer:

It's too easy and too dangerous to make predictions here, but South Korea's NCSoft's vast new multiplayer online game, Aion for PC, is the latest worthy challenger. For me - as an alternative to WoW, I'm very impressed.The game has a big following in South-east Asia and it's been adopted well for western audiences. WoW has more than 11 million subscribers, something other wannabes have not been able to even get near.Early signs are promising for the Korean company, which was a successful pioneer in early online games.In Europe, more than 400,000 had ordered the game before it was released and there are reports that there are more than 3.5m subscribers in Asia playing the game.There's a lot to like here, starting with the stunning graphics (which uses the pretty world and creatures to dazzle), especially if you have a good graphics card (although not needed). Amazing natural effects - like water, mist, waves and trees in the breeze - along with spells and nasty monsters have a lot more polygons to show off than expected.On top, the gameplay is silky smooth and Oceanic servers mean close hardware with less lag. It's built on a version of the Cry Engine, made famous from the FarCry FPS genre.In the story, you've lost your memory in a world called Atreia, where you ascend to divinity and fight in a huge celestial war. It's a world that has been torn in two with the resulting two races trying to survive.They have a common enemy for the civil war and need to help each other to keep living. Every character can fight and challenge other players.Check out the trailer:

The ability to customise characters is on a par with the best and with the richer environments it means more staring at the screen.



Multiplayer online is a live-or-die scenario, but this company has set a very good example for others to follow because almost every session ends with at least one item obtained, an achievement unlocked or a quest completed.



Early on in the online game came the inevitable ‘gold spam', which became more and more a nuisance, but soon the game moderators running the servers dealt to the spammers with updates that banned spammers who soon started to disappear. Players I have encountered in the last three weeks have been well behaved, friendly and fun, another good omen that this game has longevity.



Group modes have six players and various item collection modes. Guilds or legions have their own accounts in the warehouse, along with a player account for the eight characters maximum per server (either Asmodian or Elyos). Certain game quests require a number of your players on the same server at certain levels to unlock them.



So far there are 50 levels. At level 10 players get their "wings' which enables them to do some limited gliding in the playground (Poeta). In flight combat with spells and archery from altitudes of less than 25m is a completely new experience.



It's also at that stage that the landscape opens up to reveal its beauty and the races diversify. As you spread your wings you also get responsibility to take on a major and minor craft to build accessories (e.g. earrings, necklaces) through to creating a custom set of protective gear with the armoursmith trade.



You get an account "cube" to store all your stuff, and an expandable inventory (purchased) with a bank of slots for each character (a nice ice touch for managing your flow of aether and ores).



It's hard to fault the mechanics and the lag I've encountered is pretty minor. Chat-filtering and block-lists - along with game channels - make the game an enjoyable play with pals.



All in all, I've been hooked on this for some weeks and can see I'd like to play this long term as it's fun and feels different from other similar MMORPGs.



It's a standout title all on its own - which is a good thing as it doesn't need the inevitable comparison with WoW.

Source: NZ Herald

Arts and Entertainment
Jeremy Clarkson, left, and Richard Hammond upset the locals in South America
tvSpoiler alert: It has been talked about for months
Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones actor Kit Harington
tv
Voices
Almost one in 10 of British soliders fall victim to serious psychiatric side-effects after being prescribed Lariam.
CHRISTMAS APPEALThis is how one charity is using that 'waste' to feed Britain's war heroes
Life and Style
Facebook has apologised after a new feature inviting users to review a collection of their 2014 highlights caused some to be confronted with pictures of their recently deceased family members and friends
tech
PROMOTED VIDEO
Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookPart of The Independent’s new eBook series The Great Composers
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Web Development Manager

    £20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

    Recruitment Genius: PHP Web Developer

    £30000 - £50000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a Web Developer looking...

    Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache, MySQL, Moodle)

    £35000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Moodle Developer (PHP ,Linux, Apache...

    Recruitment Genius: Web Developer

    £17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

    Day In a Page

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    A timely reminder of the bloody anniversary we all forgot

    Who remembers that this week we enter the 150th anniversary year of the end of the American Civil War, asks Robert Fisk
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    Former soldiers pay their respects to a friend who also served
    Downfall of Dustin 'Screech' Diamond, the 'Saved By The Bell' star charged with bar stabbing

    Scarred by the bell

    The downfall of the TV star charged with bar stabbing
    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Why 2014 was a year of technological let-downs

    Security breaches and overhyped start-ups dominated a year in which very little changed (save the size of your phone)
    Cuba's golf revolution: But will the revolutionary nation take 'bourgeois' game to its heart?

    Will revolutionary Cuba take 'bourgeois' golf to its heart?

    Fidel Castro ridiculed the game – but now investment in leisure resort projects is welcome
    The Locked Room Mysteries: As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor Otto Penzler explains the rules of engagement

    The Locked Room Mysteries

    As a new collection of the genre’s best is published, its editor explains the rules of engagement
    Amy Adams on playing painter Margaret Keane in Tim Burton's Big Eyes

    How I made myself Keane

    Amy Adams hadn’t wanted to take the role of artist Margaret Keane, because she’d had enough of playing victims. But then she had a daughter, and saw the painter in a new light
    Ed Richards: Parting view of Ofcom chief. . . we hate jokes on the disabled

    Parting view of Ofcom chief... we hate jokes on the disabled

    Bad language once got TV viewers irate, inciting calls to broadcasting switchboards. But now there is a worse offender, says retiring head of the media watchdog, Ed Richards
    A look back at fashion in 2014: Wear in review

    Wear in review

    A look back at fashion in 2014
    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015. Might just one of them happen?

    Ian Herbert: My 10 hopes for sport in 2015

    Might just one of them happen?
    War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

    The West needs more than a White Knight

    Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
    Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

    'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

    Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

    Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
    The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

    The stories that defined 2014

    From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
    Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

    Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

    Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?