Online role-playing video games are like relationships: sometimes you’re serious about one, sometimes you play the field, and other times no one really strikes your fancy so you’re between games.
I’m currently between online games, so I decided to look around and see what was available. I want to be entertained yet I don’t want to commit, so I was specifically looking at free games.
The Editor suggested Forsaken World. It only has a 66/100 score on Metacritic, which isn’t terrific, but it’s free. And I love free so I gave it a whirl, just for you.
So let’s get some of the bad news out of the way: Whether you wish to play a male or female avatar, it really doesn’t matter — you’re going to end up playing a chick. You say you prefer macho-looking avatars? Go ahead and pick the male avatar, but I guarantee he’s going to look like a chick because everyone is incredibly feminine. Even more bizarre is that the template for their female models is Britney Spears.
Kind of creepy, actually.
There are a lot of interesting classes and races to choose from. Some of them are pretty standard, such as the warrior, priest, mage, and rogue classes. They also have a vampire class, a hunter class that deals in guns, and a bard class that plays a certain combination of chords that will result in buffs or damage.
For our review, I played the vampire class. I had high hopes for playing a vampire. I imagined gritty slayings and ass-kickings. Lots of black leather. Think Kate Beckinsale in Underworld. Sadly, I didn’t get that. I got this:
Honestly, this is the typical style of dress for most female avatars in the game. I believe I named her appropriately.
What I like about this game is that players are given a full set of equipment early on. When NeedPantsPST originally appeared in the game she was wearing some very basic level 1 clothes with no beneficial stats. But there was a box in her inventory. I clicked it and got two things: A new box to be opened at level 5 and a full set of armor, which you see above.
Every time a box is opened, the player receives a new one to be opened 5 levels later. It gives you something to look forward to: presents! Who doesn’t love presents? Okay, so it wasn’t the badass armor I was hoping for, but I was only level 1. In many other games, finding upgraded armor and weapons can be a bit of a chore. In this game, they’re throwing it at you. I don’t want to waste time looking for upgraded armor pieces, I’d rather be doing something on the battlefield.
Speaking of the battlefield, as soon the armor is equipped, it’s time to run out and get your first weapon. The game doesn’t adhere to vampire lore as well as you might have thought:
I didn’t burst into flame, so I figured it was time to start questing. This is where things got interesting: the game employs auto-run. Avatars can either be controlled by the keyboard or by clicking on your map or the landscape. The avatar will run to wherever you’ve clicked. And it gets better. Green text will appear in the quest log. By clicking on the text, the game will auto-run the avatar to wherever the goal is. Once the avatar arrives, the player can then gather, kill, chat, or whatever they’re supposed to do, then click the new green text and auto-run back to turn in the quest.
At first, I wasn’t sure how to feel about this method of travel. But soon enough, I started to like it. I felt like I was getting so much done and I could multitask — if I clicked on the map or my quest text, I could get up and do other things while my avatar was running. It was amazing how efficient the game felt.
Within the hour, I was level 10. That means I was able to go through two more free boxes and get upgraded armor. Honestly, I was super-excited about getting new armor. What my avatar had on was ridiculous and I was ready finally to don some ass-kicking gear that would protect me in battle.
Armor problems aside, I eventually was able to reach the level where I could hang out in instances with friends – level 15. Sadly, none of my screenshots saved. To sum it up, it was pretty simple as far as newbie dungeons go. Experienced dungeon crawlers may not care for it as well. I wonder if the dungeons get harder as the levels increase. It was definitely a dungeon for people who were short on time and just wanted to hang out, kill monsters for a few minutes, and get some armor upgrades.
Another aspect I like is that the maximum size of a group is three people, so it’s not hard to put a group together. I was easily able to wrangle The Editor and one other friend into coming with me, and it was a nice, friendly, low-key time. With metal lingerie.
Folks who are looking for a game that feels efficient and only needs about 30 minutes per sitting may enjoy this. What might get a little confusing is that the game has a “kitchen sink” mentality, where there’s just way too much that a player could be doing. I’ve played quite a few characters to level 15 or higher, and I still couldn’t tell you what all is going on in the game. Aside from crafting and daily quests, there are a million different kinds of faction and reputation to be gained — to be honest, I don’t think any of it really matters.
If you’re interested in hanging out in a technicolor, low-key game with friends for 30+ minutes, this is a fine game to adventure in, as long as you ignore a lot of the extracurricular stuff. If you don’t have friends to adventure with, there are plenty of people who want to get to know you. You just have to be open to them.
If you’d like to give it a try, Forsaken World can be downloaded on Steam. Chances are you won’t totally love it, but you won’t hate it, either. This game can be played for short spurts and still give you a sense of accomplishment. Forsaken World is NOT for hardcore or experienced gamers unless those people are looking to be amused for about 10 minutes. This is casual gaming that got a little out of control with options and a focus on armor sets and costumes. (Yes, the game has costumes. No, I couldn’t bring myself to show them to you. It’s too horrible to even contemplate.)