After three closed betas and a few days of head start for Founder’s Packs owners, Revelation Online has finally stepped into open beta territory on March 6, 2017, which means everyone is now able to play it. It was definitely a very hyped game and My.com, publisher of Skyforge, went all the way to make sure that this MMORPG got plenty of attention from North American and European players. Developed by NetEase, this is one of the few Chinese MMORPGs to get a full, unwavering release on western territories – other games from China include Age of Wushu, Perfect World or Swordsman Online, but the numbers could increase steadily from now on, with Moonlight Blade being just one example.
Anyway, back to Revelation Online, a game that was inspired by the books of Chinese writer Jiang Nan and features a large, seamless, open world game with unrestricted flight, unlike other games such as Aion or Blade & Soul (in this one it’s more gliding than flying). Although it’s far from a perfect game and still needs quite a bit of polish during the open beta, it has a lot going for it. Let’s see some things that Revelation does right.
Perfect timing for release
It’s no secret that currently there is a creepy lack of proper MMORPGs in development, even more when we mention upcoming releases for 2017. Everyone seems to be focusing on digital card games – now that the MOBA craze is calming down a bit – or your standard competitive “me too” shooter. Everyone wants to be the next Overwatch, it seems. But as far as MMORPGs go, even the once prolific South Korea is on a transition phase, directing resources to mobile games, which are faster to develop, use less resources and can yield a much bigger return than PC games, if the game manages to be a hit. Anyway, for this year we are looking forward to Bless Online and MU Legend, but Revelation Online was the first one to arrive and the open beta began in March, when there’s no new MMORPG in the horizon. It’s perfect timing for players to keep busy for a few months and remind themselves that this once was a genre that offered many more options. Maybe next year things will improve, right?
No gender lock
This is almost weird to point as a positive, but in the last few years we began to see MMORPGs with classes, characters and whatever stuff that was forcing players to settle for someone they didn’t really identify themselves with. For example, you love that Valkyrie class that is coming to TERA, but why did it have to be locked to the female Castanic race? Black Desert Online is other game that also has gender lock, but at least the developers are doing their best to offer alternatives for each class, such as Witch and Wizard. This is probably a way to save on the creation of additional assets for the other gender, or to streamline the story in ways that will become evident later on. Revelation Online does no such thing and allows players to create their own in-game persona without limitations, inserting themselves into the game as a representation of their own image or some other that they imagine at the time. If we go into an MMO to spend months, even years, it’s better to let us create the avatar we want without limitations.
Combat in Revelation Online isn’t far removed from many other MMORPGs and your enjoyment may depend on the class you choose. It’s the kind of faux action combat that many games resort to, even offering you the option of picking from three layouts. Ultimately it’s pretty much your usual tab-targeting system with plenty of moving around to make it a lot more fluid and an enjoyable experience. You’ll spam a lot of abilities while avoiding your enemies’ attacks and your hands won’t rest still in your keyboard, with the boss fights highlighting this. Combat is close to Blade & Soul, not quite up there with TERA or Guild Wars 2, but it’s still a decent pot-pourri of what has come before.
It’s a good thing that the combat system works as PvP plays a large part in Revelation Online, with 10v10, 20v20, 30v30, arena duels and more to test your skills. There’s a nice balance between the classes and the experience is worthwhile.
Revelation Online isn’t the most uniform game out there, visually speaking. It’s like some locations and settlements were crafted as a pure labour of love, while others were just created without the same care, just for the sake of being there. The choice of color is wonderful at one point and in the next it just seems dull and off-putting. It’s no triple-A stuff by any means, especially when we look closely at some textures, but there’s a lot of praise to go to the mob and boss design, and some of the locations (especially the nature-filled ones) are just beautiful. Overall this is a game that knows how to appeal to your visual senses and while it can be an uneven experience, it’s one that is impressive at times. And that narwhal… damn!
A marriage system is something that isn’t unusual in MMORPGs, and Revelation Online also includes such a system. So, if you hang around with your buddy, completing quests and dungeons with him/her, you’ll eventually see your intimacy points grow up to the point where you can get married and enjoy some of the perks of marriage. Where Revelation takes this a bit further is with the same-sex marriage possibility, so you can leave all your prejudice at the door and just go with whatever suits you. Girl marrying girl? No problem. Man marrying man? Why not? It’s good to see that even games are moving on and adjusting to a world that is in constant change.