Blade Wars is a new free MMORPG, created by the same Chinese company that brought you Dragon Oath, Changyou. As you probably have guessed by now, the action takes place in Ancient China, in a world of legend filled with heroes, villains, and monsters.
At first sight, the game seemed to me just another Asian grind-fest, but curiosity and hope for a change determined me to give the game a try. Read further on to find out how it turns out.
Did it ever happen to you to be curious about something, only to realize a few moments later that you could have lived the rest of your life without knowing about it? Well… this is exactly what happened to me after giving Blade Wars a try. The beginning though, was quite promising. The first thing I had to do was to choose a class and, surprisingly for an Asian MMO, a race. Although the Abyssals, Humans and Immortals all look the same, it’s a fine touch. About the races, there are the classic Warrior, Knight (Paladin), Assassin, Shura (a kind of monk) and Warlock (Mage), with a healer type, completely gone.
Again, the Assassin was my choice. The first thing I noticed while playing was the traditional Chinese music that really creates a nice atmosphere. Too bad that after a few hours of hearing the same song over and over again you go crazy and have to use good ol’ Winamp. The graphics are a combination of 2D backgrounds and 3D characters. The 2D part is so well drawn that it looks like a work of art. The colors used and the attention given to detail is stunning. When it comes to 3D, though… things start going wrong. The lack of details and quality can’t be hidden by the excessive use of colors and strange effects. Furthermore, except for weapons, there’s almost nothing that changes your character’s appearance. No hat, no shoes, no nothing… disappointing.
With the first impression ruined, I still hoped that the gameplay would be different. I was wrong. As usual in this type of game, I’m welcomed by an old man that has the role of guide for newcomers. He gives you the same boring quests: visit that, speak to that, give this to that. In a few minutes, what is supposed to be a tutorial, ends. Usually, tutorials are meant to teach newbies the mechanics of the game. In Blade Wars, the “tutorial” is nothing more than a number of chores you have to do. After that you are on your own with no other explanation.
After the old-man is done with you, there are many other NPCs that are eager to give you quests. Obviously most of them are kill-x monsters type. A fine touch is the increased reward in case the quest is done in a group. The only problem is, finding someone willing to do it with you, as the population is pretty low almost everywhere. The number of monsters in-game is quite high, but most of them pose no threat. For example, I almost never had to use health potions while killing mobs. These combination of massive numbers of enemies that pose no challenge can mean only one thing – grinding.
The game is very complex. It has auto-routing, very useful when trying to find a certain NPC, pets, mounts and PvP. There are supposedly over 300,000 king-fu moves and 99 styles available (at least that’s what the website says) that combined with a combo system can wreak havoc among monsters. The number of items is also quite impressive. The more I played the more potions gems and other probably useful stuff I found, many of them with an unknown or doubtful purpose. There might be many more undiscovered aspects of the game. But, because there’s nobody to explain anything to you, all these only make the gameplay more complicated.
Obviously, there’s an item shop where you can buy things that help you in-game with real money. Unfortunately, I didn’t bother to check it out as I am sure nobody will be crazy enough to spend a dime on this so called-game.
Some of you might think I was harsh with Blade Wars. Well, if you don’t believe me, just give it a try. But, on the other hand, it’s summer. The sun is up in the sky and there are many other better things to do outside! Just be thankful I did the chore of playing this game for you and go have some real fun.
by Sicaru Adrian