Game Name: Dungeons & Dragons Online: Stormreach
Developer(s): Turbine Inc.
Release Date: Available Now: Feb 28, 2006
This online role-playing game lives up to its namesake as far as the quality of its action-packed qu
Dungeons and Dragons Online [PC]
”You better bring a shield!”
Dungeons and Dragons online is the online and free to play version of the Dungeons and Dragons franchise. In Dungeons and Dragons online or DDO for short you have the ability to discover hidden treasure, fight with monsters and make your way through dungeons brimming with creatures, traps and puzzles.
How it looks
The game although an online game seems to be very well presented compared to some of the MMORPGS out there. The game is in the typical monster and demons field, it has all the usual spells, weapons and monsters to make you shout, oooh ahhh. The game although is stuck in this genre with the way it looks. To me there is no defining characteristic which can separate the way this game looks to any other title in the MMORPG genre. Don’t get me wrong, the game looks good, the environments are full of objects and the dungeons are well stocked with nice looking scenery, some which is better than in other games. But there is nothing which shouts out that this is a visually stunning game.
How it works
If you haven’t played an MMORPG before then you probably won’t know what to expect, if you have you will find all the usual things in DDO such as a multitude of quests, skills and races. As you start the game you choose which skills you want, the look and the gender of your character and what class you want to be. All these define what you do and how you play the game, normally I would say unless you know what you are doing then go wild and select what you want, but in DDO it does pay off to read what is the best for what you want to do. For example if you want to mainly improve you’re fighting skills then it’s a pretty good idea to select one of the warrior classes which will offer you the most. Like with most if not all MMORPGS you have some sort of store in which you can buy items, and achievements etc. These help you progress through the game and also help the online communities market and economy prosper. So basically the more you play the more you get from the game.
When in the game you can choose to do quests for the many AI characters, most of them involve going from point A to point B and then fighting your way through a dungeon filled with nasties. But some are quite challenging, I found myself playing on a ‘hard’ (and I use that loosely) quest in which I had to fight my way through a series of caves, switch on some power sources *ahem* crystals. Then I came face to face with my first dragon, I thought to myself it’s about bl**dy time. But anyway once I had managed to get that far, I slid past it to continue onto the next step of the quest which was to meet up with my cohorts, only to die by a nasty zombie and had to start again. So what I’m basically saying is, when you are about to start a mission make sure that you either can do it or are sufficiently prepared or else you will easily get frustrated and probably give up.
The AI in this game to be honest could be better, it seems like you are dealing with mindless automatons sometimes (Yes technically they are). However when fighting or approaching AI characters, especially those which are hostile towards you (which is all of them), they both don’t react or do and then don’t take hits. You will find yourself jumping round (literally) trying to get a hit without taking one. Obviously the general idea is to play and then improve your skills which enable you to hit more and also to do more damage, thus allowing you to progress and fight bigger and bigger foes.
How it plays
I would be unkind if I said this was an enthralling game, having only played it for 2 weeks on and off. But the game generally didn’t seem to pull me in, playing it felt like a chore. Now I am not saying I didn’t look forward to playing it and yes I even tried to get off the ‘tutorial’ island, but I thought that the introduction was too small and the way that you are thrust into the world felt a little out of place. When you have mastered the initial dungeon in which you must get to the treasure and then escape you are presented with an open world (well almost). You must do enough
Controls and ease of use
I have found that some MMO’s in the past have been either very complicated to control, have a lack of control or are just plain impossible to master. DDO is quite easy to control with a standard keyboard and mouse setup. The game has the ability to go into a sort of first person mode which is quite peculiar for most MMORPGS of this type. The reason being is it is actually controllable and you can play quite happily without having to go back into the normal third person mode. The mouse controls the movement of the camera or head if you will and the wasd keys control the movement of the scenery, i.e. your legs.
The whole idea of going into a dungeon in which you have to solve tasks and try to either discover information, a person or an item is something which I like. The idea behind the game and the fact that it has evolved from earlier games to an online experience is something that amazes me.
The AI could be better when it comes to fighting and detection. When in a battle it’s hit-and-miss whether you can hit the target.
The Just plain Ugly
I wouldn’t say there is anything particularly ugly about the game, the only thing which in my opinion could be improved to such a degree is the introduction.
I like the concept of this game and the way it feels to control, but it does have its downsides. Yes this game is still a beta and yes there are bugs and probably some things which will be changed or improved but generally this game is for those who are fans of the Dungeons and Dragons scene, for those who only have a passing interest then this game is probably not for you. I know this may seem harsh but there are a lot of MMORGS in this genre and style and there are more of them which seem to offer a lot more.