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Review: Drakensang Online
Drakensang Online is a browser based MMO in the open beta stage. It has a standard fantasy quest format, though that’s not really a bad thing. It reminds me of the old Forgotten Realms games like Icewind Dale, which I spent hours playing and enjoyed immensely.
There are three classes available right now, Dragonknight, Spellweaver and Ranger. My favorite is the Spellweaver, because the spell effects are very dramatic and well done. Unlike some games where the magic-user is less powerful than the other characters, in this game I had no problem killing the same difficulty of monsters as with the Dragonknight or the Ranger. In fact, I might have been killing them better because the spells could take out more enemies at one time.
Combat is fast fun and furious. The monsters come in waves and don’t really stop as you move from place to place. The Spellweaver’s fireball is an incredibly cool looking attack. It was unbelievably fun to gather up a bunch of enemies and then hit them with multiple fireballs. I felt like cheering as the monsters melted in the flames. Two of the character’s attacks are linked to the mouse buttons, with a third being accessible through the tab plus right mouse button key.
Leveling was pretty easy as mobs were plentiful, though some of the upgrades for weapons and armor in the lower levels felt a bit too much the same, because there might only be one or two points difference between the new sword I could afford to buy and the one I already had.
The money system is a reason gamers might decide to give Drakensang a pass, because some of the stronger items are bought with Andermant, a metal that’s found in small amounts in the game but can be bought in larger quantities. While some may balk at paying money to get items in a “free” game, it’s a common tactic in games with no subscription fee and if you don’t want to pay you can always farm it since it does drop out in the world.
There are some interesting special prizes that gamers can acquire in Drakensang, most of which concern vanity pets. For instance, logging in for seven days in a row gives you components for a fairy summoning wand. Once you get them all, then you can summon a fairy pet. Inviting friends gets you bonuses as well, all the way up to a phoenix egg. There’s also a dragon pet.
None of these ideas are new, but the game is fun enough to keep a player’s interest and the monsters come at you so fast that it doesn’t even feel like you’re killing the umpteenth Gremlin in order to get that peat shovel back. That Gremlin wants your head. It needs to be taken out before it can get it! The quest item drops are fine and good, but Drakensang’s focus is a little more on taking out them before they take out you.