|Dev: Perfect World Entertainment|
|Pub: Perfect World Entertainment|
|Release: March 9, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
Like most MMOs out there, there is a fairly elaborate story going on that somehow relates to the quests you are doing, yet you'll probably just phase it out and focus on your more immediate goals. But for a Korean free-to-play MMO, the writing was exceptionally well-translated. Never once did I feel the immersion was broken by a piece of poor grammar or awkward syntax.
Since Forsaken World is completely free to play, there is a real-world currency store nestled within. This store is subtle enough, though, that it's pretty easy to ignore. There is the classic model of introducing players to items via a gift box that functions much like a Russian nesting doll: each gift box contains some useful items and another gift box that can be opened at a higher level. These items usually have a time limit on them, so players will get used to having them at their disposal. After the time limit is up, the item disappears, forcing the player to either purchase the item or learn to play without it. While this isn't a brand new concept in the free-to-play scene, it's a pretty clever way to get players used to the way certain items function before they decide whether or not the item is worth purchasing.
The control scheme feels pretty familiar to MMO veterans. However, the camera angle doesn't change to follow the character. For example, you can spin a circle, yet the camera stays in place. This makes for a lot of awkward manual camera adjustment as you explore the world of Eryda.
Adding to this awkwardness is the fact that enemies respawn almost instantly. It feels weird to kill a monster and watch it respawn again within seconds. And there is the typical MMO "this-is-a-quest-item" sparkly glow to guide players to the proper items, but this glow doesn't always go away after completing quests. There are places where you'll be able to interact with quest items you shouldn't be able to interact with – especially in the starting areas – making subsequent quests more confusing.
One absolutely fantastic control feature, however, is the auto-routing ability. This allows players to simply click on the name of a NPC or quest item to have their character automatically walk to the desired location. This makes exploration a breeze, since you won't waste time wandering around completely lost. You don't need to use it if you believe in finding things on your own, but it certainly keeps long trips from getting too mind-numbingly dull. In fact, you can often accomplish things in the real world and the game world at the same time. Try reading a book or doing some chores around the house while your character wanders about. Not everyone will appreciate this, as it subtracts from the exploration element, but personally, I felt pretty grateful for the ability to browse my various menus and things while my character was getting things done.
If you are itching for a decent-quality MMO experience, yet are strapped for cash, Forsaken World offers a fair amount of gameplay for absolutely no cost. However, the gameplay experience isn't nearly as polished as the bigger-name MMOs out there. Whether or not Forsaken World will compete in the Western MMO market is yet to be determined, but its lack of price tag certainly makes it worth the download.
CCC Contributing Writer