We have been playing the alpha version of Swords of Legends Online for several hours. This Asian MMORPG is beautiful, thought-provoking and has the best of classic MMORPGs and Chinese acrobatic battle movies. We tell you our first impressions.
Surely you are more than clear that we should all be very aware of what comes from China or Korea. Not a week goes by without a video of something new that is brewing there, and that is surprising, appears on twitter. All of these video games, from the most recent The Black Myth: Wukong, one of the most anticipated, repeat the same pattern: they reproduce the ideas of the most popular video games that have been made around the world, adding a mysticism, a heritage and a way of filming the action and representing them typical of Asian cinema.
In my opinion, these titles are still in the phase of finding themselves. They are like teenagers who imitate what they like about their elders to discover what they want to be in life, but in a few years I am sure that they will stop copying those fundamentals and show absolutely great and fantastic ideas. Time to time.
One of those productions that are in this emerging phase is Swords of Legends Online. This title is an MMORPG with a lot of inspiration in the classic open world and massive role-playing games, but with a couple of details that give it its own personality. The playable base is the one we already know: we choose a character, male or female, and edit their appearance through a very complete editor.
We choose a class and start the game. As we progress through the game, complete missions and level up, we will unlock new abilities, weapons, and mounts. We will also get money with which to buy many aesthetic elements. There is a great story that articulates it all, and also minor tasks.
And what is the grace of Swords of Legends Online? How does it manage to trap you in its formula ? Well, through their combat and that plot that is formed minute by minute. Swords of Legends Online, like most MMORPGs, places the abilities that you can use in a lower menu. We activate them by pressing a key on the computer or by clicking on each one with the mouse.
In many MMORPGs, these skills have a long cool down that requires you to be very strategic in the order of use of each of them. It’s like using a spell in a JRPG: there is an animation, a summoning time, it is used… However, Swords of Legends Online is more agile than that. When activating them we make more or less rapid attacks depending on your class that make combo with another ability. In other words, we have to be quick to move from one to another, because their dynamics are more like beat’em up than an RPG as such.
MMORPG with the dynamism of Chinese action cinema
To support this game design, scenarios are often especially full of enemies, and the fun is knowing how to combine different attack and defense powers in time to lengthen the combo. Swords of Legends Online manages to offer a fresh and enjoyable pace of play, but it’s not perfect. Sometimes moving around and pressing the keys is not entirely comfortable, and with the mouse it is easy to get lost.
That is to say, it needs to develop more that wonderful taste of hitting buttons when we play a fighting title. He also overuses the same type of enemies too much, and to make things difficult, he sometimes tends to turn them into punching sponges. But even if the system is not perfect, it does end up working well. We can charge the blows, start the combo from a distance, run away… The enemy’s AI is not perfect either, which helps to worry more about attack than defense.
The other interesting aspect of the game is its story and its setting. There is a great evil in Swords of Legends Online to defeat, a collection of powerful swords and a wide cast of characters with a tendency to betray each other. What they tell you is very suggestive, especially since the settings, the architectures and the design of situations seem to be taken from a Chinese painting.
But there are problems in the technical section and how the story connects to its game world. The characters have hardly any animations during cut scenes. When one of them wants to express surprise, instead of being astonished, you will see that in his lines of text it is written: “he says it with a face of astonishment”. Swords of Legends Online has an attractive art direction, but it lacks a lot of muscle and more inspired creatures to beat.
This precariousness of media is also evident in the way in which he connects what his story tells you with what happens. For example: you find a queen standing in the middle of the field. Two steps away from her there is a war. She explains without changing the gesture that you help her soldiers, who are having a terrible time, but she tells you about it as if it were happening in distant lands and she could have miraculously escaped.
You take two steps and you start killing enemies. You go back to her and she is very happy… It’s weird. And all the time there is this dissonance, this so strange, this disconnect between the reality of the game and what they explain to you…. But then you start to gain skills, they give you missions, you get new powers, you buy clothes with all the money they give you and how much they reward you, and you play and play and play… Because yes, as with Genshin Impact, it tastes very well how to hook.
If you go in here, it will cost you to get out For every step you take, they reward you, for every new place you arrive, they reward you. And if you decide to stop playing, they reward you if you keep playing.
Not the best MMORPG, but it knows how to hook you
Despite these technical and narrative problems, the game has good ideas in its combat. It has systems to make your own home, it is very guided by its history and can be enjoyed alone. The game will appear on Steam throughout the summer of 2021 for a price of € 39.99.
And I already tell you that these errors that I have mentioned are corrected by the way it catches you. As I said at the beginning of the article, the game lacks a bit more personality at the base of its structure, but it is a good example of the path that the development of the country wants to take in terms of MMORPGs.