is getting harder and harder to carve out a niche in the world of
massively multiplayer online RPGs, but Turbine has really produced a
superior product with great potential. Asherons Call 2: Fallen Kings
looks great and plays very well. Asherons Call, the first installment,
was a quality title, but you can tell that the developers have paid
attention to what worked and what needed to get cut out when formulating
the sequel. Despite the technical woes of opening an MMORPG, AC2 manages
to catch gamers and keep them riveted.
story of AC2 picks up centuries after its predecessor. The citizens of
Dereth had come together to enjoy a golden age of prosperity and peace.
Unfortunately, war broke out between Asheron and some of the other big
hitters like the leader of the Virindi, those cloaked, masked creatures
responsible for so many misadventures. Their war unleashed cataclysmic
forces that ripped apart the landscape and warped the flora and fauna.
Asheron protected Lugians, Humans, and Tumeroks within several
sanctuaries where they were to wait till the world was safe to return
to. Apparently the scouts are returning and the three races are
venturing back into the wild.
only was the wildlife twisted, the once grand cities have been decimated
as well. This may come as unwelcome news to many who were used to the
large, heavily populated towns of AC1. Finding large gatherings in AC2
is a bit tough, which sort of instills a sense of loneliness, a rather
unattractive feeling in a genre meant to encourage social interaction. I
believe that feeling will be temporary, though as AC2 gets players to
explore different relationships. In fact, as players work together and
finish the story-driven quests, they will begin to rebuild those
three playable races in AC2 are Humans, Lugians, and Tumeroks. Humans
are described as a smart and resourceful group, easily adaptable and
lethal with a bow. Lugians, a large, muscle bound race are bound by
honor and make devastating melee fighters. Tumeroks are more reptilian
in appearance and have a distinct contact with the magical elements.
Make no mistake, though, any of the races can competently fulfill any of
the three basic skill sets: melee, missile, and magic. Once youve
chosen a race and a progressed enough through the game in one of the
basic skill sets, you can choose to specialize within that set. Each
basic skill set has two special classes per race. For example: Your
Lugian melee fighter reaches level 15, the level required before
specialization is possible. At this point you may choose to become
either a Lugian Berserker, a dual wielding damage machine with meager
defenses, or a Lugian Juggernaut, a very strong and heavily defended
warrior. Both of these classes have their own skill tree. Players are
not forced to specialize, though. They may progress through the basic
skill trees themselves if that makes them happy.
point to this is that the more you specialize in a certain class, the
more powerful youll become, but also it will mean your added need for
support from a fellowship. The Lugian Berserker, for example, is capable
of dealing out massive amounts of damage, but will never be used to the
fullest extent without an accomplished healer to keep his vitals stable.
This will play an even more important role in the kingdom conflict.
players reach level 10 they are able to align themselves with one of
three kingdoms. There is the choice of the kingdom of Order, Shadow, and
Dominion. You can also choose not to join a faction and remain neutral.
Naturally if these governments are at odds then their subjects will be
too. This sets the stage for full-scale conflicts, wars if you will,
especially since the territory where rare resources are found may be
taken over and held by any of the three factions. All players have a
rating depending on how many members of opposing factions theyve bested
as well. The more points one earns towards this rating, special skills
unique to their faction will become available.
are some of the nuts and bolts under the hood of AC2, but many may want
to know how good she looks. Folks, without a doubt this is one of the
most beautiful games of its type. Witnessing breathtaking sunrises and
sunsets along with sprawling landscape isnt an uncommon experience in
AC2. The architecture is fabulous. Turbine went a long way creating the
majestic traces of a grand civilization, now reduced to history.
I wouldve liked to see more appearance options during the player
creation phase, the existing options make some uniqueness possible. The
player models themselves look fantastic, sporting some of the best
detail Ive ever seen. Turbine has instituted an ambitious sound setup
as well. The music is related to the location of the player as well as
the various beasts theyre around at the time. Players can even collect
musical instruments and make music of their own together.
is shaping up to be quite an unforgettable experience despite the
technical difficulties many customers have had since its release. These
problems are inherent in such a large MMORPGs opening month. Hopefully
server crashes and the like will be a thing of the past one day, but at
present AC2 is not immune. As time passes, though, the kinks are getting
all accounts Asherons Call 2: Fallen Kings represents a distinct
evolution from its predecessor. This title has been streamlined in order
to better harness action and teamwork. This setup promises some big
clashes and memorable moments. Exciting installments, like the addition
of mounts, are already on the way. Turbine definitely has the experience
and knowledge to really make AC2 shine in the future. That seems almost
like a forgone conclusion, though, because this game is already rocks.