Robert Pattinson’s got nothing on these girls.
I don’t know about you, but the first thing that pops into my head when I hear “free-to-play MMORPG” is gross, muddy, unpolished graphics. The difference between free-to-play and paid subscription-based MMOs evokes a juxtaposition similar to the early NES RPGs and wall-of-text MUD games made when I was a kid (do kids today even know what MUDs are anymore?). That preconception was thoroughly shattered the first time I created a character in Forsaken World.
[image1]While they’re still not totally on par with a modern MMO with huge production values behind it, Forsaken World narrows the graphical gap between free and paid significantly, due in no small part to the fact that this isn’t Perfect World’s first foray into MMOs—not by a long shot. The character models really steal the show, besting all but the most recent productions and putting to shame the blocky, seven-year-old textures of my poor orcs in WoW. It’s not all a “perfect world”, however (man, even I feel bad about that one); the 3D environments aren’t nearly as impressive as the characters, looking very muddy and jagged if you zoom in close.
Still, that’s a small price to pay for gorgeous characters. I’m sure all the lonely nerds out there who try this game are going to go straight for the seductive and amply-busted female Kindred characters, who are a race of vampires just trying to do some good and clean up their bad name. Thankfully, unlike your Twilight do-gooder vampires, Kindred look and behave badass enough to make them the coolest race in the game, among your far more generic humans, elves, dwarves, and stonemen.
The gameplay is very much a free-to-play attempt at mimicking the successful formulas of MMOs like WoW, Everquest, and FFXI. Quests, professions, talents, instances, guilds, pets, achievements, auction houses—if you’ve heard of it in a popular MMO, you’ll find some form of it in Forsaken World. And it all works surprisingly well, for the most part. There’s even a more original addition to the gameplay in prayer, which you can do at set intervals four times a day to call upon the gods’ favor. Prayer rewards you with experience, and if you’re lucky, some pretty valuable loot.
[image2]Considering that you don’t have to pay anything for it, the game is definitely worth any time you put in. But there are still some parts that are rough around the edges, of course. One of the most useful features is the ability to click any important NPC's name in your quest log to have your character auto-route to the destination – useful, but not without some drawbacks. It certainly takes away from some of the adventurous feeling of being out there in an epic fantasy world to be able to auto-run wherever you need go without even consulting the map. The auto-routing also sometimes fails to take the intuitive route, leading to some situations where you get stuck on an object or slide down a slope in perma-fall animation.
Forsaken World is also sorely lacking in PvP options, which has become almost a necessary staple of the MMO. Sure, you can duel players or do some basic world PvP out there in Eyrda, but without battlegrounds or arena matches it falls flat really fast. Without major opposing factions to side with, there’s really nothing to galvanize players into combat with each other anyway.
That’s also evidenced by the fact that there’s just one main city, Freedom Harbor, which is shared by all players. It’s hard to maintain the open hostilities and rivalries that necessitate PvP when everyone is everyone else’s neighbor, ain’t it?
[image3]But Forsaken World still does a very admirable job with free-to-play PvE content that is rich enough to keep you coming back for more. The game still has a lot of room to grow, with only about a third of the main continent being used for playable zones and a handful of instances to enter, but this is a solid foundation to work on.
As a free-to-play MMO, Perfect World intends to earn profit through micro-transactions. With Zen, Perfect World’s currency that can be spent on any of their games, you can purchase Eyrda leaves in Forsaken World that you then spend in the Eyrda Boutique. This one-stop shop that can be accessed with a simple button press at any time has all kinds of goodies. Some are useful in combat, like potions and the like, while some are for utility like inventory space upgrades, mounts, and pets. The largest part of the Boutique is dedicated to fashion, where you can buy stat-less gear that looks super sexy. The great part about fashion items is that you can choose whether your character shows your current gear or the items that make up your fashion “profile”.
It’s free, it’s pretty, and it’s got hot, busty vampire chicks. If any of those things interest you, Forsaken World is worth checking out.