Publisher: Perfect World
Developer: Perfect World
System requirements: Windows 2000/XP/Vista/Win 7, 1 GHz Pentium IV or faster CPU, 1 GB RAM (2 GB for XP, 3 GB for Vista/Win 7), 8 GB hard-drive space, 256 MB GeForce 6200/Radeon 9550 or better graphics card with Shader Model 2.0 support, DirectX 9.0c-compatible sound card
ESRB rating: Not rated at press time
Release date: TBA
True story: I lost a friend to a Perfect World game about two years ago. I still have no idea where he is. Last I heard, a mutual friend of ours found him while playing the latest addition to the PWE lineup, Forsaken World. In a last-ditch effort to locate them again, I downloaded the game and entered the world before me. My goals were pretty clear: I had to find them and figure out what aspects of the game kept them sucked in. Fear not, my friends, I will find you. Maybe.
Forsaken World‘s title isn’t just a clever hook. As you can imagine, the game world isn’t a great place right now. Eyrda was created by two deities in a yin-and-yang scenario; one brought order, while the other brought chaos. The story is a bit hard to follow in some of the details, but these gods left the world to continue exploring the cosmos, with the only remnants of their time spent there visible in their kids. The Children of Order brought prosperity and the creation of the races of Eyrda, with most of the races bearing a resemblance to their respective creators. The lone Child of Chaos brought about the wars, which you find referenced here and there in the game, leading to the end of the gods’ era. With the absence of these beings, the fate of Eyrda remains in the hands of her inhabitants.
I’m going to skip my usual “you can choose between the following classes” bit, as our preview has already touched on this. I will mention that, depending on the race you choose, some of the classes might not be available to you. The two race/class combinations I looked at were the Elven Bard (no surprise) and the Kindred Vampire, both of which were race-restricted classes. At Level 20 you begin gaining talent points, helping expand the power of the class you’ve chosen. The gameplay is what you would normally expect from an MMORPG; you can use the WASD controls if you like, but clicking on where you are going was my choice in the end.
A trend I’ve noticed and enjoyed, which Forsaken World has implemented, is the astrological sign. Once an hour you’re able to use an ability called “pray.” You ask for fortune from the gods, sometimes increasing your character’s buffs or the likelihood of gaining better drops. The lazy side of me loved another feature: you know how you can track quests in other games and they show up on the right-hand side of the screen? In Forsaken World, if you click on what you’re supposed to be seeking, the game automatically walks your character there. I managed to get up, grab a snack, and once in a while do some dishes; it was stellar. For a first-time player, I thought the scheduler is a great addition. It helps you plan out your play time, letting you know what’s available as far as quests and events, making the game very newbie-friendly. Another feature to mention is the cash shop. It caters to the needs of both the power gamers and the aesthetic players, if you can afford it.
With all the good I’ve enjoyed, there’s always some bad, and I managed to find it pretty quickly upon logging in. The world is beautiful, but your character looks a little on the dated side. High-resolution mode and maxed-out graphics options don’t do much at all, and this threw me off a little bit. The look of the characters reminded me a lot of the Legacy of Kain series, which I loved, but I didn’t enjoy this look in a “next-generation MMO.” Character proportions are something I’ve never discussed before in a review; I suppose there’s a time for everything. My male Kindred had a three-inch waist, a ridiculously puffed up chest and huge hands, and the Elf wasn’t very far off from that. The last of my graphical griping concerns the particle effects, which at times looked a tad hokey. I found myself wincing as I cast some of my vampire skills; the effects would often blur out my character’s face and sometimes his body as I attacked creatures surrounding me. I thought it might’ve been just me, but when I sent some feelers out to friends currently playing, they said they noticed it as well. Questing in most MMOs is supposed to somehow advance the story along. I found most of the missions to be pretty dry, and often times I became disinterested in the lore.
Forsaken World and it’s publisher/developer have their fan base, who remain ever dedicated. The game’s pretty and inviting to new players of the genre, but I just couldn’t become immersed by it. PWE gets a lot of credit; each game they release has changes from the previous world they’ve created. I think if they upped the ante with their graphics, they could move up in weight class and contend with the bigger boys out there. For those of you looking for an MMO to try out to see what the genre is all about, this one would be a great choice. It’s a good blend of elements from a lot of other games out there, but it just wasn’t my pint.