Godswar Online Review: Greek Mythology meets Free to Play Fantasy MMO
Godswar Online combines the stylings of ancient Greek mythology with a cutesy MMO fantasy like the similarly named God of War does for action games. But how does Godswar Online stack up against other free-to-play MMO adventures?
Okay, so it's not fair to even come close to comparing Godswar Online to Sony's God of War; although both games use the same Greek mythology underpinnings, the former uses the free-to-play fantasy MMO concept on a cutesy design, whereas the latter is a complete brutal action, in-your-face in-your-face takeout. Having played a few other free-to-play MMO games, I was curious in taking this opportunity as to how Godswar Online stacks up against other MMO games out there.
However, I do unfortunately have a number of issues with the game and I don't believe I'm even sure that Godswar Online can even hold up to other MMO titles out there, even in the growing free-to-play MMO space. Simply put, there are a number of demerits against this game versus other titles that I am familiar with as this rap sheet will attest.
Graphics and Presentation
My first gripe: the visuals could use a few changes in certain instances. As some of the later points will attest, this is only good for the youngsters and not the hardcore, older players who practically grew up on videogames. Case in point: my test character, in the "fancy new visuals" display mode (selectable from the launcher screen) has his lips on something that for personal reasons I will not directly reference, but suffice to say it's something that Sherlock Holmes would set on fire while solving a mystery. A reference that in my opinion could likely net an ESRB Teen classification if it was anywhere near the real thing. Using the old-style visuals thankfully gets rid of the god**** thing; but nonetheless it deserves mention due to the very existence of its use in the game.
Second, I really do not believe the d*** thing even belongs in an ancient Greece setting: correct me if I'm wrong, but while many of the NPCs themselves certainly fit the overall theme I honestly doubt that some of the player models are anywhere near authentic in certain contexts. On top of that, some of the visual effects seem to cover up the boss monsters based on screenshots posted to the game's community website; a travesty that I refuse to accept in an online MMO -- or any kind of game, period. The visuals are fine when they work properly; however, these issues are completely unacceptable. World of Warcraft, this shall not be.
Worse yet are some of the crimes the developers have committed in the gameplay department. While the game has an auto-attack system (kind of like in Nexon's Mabinogi MMO, which I regularly play) the implementation of the concept in Godswar is a total disaster: you're constantly getting hit by your targeted enemy, even as you deal your own punishing blows. Worse still, whereas Mabinogi at least sends you hunting down the enemy in auto-target mode when the monster shifts positions Godswar does not as far as I have seen: you have to click the enemy again in order to resume your attack. In fact, you even have to click the enemy twice in order to even start attacking said enemy, and you only seem to trade blows when an enemy is actively targeted.
Even more woeful is the constant damaging vengeance draining your HP super-fast -- thereby forcing you to reach for your limited supply of health potions just to stay in the battle. And though I was going to include screenshots from my personal experience with the game, I fear that the snapshot function thereof is hopelessly broken on my computer system; and as a result I have but only the ones from the game website as my computer would not save the images properly. (I honestly don't know what happened, but the mechanism just didn't work for me.) And don't get me wrong, but a largely mouse-driven control method is fine by me; however, the referenced comparison does hotkeys much better - here, the design only uses just fourteen keys halved between the function and number rows versus Mabinogi's respective twelve and nine.
In addition to the general sins in the gameplay department is a major demerit against the challenge level: the inclusion mechanism to auto-search the next NPC when completing and looking for quests. Seriously, it's a f***ing auto-pilot system; the game can literally play itself to an extent if you allow it to. I would rather find the next quest on my own, thank you very much -- this sort of thing essentially removes some of the challenge thereof. (Told you this was child's play...)
Not only that, but despite the monsters hitting you back as you hit them yourself it's still relatively easy to complete your hunting objectives when first starting out; plus, the auto-pilot can even take you to your hunting objectives in addition to NPCs, taking all the fun out of locating their stomping grounds with very little effort needed. Trust me, this is better aimed at the kids than the hardcore: there's just too many ways to circumvent the thrill of finding your next objective yourself -- at least when starting out, if anything. Seriously, this kind of hint system is better aimed at a game where there's actually a decent challenge to actually stump the player good -- something like Monkey Island, for example. And it shouldn't be an auto-pilot of any kind: rather, in-game hilts should be something like quest waypoints, or even descriptions of where to go: anything else is a f***ing pile of complete and utter bulls*** where my opinions are concerned.
Guilds and Community
The chat system and community aspects are somewhat passable; for example, the ability to upload screenshots to the game website to share with others only serves to give new players a look at what to expect, and should not be taken as a serious community feature. I would much rather see the game developers post just a handful of stock examples rather than give the duty to the game's community, despite that said community screenshot database is the source for my image selections (see the first page of this woeful review if you don't yet know why).
But the biggest sin against the community aspect is a bloated guild system that contains some totally unnecessary filler just to match the game's theme Seriously, people: I already know this is supposed to be an MMO adaptation of the somewhat-historically-correct ancient Greek mythos, but do we seriously even need the designation of a single f***ing God to each individual guild? And even worse, do we actually have to link membership bonus to said deity system? Or altars to these Gods? Make offerings to these Gods? Or entire f***ing guild-related buildings!? Seriously, all that we really need is just a simple Mabinogi-like guild stone to represent the entire guild. Nothing more, nothing less. Popping in all this bloat is total, f***ing overkill. We don't need a ton of bulls*** to keep track of just to run a f***ing guild!
Simply put, Godswar Online is a bloated, cutesy MMO with almost no redeeming qualities, questionable battle system, and too god**** much in the way of community overkill. Younsters who are looking for an unrestrictive MMO to share with their friends and family, and those who dig the historical aspects of Greek mythology will be right at home in this game; everyone else, on the other hand, should steer clear of this piece of s*** -- or better yet, simply burn the installer to a CD-R, put it on a neighbor's front steps, torch the edges of the disc and run like hell. There are better fantasy MMOs out there -- even in the free-to-play market -- and thereforth any junk like this should be avoided like anthrax, the plaque or worse. Bottom line: stay well away from this bulls*** -- you'll thank me later.