Elsword Online is an action-based, side-scrolling free MMORPG with a heavy focus on intense, fast-paced combat. Elsword Online is delivered using a unique artistic style as is home to a large variety of exciting features such as a large selection of playable characters, huge amounts of quests and monsters, and enough items to create thousands of unique characters.
Elsword Online offers players the opportunity to play as 5 different characters, Eve, Raven, Elsword, Aisha and Rena. Each character has a different background story as well as learning different skills and abilities as they progress through the game. Although the initial character customization options are slim, players can customize their character as they progress through the game using a huge variety of appearance altering items and gear. Further customization options appear once players have access to the Item Modding system that allows them to equip their items with a variety of gems that improve statistics and add additional effects.
Elsword Online is home to hundreds of different quests, all of which are placed into 1 of 4 categories, Story, General, Class Change and Skill quests. The huge variety of quests allows players to earn various rewards and items as well as giving them the option to unlock new class attributes, or obtain a new powerful skill, all the while enjoyed a hugely in-depth and exciting storyline.
Another great feature in Elsword Online is the Skill Notebook. Once players reach level 20 they're able to complete a quest and purchase the Skill Notebook, a unique item that gives players the opportunity of customizing their skills and abilities. Every skill that your character earns while leveling can be improved or modified, using a large selection of available Skill Notes. Players unlock a new page every 10 levels, giving them the chance to edit another one of their skills. This system isn't designed to merely improve a skill by making it stronger, it goes even further than that, allowing players to increase the possible combo damage of an ability, or even adding various effects such as stuns and roots.
Elsword Online provides players with furiously intense combat, featuring high-quality animations and sounds. Combine this combat with the huge item and skill customization system, and you have one of the most unique, anime inspired MMORPG games released in recent years.
Elsword is a free-to-play two-dimensional Free MMORPG by KOG Studios. This Korean import focuses on intense action from the very beginning in a fantasy setting. Players start off with choosing one of six different characters, each with their own unique combat style. Afterwards, it's immediately off to smash some bad guys!
Elsword is a fast-paced game and the game focuses on lots and lots of combat. Players will pick up quests from the various hub locations throughout the game and then head off to a launching area to enter a dungeon to complete the quest. Each hub has a number of dungeons located nearby and each dungeon has 3 levels of difficulty: normal, hard, and very hard. The harder the difficulty, the more rooms there are in the dungeon and better loot is found, but the monsters are also more difficult. A player can tackle a dungeon solo or you can group up with other players, with a maximum group total of 4. The more players in a group in the dungeon, the better the drops of loot will be.
Combat is the central tenet of Elsword. While you can craft items and tweak your own equipment, the vast bulk of your time will be spent fighting. The combat in Elsword is fast-paced and quite fun. You have two basic attacks (a weak and a strong) along with special attacks that you'll unlock on your skill trees. Special attacks require mana which is built up by using your weak attacks and when used, a special screen will pop up. Combat is a button-mashing affair and there are lots of combos that players can string together to show their martial prowess.
While Elsword is a side-scrolling RPG, the world does not feel limited. Each room in a dungeon spans quite a distance and there are usually multiple levels of platforms to be jumped to and from in order to fully explore the dungeon. A room must be entirely cleared of monsters in order for the player to continue to the next room. The final room of the dungeon contains a boss monster along with some minions. Boss monsters tend to have special attacks and the game will highlight them when the boss is getting ready to use it. You will be playing each dungeon multiple times to finish quests, so the action can get grindy very quickly. Your best bet is to make sure you load up on all the quests available and finish several of them at once whilst doing a single dungeon run.
Grouping together is very easy. When you select which dungeon you want to go into, you can either spawn a new group for that dungeon or attempt to join another group. If creating a group, you can choose the number of players in the group and a level filter. Once everybody in a group hits "ready," you're off!
PvP is easy to get into as well in Elsword. Instead of selecting a dungeon, you can select the Arena tab and queue up for a match ranging from 1-on-1 up to 3-on-3. The bigger the match size, the longer the wait can be. While in the PvP queue, you cannot enter dungeons or access the cash shop, so be prepared for a couple minutes of inaction. PvP matches are strictly quick deathmatch fights. There is no areas to conquer and hold. Your only objective is to smack your foe down as quickly as possible. PvP matches can take place in a variety of environments, with multiple levels to fight upon.
Once a player has hit level 15 in Elsword, they can take quests to unlock a class advancement. These class advancements (called jobs) unlock additional special abilities. A second job becomes available at level 35. Players can also get additional passive abilities by being part of a guild.
You'll never have to quest alone in Elsword as players can have pets. Pets have four stages that they progress through: life crystal, infant, teen, and adult. A pet will gain affinity as you explore dungeons and once their affinity bar is full, they can evolve into the next stage. Pets have skills that they will automatically use. You will get a pet through a quest chain or you can purchase them from the cash shop.
As is standard in free to play mmos, there is a cash shop in Elsword. The shop sells everything from new costume pieces to pets to consumables. If you plan on playing Elsword for a long time, you will want to pick up some new costume pieces as there is a great deal of sameness when looking at other players. Mixing clothing from different sets will help create a unique look. Costs will vary depending upon whether or not you want the gear to be temporary (usually 30 days) or permanent. There are a couple of aspects of the cash shop that I'm not thrilled with. Buying from the cash shop can give players an advantage in getting better stats quicker and more powerful skills. If you wish to redo your skill points, you will have to purchase that ability from the cash shop. It would be nice if there were quests you could do to redo your skill points spent.
Graphics and Sound
The look of Elsword is anime and magna inspired, with an emphasis on cute. The monsters are not terribly threatening, but rather look almost friendly and non-threatening as you fight them. Monsters range from bomb-throwing monkeys to mask-wearing foxes to golems. While the game's graphics won't stress your computer, the colors are vivid and pleasing to the eye and exudes a great deal of charm.
Elsword's sound design is somewhat minimal. Background music is well done, but will get repetitive rather quickly. Combat sounds serve nicely to complement the action, but there isn't a great deal of range. An interesting tidbit is that the speech in the game remains Korean while the text has been translated into English. Overall, I liked it as it added a twist from my usual MMORPG gaming.
Unique Fun Factor
Elsword is a fun game to play and KOG Studios have done a great job of getting you into the action quickly. This is the perfect game to play for some needed stress relief after a hard day. The game serves up a ton of action and Elsword does it extremely well. The cutesy anime style is definitely family-friendly so parents have no need to worry if their children play the game.
- The action is fast-paced and Elsword gets you to it extremely quickly.
- Graphics are well done and family friendly.
- Easy to play solo or with others.
- The game can get grindy quickly as you'll play each dungeon multiple times.
- You'll spend real money to reset your skill points.
- Cash shop buyers will have an advantage in stats and skill power.
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