There is one big elephant in the room regarding Order and Chaos Online. The elephants name is World of Warcraft, and Order and Chaos is Gamelofts attempt to recreate some of that MMO magic and shrink it to fit on a smartphone device.
Do they succeed? For the most part, yes they do. It can be a little rough around the edges, but Gameloft have actually done an amazing job to bring such a demanding game to a format that you can hold in the palm of your hand.
The game is an MMO action-RPG, and that means that the entire game is populated by real, online players. There are plenty of NPC’s standing around to give advice, items or quests, but it’s in dealing with other players where the real meat and bones of the game can be found. Chatting, competing and of course questing with other people is what it is all about. Pick a server and you will find hundreds of other players to interact with, and the impressive thing here is the general lack of lag. Very few times did I experience any kind of network problem, even when there were many players in my vicinity.
The action is presented from a third person viewpoint, with a decent use of the Xperia Plays physical controls for the movement and camera. Running around the world, the game engine is smooth, although it did stutter when there were a lot of enemies on screen at once; a shame as most of the enemies in the game come in groups.
You can choose from a variety of character classes, and there is the option to customise your character somewhat. The different classes have a dramatic impact on your experience of the game, so choose wisely. If you are new to MMO’s, there are a few pop ups to help you along, as well as a two minute mini tutorial. There really should be a bigger, more comprehensive tutorial for beginners, but if you have played any games like this before, particularly World of Warcraft, then you won’t have any problems.
Questing is a lot of fun, particularly if you join a guild, and taking down a big opponent with other players, all helping each other out is as exciting and rewarding as you would imagine. The world is large with a lot of variety both to the locations and terrain as well as the enemies on display. the graphics are technically excellent, with vivid imagery and a nice sheen to everything. The draw distance could be better, but if it’s a sacrifice to get everything running, then Gameloft made the right choice.
There are literally thousands of hours of gameplay here, and I could easily see this eating up months of your life, especially if Gameloft continue to update and improve the game. There is a tiny monthly fee to keep playing, but you get three months free with your initial purchase, and when you compare it with MMO titles on Mac and PC, I have to say that Gameloft have got the pricing spot on.
There are a few negatives I should mention. the first is combat, which involves a lock on mechanic. the problem is that it is hard to choose your target in a crowd of people, and the close up one on one fighting is a little shallow, lacking depth and finesse. Ranged and magic combat is handled with more care.
The second major issue is the fact that there isnt really much of a back story to the world or much in the way of lore and legend, which is something that I hope Gameloft will address in the future. A rich and detailed almanac or world guide would help.
The last point is that the style of the characters is a little too close to Warcraft, and lends the game a slightly generic look. Not a problem if you havent played Warcraft before, but those that have may be slightly wary.
These problems shouldn’t put you off considering this the best online game on Xperia Play, and one that will eat away at your spare time. The best thing this has over it’s inspiration on PC is it’s mobility, and when this is coupled with the fun questing and raw technical achievement you begin to realise the potential of the game. It does need a few tweaks and additions, but Gameloft are always supportive of titles after they are released and I’m guessing this will be no different.
Overall, if you are into cooperative gaming, online play or have ever wondered what all the fuss was about regarding MMO’s, then this is pretty much a must download title and a real feather in Gamelofts cap.
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