Already a phenomenon in Asia, Aion, the MMO game
has received a slight facelift for Western markets and easily boasts
some of the nicest graphics for a title of this genre. Of course, the
release of Aion in Australia and the US is to hopefully extinguish some
of the thunder of the World of Warcraft but only time will tell. For me,
it's something different and considering that WOW has been around for
quite some time, Aion is definitely a breath of fresh air, even though
it pretty much sticks to the traditional sword and sorcery archetypes.
The Thrill of Flight
Soar to great heights and battle in the open skies of Aion. Flying
in Aion is not just a way to travel-- it is a strategic and integral
part of the game adding a fresh dynamic to all aspects of the genre,
including combat, quests and exploration.
Discover a meticulously crafted fantasy world brimming with
otherworldly inhabitants, mysterious enemies and ancient secrets.
Experience captivating and story-driven quests as you play a
critical role in a celestial civil war that has raged for hundreds
Engage in a spectacular and evolving combat system utilizing combos,
skill chains, counter-attacks and spectacular aerial combat. Plan
and execute raids against rival factions, earn special ranks and
rewards through victory.
Take individuality to a new level through an incredibly in-depth
character creation tool, advanced crafting systems, and extensive
Created potent tools of war and defense through a highly flexible
crafting system that extends to hundreds of items, weapons and
Aion introduces a new dynamic to MMOs by combining both PvP and PvE
gameplay into an exciting new style. As player factions fight
amongst themselves and with the AI controlled Balaur, enemies can
become allies in a desperate fight for survival. Join thousands in
the relentless war for dominance of the pivotal Abyss!
Explore one of the most amazingly beautiful and detailed MMORPGs
ever as you fight to save a vibrant world, all brought to life by
the powerful Crytek engine.
Basically, Aion is an online role-playing game that
allows gamers to interact with other people from around the world as
they travel together on adventures, engage in a variety of missions and
even challenge other players if that is their fancy. In laymen’s terms,
it’s basically Dungeons & Dragons made virtual.
The story of Aion is revolves around two factions.
The first faction is the "Asmodians", a strong race who have become twisted and
scarred from the cataclysm that split the world. Even though once
human-like in appearance, their disassociation with the world have
caused them to evolve into something "cursed".
Secondly, we have The "Elyos" on the other
hand have transformed into something uniquely different from The
Asmodians and have become creatures of light who still believe that they
are blessed by the Creator God, Aion, however their burden has become
their forced superiority.
Apart from these two
races, The Balaur are a threat to everything decent in this universe and
were the creatures responsible for this breach to occur. Even
though they were sealed in the Abyss for their actions, some have
managed to escape and once again threaten the very fabric of reality.
Unlike World of Warcraft, Aion actually has a twist at
the end and once you have completed all the missions in the game and
have attained a certain level, gamers can then embark on a PvPvE war of
epic proportions as they attempt to wrestle control of Aion. Even more
fun is exploring the world of the Abyss which we finally managed to
reach and it's like going into Hell.
Before beginning your journey in the world of Aion,
players must first create their avatars and needless to say, the
customization is quite in-depth and your appearance in the game is only
limited your imagination. One you have configured your character’s
appearance, you can then proceed to select one of four classes which
include Warrior, Scout, Mage
Best of all, you’re not just limited to one character class because when
you reach level 10 in the game, you can specialise into a subclass for
Of course, this is also the time where you are given
wings in order for you to sore high in the skies, however the only
downside to the flight system in Aion is that you are limited to where
you can use it. In relation to flight, the higher you become in the
game, the more time you can use flight and yes there are some areas
which involve aerial combat.
The missions in the game can be completed solo or with
others, depending on your preference and who is around at the time.
There are some quests in the game which must be completed in order for
your character to progress and there of course bountiful choices of
missions that you do not need to complete.
Generally, these include missions to find lost items or
for a NPC asking you to kill a monster for killing their pet pig. Quests
can also be banked which is ideal for how the world is setup, ensuring
that multiple quests can be done at the same time.
The quests that need to be completed by the gamer also
boast some impressive cutscenes and with that said, Aion does require a
rather powerful PC to play the game in full detail. Feel like joining a
Guild? (err… a Legion), Aion also supports this popular MMO feature,
however gamers must also work together to make their guild better and
more powerful. There are even leader boards for the guilds which is a
cool feature and is great to see where you’re currently ranked in the
world of Aion.
The biggest issue that we had was “lag” as unfortunately
the servers for Aion are based in the US. Playing Aion while our
friends, the Americans were sleeping is probably the best time to play
Aion. The lag issue did go up and down, however when it was not present,
the game was quite smooth.
The combat interface of Aion is all driven through mouse
clicks and shortcuts and thankfully the game does not throw you in the
deep end from the start. Whether you’re hacking an enemy with a sword or
using magic, the game starts off slow and as you progress, it becomes
more complicated, especially when you get into combinations.
Weapons and equipment is littered throughout Aion,
whether it’s from a mission or killing a monster or purchasing it at a
store, variety is the spice of life and Aion does this quite well.
When it comes to graphics, Aion is definitely the winner
at the moment, thanks to the Crytec engine. However in order to do the
game justice, you definitely need a high-end PC to appreciate the lush
scenery, detailed characters and impressive special effects. Fortunately
for those with mid range PC's, the game can still be enjoyed, you just
need to drop the detail or resolution.
The characters in the game are very detailed and the
textures are quite realistic. Add in a variety of different areas that
are very different and weather effects and it’s easy to see how some
people get lost in this MMO. Equally impressive is the great ambient
soundtrack of Aion, some decent voice acting and a variety of realistic
sounds from background sounds to battles. Nicely done!
In conclusion, Aion is a very entertaining MMO
game that although doesn’t challenge this genre too much, still uses the
traditional Dungeons & Dragons archetypes. However there are some new
twists and turns to the gameplay and if you’re looking for something
different than World of Warcraft, (like we were) than you’d be
pressed to finding something better than Aion.
With new content planned, let’s hope that Aion takes off
because it's already had over a year in Asia to establish itself as one
of the best MMO available. Even if you're not a fan of online RPG's, the
graphics will probably draw you in. Nice!