Another startling thing you may notice is the impressive graphics quality, it really is refreshing to see a fantasy MMORPG that doesn't look like its from 2004. The various game areas from the lush tropical beaches to the City scape vistas are well crafted, featuring detail that is sometimes lacking in other MMORPG Games. Combine this with a great musical score and you have a game with real atmosphere.
So what about game-play? Well first thing to mention is Age of Conan's unique combat system, which gives the player more direct control over the combat. Instead of clicking auto attack, you have buttons which control the direction your weapon swings.
In turn you and your enemies have directional defenses. If your enemy has a strong right defense you swing your sword to attack his weak left. Bow users gain the ability to manually aim arrows in combat, similar to the system used in Mount & Blade. As for magic users spells can be combined to form more powerful super spells. I liked this approach to combat, especially as it made grinding through enemies less tedious.
But yes grinding there will be as there are plenty of fetch X amount side quests. This wouldn’t be so bad if the new player story arc didn't require you to reach a certain level before progressing.
That aside the new players story arc is a nice feature that guides you through your first 20 levels. It begins with you ship wrecked on the pirate island of Tortage ruled by a tyrant and beset by savage natives. From this you find yourself on a journey to overthrow the tyrant and uncover the sinister secrets the island holds.
Character customization is also another highlight of the game, aside from being able to have topless female characters, the main appeal is the complexity of the character editor, which allows a uniqueness of look rarely seen in the Online MMORPG Games genre. One particular feature I liked was the ability to hide clothing and armour on the character model. To the extent that you could strip down to your loincloth and look like a true barbarian but without having to lose those much needed armour bonuses!
As mentioned at the beginning I used a free account to play Age of Conan and as expected there are limitations. The main ones being only 4 classes available out of the 12 and most of the content added since its problematic launch is for premium subscribers only.
Naturally there is an in-game item store which uses real money transactions. Apart from the usual character items, the store allows you buy passes to access premium content.
This is good for those who've exhausted the free content but don't want to commit to a premium subscription... or you could just purchase a dancing pleasure slave to entertain you instead!
All in all the Age of Conan Free account experience was a good one, being a now matured subscription based MMO it has that polish that newer free MMORPGs severely lack.
Having said that you will probably want to move on to the premium account before long as content such as, high level raids, guild cities and Player versus Player combat is where the real heart of Age of Conan truly lies. This is something I shall cover in further reviews.
Overall I give the Age of Conan: Unchained Free account experience an 8/10, thanks for watching!