A few years ago browser based MMOs were simply text based, with stats, time based actions and so on. They weren't that immersive but due to their large scale universes, they worked pretty well. Today, things have moved forward, the technology has evolved to a point where we can now play complex 3D games right in our browsers. At first i was skeptical about what could be done, but then i played a few of the new games. So let's start with Drakensang Online.
Drakensang Online is a action RPG developed by Big Point and released in 2011. A beautiful game that requires almost no download since it’s developed in Java with the Unity engine. Seeing how it requires only a browser you might think that is a very simple game with no complex features, but that is not the case.
The world is split in several zones, dungeons and villages, which you can teleport to if you have already discovered their location's obelisk. Each zone is usually created for a level range and most interestingly they are not completely instanced, which means you will find other players on the map you explore even if they are not in your party. You can also check if there are any players in your map by using the social menu, just like in WOW and you can even PK or get PK-ed (Player Killer).
There are only three classes in the game at the moment, the classic three: warrior, ranger and wizard where character development is made through skills which you automatically receive once every few levels + talents points which you can use to improve your character further. There is also the honor system which gives you points from PvP - Battlegrounds or Duels, which acts like a second talent system for PVP.
The combat is very similar with Diablo II, where you can have 2 active skills on your mouse button with the third for a quick switch. The execution is almost flawless with good animations and effects accompanied by superb detailed environments. You cannot spam heal, since healing potions have a cooldown of one minute making the game more tactical in both PvE and PvP.
There are around 6 major towns in the game with around 12 dungeons and even more open world maps to explore and find the "phat" loot. Each location is very well done, with an overall art direction between casual and mature, Big Point hired some very good graphic artists for this game.
The PvP revolves around the instanced battlegrounds ranging from 1v1, 3v3 and 5v5 capture the flag. They reward you with honor with which you can improve your talents or purchase equipment. The maps are tactical since they have obstacles which you can use to hide from ranged attacks. I once ran for 1 min from a Ranger by hiding behind some rocks so i could use a potion to recover.
Overall, Drakesang Online was a pleasant surprise for me. It's a great action MMORPG with all features a game like this needs including polish. If you liked games like Diablo I-II, Mythos or Torchlight, this is a must play, and best of all, is free to play in your browser.
Are you still here? Go register for a free account and get that "PHAT" LOOT!
Thane SolusDrakensang Online - Review,