We spent some time with Aion, an upcoming MMO from NCsoft. The gameplay is immediately familiar -- we've been here before. Floating exclamation points, a variety of quests and skills and a fantasy setting all combine to make a surprisingly uninspiring cookie-cutter game.

Aion has some beautiful environments -- we saw a range of lush, green settings. Combined with fairly realistic faces, the game certainly looks good, but the pretty mask hides a reinterpretation of standard MMO features with little to differentiate it from the crowd. Combo-style skills -- execute a main hand attack, then an off-hand attack, then a followup -- make combat a little more varied than in other games. A quest system with a detailed breakdown of goals helps navigation.

Ultimately we saw nothing about Aion that seems to appeal to anyone other than those currently engrossed in fantasy MMOs. If that's your genre of choice, you'll likely love Aion for its graphics and good-vs-evil setting, but anyone else will have to look hard to find anything special about the game.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.

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