While there were a few initial technical difficulties and issues that prevented us from participating in PvP, we were able to run through the tutorial area and a few dungeons. If you are familiar with some of the other popular scrollers like Dragonica and games like Grand Chase (a game that was developed by half of Kill3rCombo) then you will be ready for Elsword.
That is, until the combos start. Oh, the combos!
Although the world is explored mostly vertically, it doesn't feel that way. The game's spaces and special effects are quite pretty, so you will not feel much different than you would in a traditional 3-D space. Sometimes the 2-D space gets in the way, though, by hiding some of the coolest moments in the game. During combat I would fire off some sort of major combo and the screen would slow it down and capture it like some kind of bullet-time comic book, then a nice fat tree would block my vision or disrupt the effect. Still, it happened only rarely, and the fact that the game is in closed beta made me feel that the team will take care of the problem.
As we fought in a group of four players, it became obvious that players will be in a battle just to one-up each other. I would hit A, S, or D to perform some radical maneuver, only to be impressed by another player's special move. You don't have to worry about bumping into each other or realistic physics; the name of the game is fast, silly combat mixed with a manga comic book. The first stage we were in required us to go through a couple of basic kill quests before going to the next area, and we managed to jump in and kill a few impressive bosses in order to do more.
You can eventually pick a second job, one on top of your main class choice. Since my character was a sword-wielding maniac, he was able to branch out to become a magic-and-melee type of character who stands around with fire playfully spouting from one hand. For comparison's sake, another writer had the same character but went for a melee concentration, resulting in a character that looked and moved differently. It was a subtle difference, but enough to make each character relatively unique. When I asked about more customization, the developers indicated that more customization options and the cash shop would be coming in the later beta. I would love to see what sort of items the shop will sell.
If you're looking for a fast, edge-of-your-seat button-masher, Elsword Online is perfect. This grizzled side-scroller veteran is happy to see a game that ramps up the fun and excitement (and explosion factor) without abandoning the basics. If this is closed beta, then I can't wait to see the game after some more patching and tweaking.
You can visit the official site and sign up for closed beta testing right now. Check out the video while you're there and read up on the game!