The problem with jumping right into a game that you have never played before is that you can't really get an exact sense of what it is like to be a real, brand-new player. It's important to know how that feels so that it can be passed on to potential newbies. Either way, I enjoyed my time with Rosh Online, but I did have quite a few issues with it. I'm sure a lot will change over time, especially since this game is brand-new, but in the meanwhile I'll tell you all about it.
Click past the cut!
I know, I know: Many players love the look of the previously mentioned games. That crazy texturing and uber-detailed armor is so beautiful to other people's eyes. To me, though, the art style gives no chance for the ordinary. I don't want a character with huge, elaborate wings, and I don't want to start off with a shield that looks like it came from one very, very rich family. I want the chance to make something ugly if I can. You know, something that looks like I do. So yes, the game is technically beautiful, if that's your thing. And for all its beauty, it does run wonderfully. But there is no soul in those eyes or art style; it's too pretty to be anything close to familiar or living. Like I said, if you like the look of Guild Wars, Aion, and other similar games, then you'll like the look of Rosh Online.
The NPCs spread around the different areas had more interesting looks than my pre-chosen character did. The problem is that the NPCs stand there, barely moving, just handing out odd bits of text and pretty much acting like a vending machine. The town I toured was basically lifeless, but this could have a lot to do with the fact that there were not very many players around in this beta. There just wasn't much going on in the place, although later on I found quite beautiful natural areas outside of the main area we visited.
PvP plays a very large role in the game. You can toggle your PvP tag on or off, but in much of the game you can be attacked freely. While there are safe zones, the game will feature a lot of PvP. Be aware. For those of us who like to take it a bit easier, an arena area is available to jump into. The combat is pretty standard stuff, however. You target your enemy, hit a series of buttons, and hopefully come out on top. While I borrowed a slightly higher-level character, it should be noted that combat at much higher levels might be a bit more exciting. Still, this essential mechanic is pretty standard.
In the end I came out feeling that Rosh Online would be enjoyed by quite a few players. The PvP is fun in groups, the art is nice, and the Fletta system allows for more customization than many other titles. The game will attract a certain audience, as PvP-heavy games always do, so be aware that exploration and roleplay might not be the main drive of the game. Be prepared to fight, a lot.
Each week, Free for All brings you ideas, news, and reviews from the world of free-to-play, indie, and import games -- a world that is often overlooked by gamers. Leave it to Beau Hindman to talk about the games you didn't know you wanted! Have an idea for a subject or a killer new game that no one has heard of? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org!