E3: Battle of the Immortals ImpressionsA Free-to-Play MMO from Perfect World.06.20.10 - 11:46 AM
While at E3, I had the opportunity to check out the free-to-play MMO Battle of the Immortals
developed by Perfect World in their new Shanghai Studio. It's the first game Perfect World has developed that doesn't use their Angelica engine. As far as the overall play style is concerned, it's more on par with games like Diablo and Torchlight than your average MMORPG. If you're a fan of either of those games, I recommend giving this game a spin as it looks like it's shaping up to be quite an entertaining MMO. Plus, it's free - so really you have nothing to lose and a new cool MMO community to gain.
First and foremost, I want to get this out of the way: newcomers to MMO's have no need to be afraid of taking a stab at Battle of the Immortals. I know it can be very overwhelming and discouraging to get into the MMO scene if you are not familiar with the genre or, more simply, don't "speak" MMO. But let me just say that Battle of the Immortals is very newbie friendly. Battle of the Immortals features what they call a Growth Aid where you can get in-game help at any time. Growth Aid will help direct you to what the best course of action is for your character. For instance, it will tell you what kind of equipment you should have at your level and where you can go to get it. The feature also recommends quests for you and will path you directly to them. So, newbies get ready to play on, while you MMO all-stars don't need worry, there's still plenty for you to get your hardcore on in this game.
As far as how the game looks, Battle of the Immortals looks very similar to the majority of the Perfect World MMO titles; it's eastern looking, which is no surprise, since this is a Chinese developed game. However, Battle of the Immortals manages to stand out from the pack with its highly detailed equipment. A lot of the equipment has passive animations, so even if you're just standing around, something is going on with your character. Battle of the Immortals doesn't stop at just being highly detailed, however, the MMO also offers an addictive and expansive pet system. In Battle of the Immortals, you can make monsters your pets; this also extends to bosses. In fact, there are very few monsters you can't adopt as your pet. Out of 100,000 monsters in the game, 90 percent can potentially be your pet. Even more exciting is that you can meld your pets. Males and females can be melded to create a totally new pet that will feature a combination of the parents' attributes along with some exclusive new features as well. It's very much in the vein of dog breeding, and you could honestly make a living in this game purely breeding pets.
Besides having pets in the game, Battle of the Immortals also has an impressive mount system. The mounts themselves all have a skill set. Each mount that you use also has a unique buff that you keep even after dismounting, which gives you a great incentive to have multiple mounts. Mounts can also support up to six players, and they will give each of those players its unique buff. So, say you have a mount with a special buff and want to play with a friend, a friend can join you on your mount and will also gain that buff. Therefore, any abilities you gain with your mount aren't restricted to you, you can also help out your friends. Additionally, Battle of the Immortals has a rather casual crafting system. The system is a passive one, where you set yourself up to craft a particular item. Once you do this, you can go out in the game and play. After some time, the item will be automatically crafted for you. Another noteworthy feature of Battle of the Immortals is its in-game events. Events are scheduled throughout the day that you can participate in and gain rewards. These events are constantly changing and you also have the choice of which you want to participate in. Therefore, there's always something going on for you to participate in and you can still have plenty of options in what you want to complete.
After some time with Battle of the Immortals, I have to say what I was most struck by was that it offers such a variety of things to do. You don't have to have the same experience with the game everytime you log-in. For instance, say you're just really burnt out on dungeon crawling, you could instead devote time to other social activities to take a break from the hack-n-slash grind. These social activities in the game go as far as to have a love connection game where you answer questions and try to see which player of the opposite sex matches up best to you. Say, after that, you want to take your "love connection" even further, there's even an option in the game to marry another a player. When you marry a player, you get an instance dungeon that you can invite others to to fully get the celebration going. And marrying a player is more than just having a title, you get additional bonuses in the game for doing so. For instance, once bound by marriage, you can get bonus skills, such as the ability to teleport to your spouse. You can also heal and sometimes even resurrect your spouse in battles. There's even special buffs you can get by marrying another player. But, say marrying another player isn't exactly your style, maybe you purely want to stay friends, that offers you bonuses, too. With the friendship system, the game gives buffs for both users while they play together. Therefore, as players explore more content together, they get a better buff. It looks like a pretty good incentive to play the game with others than trying to master it yourself, but if you want to solo through the game it won't punish you in any way. So far, Battle of the Immortals, looks like it will be a rather addictive MMO; with plenty of impressive features that extend not only battles, but also socializing, Battle of the Immortals looks like it will keep players busy for hours on end.