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KingsRoad
Hands-On Preview
"Overall KingsRoad offers everything you'd expect from an action RPG, with the added benefits of being free-to-play and having the ability to easily drop in and out of play with friends."

KingsRoad is a Diablo-esque browser MMORPG from Rumble Entertainment that strives for high quality while remaining free-to-play anywhere, anytime. If you're ever browsing the web and suddenly have the urge to slay a few hundred evil beasts for 15 to 20 minutes, the answer could be as easy as opening up a new tab in your browser, or clicking on the KingsRoad Facebook app. If action is your style, then KingsRoad has more than enough to keep you satisfied, since the main focus of the game is hack and slashing everything in sight.

Even though KingsRoad is browser-based, it manages to display a surprisingly impressive level of graphical detail. Skill and ability visual effects are effective, and maps and scenery are all very pleasing to the eye. Animations are fluid and seamless, and the framerate stays steady even with several groups of enemies on screen. The user interface is also high quality, intuitive, and easy to understand, which helps to make the game feel more like a regular/hardcore game rather than just a simple browser game, especially in full-screen mode.

Missions are undertaken by selecting them from an area map presented to you by an NPC in town. Upon entering a mission, you join with up to two other players if you are in a party, which also nets you an experience and gold bonus for the duration of the mission. The maps themselves are statically generated, with set enemy encounters that sometimes require a cautious approach. Prioritizing targets in combat becomes a necessity at higher levels when certain enemies begin buffing their allies, dealing absurd amounts of damage, or otherwise being a nuisance to the fight in general. When slain, enemies can drop loot of varying quality which is automatically identified and equippable if your character meets the minimum requirements for that item. In town there is also a Blacksmith NPC that allows you to sacrifice six items of the same quality in order to obtain one random item a quality level higher.

Between each mission you find yourself in a small town with a handful of NPCs that each serve a different function, including one with the ability to freely switch your character between classes at no cost. Currently there are three playable classes — Archer, Knight, and Wizard — each with their own unique play styles. Character customization is handled through the Skill Trainer NPC in town, with each class able to access 14 active abilities and 16 passive abilities, each unlocked as you level up. Upon gaining a level, your current character class gains one skill point, and upon attaining the max class level of 60, the class continues to gain skill points as if you could still gain actual levels.

The shop screen is available both in town and at any time during missions. Here you can buy consumable recovery items with in-game currency (Gold) and many other items and character enhancements with real-money currency (Gems). There are plenty of Gems attainable in-game, so spending your hard earned cash doesn't have to be the only option to buy things like character skins and much needed inventory slot expansions.

When you're not in the mood for more missions there are also quick mini-maps called Bounties, which typically have a handful of quest goals that don't take very long to complete and offer varying rewards. Alternatively, there are Dungeon maps that are mainly designed for parties of three players and feature much stronger enemies that require teamwork to take down successfully. The best items are waiting for parties skilled enough to best these challenging maps.

Overall KingsRoad offers everything you'd expect from an action RPG, with the added benefits of being free-to-play and having the ability to easily drop in and out of play with friends. The developers seem to be catering to both the casual and hardcore gamer audience with this title, and I believe that the game achieves this goal for the most part. With new classes and new game features constantly on the horizon, KingsRoad may be the perfect fit for you if you're interested in this type of game.


© 2014 Rumble Entertainment. All rights reserved.




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