Players: 1+ Player Game | Release Date: 02/09/03 | Genre: MMO
Back in 1997 I entered the world of MMOGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Games) with a little title known as Ultima Online. Little did I know that all of my time would be consumed within this game. While I moved away from UO eventually, soon gamers all around the world became just as addicted to the game that would draw many away from UO EverQuest. Sony Online Entertainment try to recapture the magic and excitement that made the original EverQuest successful in the first MMOG released in the US for the PlayStation 2. Yes, that is right--the biggest online game for the PC has arrived for the PS2 and it comes with many elements that made the PC so popular. Unfortunately, that means the monthly playing fee comes along too.
Let me stress two things before you continue on in this review. If you are not willing to pay a monthly fee, then you might as well stop reading. While the first month is free, if you want to keep playing after that, you are going to have to pay up. Second, MMOGs are addictive social titles. Prepare to spend many, many hours socializing with others as you try and build up a character in the gaming world. I cannot stress how time consuming and addictive this can be.
If these two points don't scare you off, then keep reading to see if EverQuest Online Adventures is right for you.
Beginning your adventure, you select from one of nine different races--each with their own pros and cons. Also, depending on which race you choose to play as will determine what class you can become. Choosing one of these 13 different classes will impact the way you play the game. If you are a fighter, don't expect to be able to cast magic. Likewise, a healer probably won't last long in combat without some support.
To assist you in balancing your character, you are highly encouraged to team up with up to three other characters to level up together. Some of the enemies you face later on are so difficult that you will need just the right balance to be able to defeat them.
To help communicate in the game, a keyboard is almost a necessity. In fact, I feel like if you aren't planning on using one, you should consider not purchasing the title. While the developers added an in-game keyboard you can peck at on the screen, it is nearly impossible to carry on a conversation in a timely manner this way. Since I can type over 80 words a minute, it became increasingly frustrating for me to try and peck on the in-game keyboard. However, since most USB keyboards are supported and relatively cheap if you don't already own one, make sure you come equipped with a keyboard before play begins.
Any game updates will be saved on a memory card since there is still no hard drive available for the US. Whether or not the saving will move to a hard drive in the future hasn't been announced yet. But if Sony chooses this route, it will sure provided the developers a significantly larger amount of room to make changes.
Playing on dial-up or broadband doesn't appear to make much of a difference. While most players would prefer to use broadband, if it is not available to you and you are interested in trying out EverQuest Online Adventures, don't let this stop you from experiencing the game. Sony Online Entertainment developed the title with both connection speeds in mind. So those of you who aren't fortunate to have a ton of bandwidth will be able to enjoy the game just as much.
One of the negative things about the MMOG genre is that it can become quickly repetitive. The biggest goal in the game is continue advancing your character by participating in combat. While it is best to do this with a group, it is possible for you to fight a lot of enemies on your own. However, fighting alone can cause your advancement to be much slower and more dangerous. So if you don't want to risk death, play in a group as often as possible. That doesn't mean you won't die if you are grouped--you just have a much greater shot at survival.
While at heart EverQuest is a hack 'n slash, there are several other elements within the game. Players can learn crafting skills like cooking, brewing, and item, weapon, and armor crafting. Also, there are certain areas within the game world where you can find PvP (Player vs Player) combat. However, as a former bitter UO player, I am against PvP and avoid it at all costs.
If you can look past the potential communication problems, the monthly fee to play, and the repetitive, yet completely engrossing gameplay, EverQuest Online Adventures may be just for you. While it pails in comparison to the PC counterpart, it is a step in a new direction for consoles. Hopefully the future will be bright for MMOGs on the home systems. You can be sure that as the technology changes and improvements are made, EverQuest Online Adventures will provide updates to keep it competitive with other titles on the market and still compelling to play.