Age of Wushu is sort of a different game thats sort of the same. Its got an interesting combat system, EVE Online-esq leveling system. Is it something worth paying attention to, considering Jet-Li is a representative for the game, or should you Wushu stage left? Find out below.
Age of Wushu is rated M for a laundry list of things ( Blood, Sexual Themes, Strong Language, Use of Alcohol, and Violence ). So keep the little ones away from this title. Jet Li is also in the title, so you'll want to be careful to remember to switch from Chuck Norris to Jackie Chan jokes, least Chuck Norris does some extreme thing that only Chuck Norris can do.
Gameplay - 77 / 100
Age of Wushu is more of a creative attempt at trying to escape the box of classic MMO design then it is something completely new and different. Youve got a veritable cornucopia of ideas mixed into a giant hot pot, ranging from your beef (World of Warcraft-esq graphics), pork (Eve Online-esq skill based leveling system), bok choy (TERA-esq active combat system), and all the way to your potatoes (Minecraft style need for food). The only issue is that, its a bit hard to really pinpoint what Age of Wushu actually is when it comes to gameplay.
As an example, after youre done with your first set of introductory quests, youre pretty much plopped down into a giant open world of a somewhat poorly translated game with a task list of things that you could do if you wanted to. You could also really not do them if you want to. Instances are just a way of obtaining items, which by the way is totally random if and what you get. Killing NPCs isn't exactly a rewarding experience either; they dont give EXP, so grinding is out of the question.
Basically Wushu is a weird game in the sense that if you play it like an MMO, it is sort of not that fun, since nothing you do in an average MMO has a significant reward. The game is literally designed around the basic principle of go do random things, get rewards. Obviously, players will narrow down the most rewarding tasks for repetitive grinding, but it does a good job of offering tons of different activities to do missions, story quests, PvP, instances, and crafting.
One of the interesting about Wushu is the advancement system, which takes some getting used to. Its still a simple level based system at heart, but it obfuscates that by focusing on an EVE Online style skill based leveling system. Think if in EVE you could spend SP to not only improve skills, but also improve a skill thats basically your level when equipped. VIP players can improve their skills while offline, while non-VIP players will only see advancement while playing.
Speaking of offline, one interestingly cool thing Wushu does is it lets your character stay logged in even when youre logged out. Wherever you log out at will be the starting point and your character will do random tasks within the world (VIP players will receive a reward for doing so). This also plays into the do random stuff get rewarded system because you can undertake missions such as kidnapping offline players and selling them into labor (which if it happens to you has no negative repercussion other than your character moving across the map).
The combat in Wushu is, to me at least, rather lack luster. Why? Well first of all its pretty clunky. It feels like Im playing Final Fantasy 3 US/6 Japan where you stand around and wait for different actions in sort of a mixed active combat / traditional combat system. The animations probably dont help the chunkiness and the combat just doesnt feel very fluid. However, its still neat and can be fun in PvP. Its an active combat system in the sense you can actively block and do actions with your house, but its a traditional system in the sense you still attack through skills. I dont believe there is an auto attack.
Oh and the combat also is sort of like um, hrm Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne I guess? Although Nocturne is a battle of elemental superiority, ala Pokémon, Im not sure of a game thats similar off the top of my hand. Basically it works off a rock paper scissors style format where there are three types of attacks and each one is defeated by another attack and defeats another attack. Its pretty cool, but its not very fluid as I previously mentioned.
Oh and the translation is pretty bad, although Snail Games is awesome and has been working hard on making that better. So props to them!
Graphics - 65 / 100
As mentioned earlier, the graphics remind me a lot of World of Warcraft because theyre sort of cartoony and sort of realistic. Its pretty cool and some of the graphics are really pleasing, but Im not overwhelmed by it. Its no TERA, thats for sure, and honestly after seeing so many MMOs, I cant really say that there is anything really noteworthy about the graphics. This isnt a Snail Games issue either so no fault there, its just you know, the game.
To that extent, the UI is sort of bleh too. I mean, its functional, but its also got a lot of what I call forced texturing. Which is when you open a UI window and there is parchment paper in the background and it doesnt look very clean. I think any graphical interface for a game should blend in and be smooth, avoiding the parchment paper as much as possible.
Oh, last comment, characters are super androgynous. That may or may not be a good thing, depending on your taste in characters.
Sound - 65 / 100
The sound is so-so, Im not blown away by it, and well its just. Alright? I guess? Its not like youre listening to nightcore retro country dinosaur dubstep, its just your average run of the mill score.
Multiplayer - 90 / 100
The multiplayer is where this game shines on a level that no other game can shine on, at least released recently anyway. Seriously, this game is the multiplayer of multiplayer games. This game is so multiplayer that your character will starve if it refuses to interact with another player not kidding! You need food to keep a health degen from affecting you and food can only be obtained from other players (or crafted yourself if you so choose to be forever alone). Even then, the PvP is where all the fun action is at, along with guild hall raids and all of that good stuff.
So if you want the “M” in massively Multiplayer online games to make a roaring comeback then support Wushu. It’s one of the only games in the past however long that’s really taken to supporting multiplayer to the point of it making it a near requirement. I mean, the solo stuff is fine and it works well enough, but interacting with other players is where a lot of the fun comes in. It’s hard to explain, because it’s not a forced thing, but more of an um - it’s just a better idea to do kind of thing. There is no cruel punishment for solo player, but the multiplayer options are just pretty cool.
Value - 87 / 100
For value, well its free, but the free mode kind of well
sucks. Not going to lie, but being non-VIP is a huge hindrance to the rate you can grow in power. Imagine playing EVE Online but skills didnt increase while offline. Thats a good description of Wushu. Unless you want to attempt to keep your character online as much as possible, youll need VIP.
Of course, VIP is 30 days at I believe $7.99, so thats a great value. Its a subscription game that you can play without a subscription and the subscription is really affordable.
Lasting Appeal - 70 / 100
For lasting appeal, Id say a good bit. If it is something you can get into and enjoy then there is tons to do. It doesnt have a carrot on a stick approach to advancement, so there isnt raid after raid, but there is a ton of fun in exploring the world, fighting other players, and watching yourself grow more powerful steadily.
The game could use a bit more direction although its a sandbox game and that comment should be considered invalid. You can do everything, but there isnt exactly a linear path to follow. For some that will add a ton of extra gameplay in just being able to log in and do something random. For others, it could be a deterrent to longterm gameplay after theyve seen it and done it.
Pros and Cons
- Jet Li
- Unique combat system in an open world sandbox.
- Kidnapping offline players.
- Rock Paper Scissors combat system.
- So much to do you can get overwhelmed and confused easily.
- Confusing U.I.
- Translation issues.
- Rock Paper Scissors combat system.
I think Age of Wushu is successful for what it is and it has a community of players who enjoy the game and developers who actually care about their community. The translation is iffy, combat is awkward, and there is so much text / confusing elements to the game that its a bit tough to get into, but it does encourage interaction with other players and has tons of stuff to do.
So yeah, give it a try, its probably not going to blow you away but its still a neat game and could be right up the ally of players seeking an open world EVE Online experience but in a fantasy RPG setting.
Overall 77/100 - Pretty Good
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