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style="font-weight: bold; color: rgb(255, 204, 51);">Top
Free-to-Play Games

of Aug 22- Aug 28, 2010


2. style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="" target="_blank">  href="">Dungeons
and Dragons
Online: Eberron Unlimited href="" target="_blank">

href=""> style="text-decoration: underline;"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">3. href="">Lord of the Rings

4.  href=""
target="_blank"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href=""
target="_top"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">FreeRealms

5.  target="_blank">  href=""
target="_top"> href=""
target="_blank">Allods Online

of Magic

 7.  href="">Perfect
World International

8. target="_blank">Aika href=""

9. target="_top">The
Chronicles of Spellborn

10.  target="_blank">Atlantica Online href=""
target="_top"> href=""
target="_blank"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href=""

style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href=""
target="_blank"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href=""> style="text-decoration: underline;"> style="text-decoration: underline;"> href="" target="_blank"> style="text-decoration: underline;">

I have discovered a curious thing over the course of the
past few weeks: MMOG’s are not the cure for insomnia (well one AAA
title I play
regularly bores me to tears but that’s beside the point). A recent
change at my
“IRL” job of EMS
lifesaving goodness has
forced me to cover a graveyard shift, and once you are over the hill,
post 30, like I am you are faced with the stark realization that your
body can
no longer adapt to all nighters like it used to. While I have
wanted to do nothing more than slip into a deep coma like state of
drool-on-the-pillow sleep, I have been too wrapped up in the
overwhelming number of
free-to-plays titles to do so.

EverQuest II
been on a lot of peoples must play list, check out Savanja’s recent

extolling the top ten reasons you should be among them. You should also
out Tuesday’s Loading in which Benjamin J. de la Durantaye takes a
closer look
at the value quotient of EQ2x, a subject that my loyal readers will
know is
near and dear to my heart.

Last week I waxed not so poetically
about how MMOGs were in
danger of going the way of the Dodo bird. While there may have been a
amount of hyperbole in that initial statement, the sentiment of it was
I spoke about how having one title with so much popularity was
snuffing out some really great games that would be judged favorably if
they were
reviewed strictly on their own merits. Another aspect that I didn’t
touch upon
however was how complacent the genre has become in rolling out games
that are
just a reskin of prior games with only a few bells and whistles added.
week we take a look at a game that breaks the mold, even if does so
completely abandoning the fantasy elements. 

It’s no secret around these parts that I love free-to-play games and
while I am fairly frugal, it isn’t really the free part that attracts
me. I love the diversity that has sprung up from developers and
publishers being able to nurture and grow their games over time –
something that subscription based games haven’t been able to manage in
the past 5 years. One of the most innovative, and flat out addicting,
games I have loaded up recently is Land
of Chaos Online;
a genre melding mix of RTS, third person
shooter and MMOG elements. I was recently treated to an in game tour
with Product Manager Hendrik Loga and a team of his highly skilled
cohorts who quickly introduced me to the respawn point.

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Action is fast paced in LOCO

LOCO is first and foremost a team based game where parties can assemble
to battle one another, or against the AI in early training matches, in
various scenario-based encounters. I recommend spending some time with
the tutorial unless you are a glutton for punishment or an amazingly
quick study, but even the most veteran of gamers will need a little bit
of acclimation time. There is no traditional character creation aspect
of LOCO, you start the game by selecting one of 12 unique heroes to
serve as your own personal squad leader, additional characters can be
added with the use of Hero Cards which come in either permanent or
temporary varieties.

Each hero has their own strong suit and best use, even in the absence
of a class system more astute players will build their parties to
capitalize upon these nuances. For our gaming session I selected Minity
Grey, a pixie of a girl with long flowing locks and a penchant for
dropping massive damage on both opposing players and structures. We ran
through a Battlefield game which pits two teams against each other for
ultimate control over a contested map. The teams are split by faction
and begin the battle in their base, surrounded by defense towers, base
structures and NPC heroes that will help aide in its defense. All
players start each match at level 1 and quickly progress during the
encounter to a maximum of level 20. Skills are gained at intervals,
with each character having two paths to follow that is represented
graphically by a talent circle with eight standard and two major skills
– making your initial regular skill choice will lock you into a group
of 4 skills which can be purchased and upgraded as you level. Each
minor skill can be upgraded a maximum of 5 times and the major skill is
trainable at level 6 and passively gains power as you level. Impressive
in its subtle complexity, this system allows you to tailor your
character to compliment teammates and counter opponents on the fly and
provides a nice level of customization. New players will only have
certain skills available at inception and will need to permanently
unlock them by the use of skill scrolls which are earned by completing
tasks and achievements over the course of several matches.

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LOCO has layers.

The rest of the games mechanics closely mirror the skill system,
relative simplicity on their surface belies layers of complexity the
further you dig. In addition to skills, players gain new equipment sets
as they level. These item sets are things that can be preset and saved
ahead of time and like traditional MMOGs, gear is one of the carrots of
advancement dangled in front of you. Following the now standard color
coded progression model gear comes in white, green, blue and purple
varieties with plans in the works for the introduction of legendary or
orange items in the future. Other temporary consumable items can be
purchased during course of each match using gold that is awarded from
kills and through control of resources nodes. In addition to resources
contested nodes in the game can grant teams access to varying levels of
NPC assistance, we were able to commandeer a massive airship by holding
one such node long enough – unleashing death from above on our
opponent’s defense towers when its cannons opened fire.

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Graphics are smooth and polished.


The use of the Unreal engine
and the third person shooter feel it provides really gives LOCO a leg
up on other aeon of strife style games and the additional Annihilation
mode adds variety with its 8 vs 8 deathmatch style. I came away very
impressed with LOCO and see a lot of potential in its future. The only
real downside that is notable is battlefield matches can become quite
lengthy, especially among evenly matched teams. LOCO incorporates a
reputation system that rewards players for sticking with a match to
completion and punished those that don’t.

The levels of passion and commitment were undeniable amongst Hendrik
and his team, and bode well for the future of LOCO. If you are a fan of
DotA style games you owe it yourself to check out style="font-style: italic;"> Land of Chaos Online
and be on the lookout for a complete review of the game in the coming
weeks here in Microcosms.

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 We approve of this hammer.

To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Land of Chaos Online Game Page.

Last Updated: Mar 13, 2016