Atlantica Online: First Impressions

By Danny "Ralsu" Gourley

By Danny
"Ralsu" Gourley

Turn-based games are not for everybody, but I am telling you right now
that you are cheating yourself our of a fantastic game if you don't try
Atlantica Online
by NDOORS. Looking a little bit like style="font-style: italic;">Guild Wars in
graphical style and quality while playing a little like style="font-style: italic;">Final Fantasy games
in combat, this game shows high production value and is a blast to play.

Download and Installation

Before downloading any game, it's always best to check out the system
requirements. Atlantica
has modest system requirements, which are listed
below, but I recommend having even better specs than those in the
suggested column.

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Required Suggested CPU Pentium 4 1GHz or
better Pentium 4 2GHz or
better RAM 512MB or better 1GB or better VGA GeForce4 TI4200,
64MB or better (must support vertex pixel shading) GeForce 4 6600GT,
128MB or better DirectX  DirectX 9.0c or
better DirectX 9.0c or
better HDD 5GB or more 10GB or more

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Don't let the
description as turn-based fool you. Combat in style="font-style: italic;">Atlantica is fast
and exciting.

My system is a Pentium 4 3GHz
with 3GB RAM and a GeForce 8600GT with 512MB video RAM. On the highest
graphical setting with Fraps running, I was getting 15 frames per
second. Switching to the medium graphics setting gave me 25 frames per
second with Fraps running. I was then able to tweak many setting
without dipping below 22 frames per second with Fraps still running.
The end result was a graphics setting that looked very close to the
maximum while still playing smoothly.

Gamers can download style="font-style: italic;">Atlantica from a
number of mirror sites. The download is 2.15GB.The install size on my
hard drive is just under 6GB.

Installation took nearly twenty minutes, but I did not have to
do anything. I just double-clicked the installer and
let it do the work. I noticed that much of the music expanded as OGG
files, which means players can pull out their favorite pieces and
listen to them with many of the music players we use on our computers.
The maps were DDS files, so I see potential for player modifications to
pinpoint creatures on the maps even though that seems unnecessary
because of one of the game play features (more on that later). When style="font-style: italic;">Atlantica finished
installing, I was able to login
using the press account I received from NDOORS. After a short
patch period, I was able to play.

Character Creation

Even though
I was impressed with the battle animation playing out on the log in
screen, I was anxious to try this game, so I logged in and quickly
selected the beta server so I could create a character. Like any good
strategy game, your character is defined by what type of unit he is. I
could choose between male and female versions of seven unit types:
swordsman, spearman, viking (axe), gunner (rifle), archer (bow),
artilleryman (cannon),
or shaman (staff). Each unit type has its strengths and
weakness and spell abilities.

Swordsmen have very high defense and a Flame Sword magic
attack. They can use enchanted shields and make great front line

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Each unit type in style="font-style: italic;">Atlantica has
unique growth and skills.

Spearmen sacrifice a small amount of defense for doing greater
damage and the ability to strike two foes in a line. Their Lightning
Spear special attack is vicious.

The viking is a one-man wrecking crew, striking three
enemies in a row and doing more damage than the other physical
fighters. His Freezing Axe attack can stun enemies for a short time. As
a trade off, the axe man has low magic resistance and low Action Power,
meaning he can attack less frequently.

Gunners can hit up to three enemies in a line with their
rifles, but they make poor front line fighters with their below average
health and defense. Their special ability is Wild Shot, which does
tremendous damage to foes, but you can't be sure which one(s) it will

Archers can only sit a single opponent with their bows, but
they do the highest damage of the ranged characters. They have very low
defense and hit points, so keep them in the back rows. Their magic is
the Silence spell, which blocks enemy magic for a time. This, like many
aspects of Atlantica,
makes the player use strategy to determine when to sacrifice the high
damage output of an archer to prevent damage from magical enemies.

Artillerymen fire hand held cannons that do average damage to
enemies in a T-shaped pattern. This firing method can hit up to 4
enemies at once. Like the other ranged units, artillerymen have below
average defense, though they seem to be the heartiest. Their magic is
Deep Insight, which delivers a normal attack and reveals the remaining
hit points of the unit targeted by the attack.

The shaman is a magic caster who wields a staff. He has low
health and defense and deals a very weak magic-based attack with the
staff, but the real value of a shaman lies in his magic. One of the
most important spells of the shaman is Blessing of Life, which heals
another unit in his party. Other shaman spells include Hex of Darkness
(damage over time), Brutal Will (make allies berserk, which makes them
automatically attack with physical attacks but for greater damage), and
Noble Sacrifice, which heals all allied units and kills the Shaman.

I made an artilleryman named Ginclock. In addition to gender, I
choose between 4-5 different styles of hair, hair colors, and faces. I
could also choose two styles of clothing.

more to Atlantica.
Continue to page 2.

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

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