Istaria: Chronicles of the Gifted Reviews

  • A long-time MMO that's "dragon" itself back into the big time!

    The notion of playable dragons is enough to make any fantasy gamer drool, and this stalwart MMO in the vein of EverQuest Live delivers that, a enwizened concept of tradeskills, and more. But is it innovative enough to recover from past financial woes and a 2005 developer change-of-hands, recapturing market share from big-name games like World of Warcraft and EverQuest 2?

    "Horizons: Empire of Istaria" is a charming fantasy MMORPG that, for much of its life, has led a troubled existance. Originally the 1999 brainchild of now-defunct Artifact Entertainment, the game launched in December 2003 but ostensibly could not defray its titanic accrued development costs. As the rumor mill has it, the game was originally intended to include sublime MMO concepts like "character aging," but could not carry many of its markedly innovative ideas to implementation.

    What Horizons does offer, aside from a solid fantasy MMO experience in the vein of EverQuest, is a heady multiclassing system, playable dragons(!), and most of all, the most robust crafting system the genre has ever seen.

    See the full Horizons: Empire of Istaria profile as the latest addition to our "History of MMO Gaming" series.

    Fri, Sep 16, 2005
  • It's been on the Horizon for five years. Reminds me of Duke Nukem Forever.
    GamersInfo has posted a review of Horizons. They said we could be a dragon, but who knew that dragons spend 80% of their lives mining gems?:

    "It has been over a year and a half since Horizons: Empires of Istaria was released. In that time, Artifact Entertainment had to let go of a large portion of their developers, as well as file for Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Eventually, they were bought out by Tulga Games and since have been able to hire on a couple more developers. Throughout all this, as well as a significant bottoming out of subscriptions, Horizons has continued to evolve into what many feel is a completely new game."

    You can read the entire Horizons Review at GamersInfo.

    Tue, Aug 02, 2005
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