Aion: Assault on Balaurae Review
Aion: Assault on Balaurae box art
System: PC Review Rating Legend
Dev: NCSoft 1.0 - 1.9 = Avoid 4.0 - 4.4 = Great
Pub: MCSoft 2.0 - 2.4 = Poor 4.5 - 4.9 = Must Buy
Release: Sept. 7, 2010 2.5 - 2.9 = Average 5.0 = The Best
Players: 1-Massive Online 3.0 - 3.4 = Fair
ESRB Rating: Teen 3.5 - 3.9 = Good
What Do You Want For Nothing?
by Cole Smith

Aion: Assault on Balaurae is the expansion pack that plays like a meal. I know that doesn’t make sense, but if you watch a lot of commercials you’ll get the inference. For those that don’t have time to waste on TV, but instead defer it to playing games on the PC, what I mean to say is that Aion: Assault on Balaura is phat. As an expansion pack that’s part of a MMORPG, it’s not a stand-alone game despite many single-player quests. It’s aimed at the higher-level players. Let’s just say if your character isn’t leveled up to 50, then you’ve got some work ahead of you.

Aion: Assault on Balaurae screenshot

The Balaur are coming! The Balaur are coming! The story may not be unique, but the presentation is compelling. In the continuing saga of the Aion universe, hordes of Balaur threaten your very existence, and the existence of all the other online players. Alliances can be formed to counterattack these bastards, but don’t expect the Elyos and Asmodians to be civil to one another forever and ever. The gameplay encourages PvP as well as PvPvE.

To achieve maximum playing satisfaction from Assault on Balaura, you must have your character meet or exceed the 50 level, otherwise many new features are inaccessible. There are new zones, new instances, new vehicles, and a 200-slot inventory for pets. But not to worry if you’ve got a lot of leveling to do, as things are a little easier on you in this expansion pack. Thanks to the ability to see all of the quests on the map, you can take care of business more efficiently and effectively. You can spend less time grinding and more time questing. Keep in mind you’ll still be grinding, but at least you’ll be able to head in the right direction.

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Bonus rewards have been increased up to three times. Not to mention bonuses have been increased anywhere from thirty to forty percent. Single-player dungeons are offered exclusively for lower-leveled players. There are two of them, and they are filled with goodies, points, and elements designed to give you more insight into the storyline. If you’re between the levels of 18 to 24 you’re welcome with open arms. Higher level players are forbidden from entering. Players in this level range can also take part in a lucrative solo instance.

Aion: Assault on Balaurae screenshot

Don’t think Pokemon when you hear about the pets. You don’t take these creatures into battle. They will accompany you on your journey and can be used as tools, coming in handy for crafting items, producing materials, storage, and most importantly, warning you of approaching dangers. The materials they help craft and produce won’t be the highly coveted stuff, but it will help you along and give you an advantage over the high-leveled players since they won’t have access to it. The pets are a nice addition, kind of like adding accessories to a hot rod. They’re cute and don’t add a whole lot to the performance, but they keep your morale up.

High-leveled players are pampered in this game. It’s far from a cakewalk, but they will enjoy an exclusivity that will give them more real estate in which to strut their stuff and which allows them to interact with similarly highly-leveled characters. They’ll have access to three new zones, new flying mechanics, lots of new quests, a new solo instance, and new combat elements. Getting from level 51 to 55 is tough, and even that may be an understatement. Still, it’s not about the destination, it’s about the journey and there’s no shortage of journeying.

Aion: Assault on Balaurae screenshot

The map is huge and packed with things to do. You can play in single-player or multi-player to explore different gaming dynamics. In the multi-player mode you can take part in a 12-player instance, and then go on your way as an angry loner.

Screenshots / Images

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