|Dev: Perfect World Entertainment|
|Pub: Perfect World Entertainment|
|Release: March 9, 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Josh Wirtanen
Perfect World Entertainment attempted to do what a lot of other Korean companies have failed at: building a solid MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) that can draw the attention of a Western audience. For inspiration, they drew from the well created by such titles as World of Warcraft and Everquest. What they ultimately come up with was Forsaken World, a Korean MMO that feels Western.
Forsaken World includes some interesting race and class options from the get-go. While the standard MMO races are present – elves, dwarves, and humans – there are a couple more to choose from. First is the Stonemen, a race of powerful warriors. Those of the other race, the Kindred, are sort of a cross between the humans and elves, yet they have the option of becoming Vampires, which is pretty awesome.
There is a lot to do in Forsaken World, but most of it is the pretty standard MMO stuff. You'll run fetch quests and be asked to kill x amount of such-and-such a creature. But Forsaken World never tries to convince you that it's doing something new. It's very fourth-wall-breakingly self-aware at points (your character will even refer to a specific quest as being a better than "killing ten rats," an obvious jab at WoW.) Unfortunately, Forsaken World never quite falls into that groove that higher-quality MMOs are able to fall into. In the typical MMO, it's easy to lose five or six hours without realizing it, constantly telling yourself, "just one more quest." Whenever I sat down with Forsaken World for more than a few hours, it started to get a little dull.
There's not an overwhelming amount of quests in starter areas, so players won't be intimidated by a full quest log in the beginning. However, once the starting area has been completed, the amount of available quests increases. Even with some fairly robust repeatable quest options, there is still a pretty weak amount of quest content compared to other MMOs. And what content there is just doesn't feel as balanced as it should. For most of the game, I was doing quests about seven levels beneath my character's level. But even so, leveling up is surprisingly fast. It's not hard to hit about level 15 after a couple hours, even while doing quests much lower-level than your character.
A quick look at the fully zoomed-out world map reveals that only about half the possible landscape has been used, suggesting Forsaken World has plans to expand land-wise. This means there is the potential for a much larger and richer game world in the future. It's nice to know that even when you've fully explored all the areas in the game, there's still more content to look forward to.
The visuals can't hold a candle to those of major titles like Aion or Rift, but they are definitely a step up from WoW's. The art-style is obviously inspired by WoW, though the characters don't look quite as cartoony. Unfortunately, the character customization is a bit shallow; you can't adjust height or weight, which results in many characters looking exactly the same. Since the low-level gear selection is pretty limited, there's a severe lack of diversity in starting areas. I do have to mention that even though there's not an enormous variety in hairstyles, the ones that are present all look really good.