With all the advertising and hype surrounding it, I figured it was time to look at the most aggressively pushed MMO on a mobile platform. Released back in 2003 in South Korea and 2004 in North America, the grind and pvp heavy MMORPG Lineage 2 was released as a prequel to the world wide release of Lineage back in 1998. In 2017 Lineage 2 Revolution has been released for iOS and Android as a free to play game. Set 100 years before the events of Lineage 2, it attempts to bring the MMO gameplay to the mobile market. With its ad campaign and Twitch-Con demo showing off 50 vs 50 fortress siege gameplay, the game poised itself to take cellphone gaming by storm. However can a long running MMO franchise be translated well for the gamer on the go?
Lineage 2 Revolution
Platform: iOS and Android (Reviewed)
Release Date: November 15th, 2017
Price: Free (with microtransactions)
When you first start Lineage 2 Revolution you are introduced to a story based tutorial on how to play. Taking it step by step it teaches you the controls and different mechanics of the game. Directly after you are able to make a new character and engage in the world. Races of the world include Humans, Elves, Dark Elves and Dwarfs. Each one of the races is tied to a specific gender with no way to change.
Humans and Dark Elves are male while Elves and Dwarfs are female. You are able to select the character class you want to be, warrior, rogue and mage mage style archetypes with their own specific moveset are available to the player to chose. Each class can unlock a specific advance class later on down the road that are specific to each race. You can minimally change your character’s facial appearance as well.
One thing of note of character appearance, as armor is upgraded the armor changes and becomes more extravagant in appearance. However the developers of the game decided that the game should be Censored in some areas of the world, North America included. A example of it can be found here.
The graphical quality on mobile is great for newer devices for a mobile game. Utilizing Unreal Engine 4, it positions itself as a example of graphics on a mobile device can do. The abundance of life in the world is impressive on the highest graphical setting. Real time shadows look great and textures have a surprising amount of detail. Older devices may be forced downgrade their graphics in order to get a good framerate. However it looks good regardless.
The UI to the game clutters the screen limiting the view able area. There are flash alerts that appear when other players get a high ranked item as well as monsters spawn right in the middle of the screen. The bottom is taken up by the controls, chat, experience bar, and ability buttons. Even more such as the mini map, quests, and menu buttons are also placed on the screen. While it is understandable being a MMORPG, there is a point where it becomes to much.
The audio for the game is also surprising as its done very well. My level 46 warlords abilities when used have a sound that enforces the fact that abilities have a lot of power behind them. The voice acting from the characters are done good enough to not feel out of place and disruptive. Music ranges from somber tones using wind instruments, mysterious orchestrated tones with some vocal work for dungeons, and thundering drums for high intense moments. Monster and creatures sound effects are clear and will be familiar with MMO players as well.
The gameplay takes places in a Diablo style view. Auto attacks after pressing a button or being attacked are automatic with abilities being tied to cooldowns. From the standard abilities and passives tied to your class there are also rare abilities that can be opened and upgraded using skill books. A total of 5 abilities being hotkeyed at any time. It’s not uncommon to fight multiple enemies at once during quests, dungeons and world exploration and using abilities is key.
Daily quests, class changes and dungeons open up during the story. As you progress through the main quest line more game play options open up such as, getting gold, potions to help level up stats, killing a specific amount of creatures for more bonus stats, as well as arena pvp. At the start it’s not to much of a issue to blaze through some of the story.
Later however main quests become level gated and it’s easy to go through all your daily activities be be left with nothing to do but Grind or log out for a specific amount of time to get an experience bonus. People who know things about Korean MMO’s know that grinding is extremely time consuming and painful, and even in its mobile state it still is.
Everything is made trivial by one key feature of the game. Almost everything in the game can be automated. Having a quest selected in the sidebar your character will go complete it without you needed to pay attention. Pressing the auto button next to your abilities your character will automatically attack everything in range.
Going into the monster listing for the area you can click a monster automatically hunt. You don’t need to pay attention to the game to play it. I don’t understand how that can be fun or a good idea to be implemented in any game.
It’s not uncommon for people to join groups for bonus experience in dungeons and just push auto to grind mobs when they run out of daily activities and quests to do. While there is world PVP in the game, not once did anyone come to attack me or attack players who left their games on all night.
PVP in the game is there but most players don’t even participate in it. In world pvp you are able to select different settings of who and when you will attack a player but most don’t even attempt to. Arena PVP is deceptive as you are fighting other players characters, however they are controlled by a AI and with your involvement it’s easy to beat players a bit higher in power than you are.
The only real time players are involved in pvp are in fortress sieges 30 vs 30 or 50 vs 50 battles. Currently there is one pvp setting locked known as Castle Siege which clans will fight to take over a castle and prove who is the strongest clan. For the couple of fortress sieges I got to play when available I had good time. The 30 vs 30 maps I played all adjusted the players so they are on equal footing and no one was over or under powered compared to another. I wanted to do more of them but got tired of waiting for them to come up after a specific amount of time waiting.
For those who are wondering, yes it does have aggressive micro-transactions. Trying to avoid putting any money in the game is difficult as players who do will remain more powerful and have more things to do than you. The game does give you red diamonds which is used as a type of currency for some store items as well as resets on daily activities if you done more than your daily cap. They are not enough, more so two other currencies locked behind a paywall.
Blue diamonds must be bought or traded from the auction house for rare items, topaz for a chance to get some of the best items must be bought. With money you spend you also are gained loyalty points to exchange. Everything behind the paywall is expensive and even with some of the packages you can get its almost never enough. Likewise top rated gear can be Limit Broken to be made more powerful but requires you to collect and combine items, or purchase the completed item from the store.
If you noticed previously, I said a chance to get some of the best items. As with almost all mobile games it still uses the same gacha system that most mobile games use to unlock items. The main stat that the game measures you on is combat power. SR rank items have the highest combat power can be collected through normal means of leveling up a item to 30 using trash gear then combining it with another item of the same type, rarity (C, B, A, S, R, and SR), and level. It becomes a time consuming and tedious way to get better gear.
Moreover, there is a chance that when combining them it will change to a different type of gear as well hurting your chance to get best in slot items. More often than not it’s just easier to try to get the item from the Gacha chests then try to even farm them.
I do like playing MMO’s with friends every so often but I am easily burned out admittedly and Lineage 2 Revolution offers me very few reasons to even play the game. The randomness of trying to combine gear to get the item you want, the aggressive micro-transactions, and the ability to automatically do almost anything just takes a lot away.
Even interacting with other players not in your clan is few and far between. I had group invites but no communications as they would invite for bonus experience and push auto on almost any action they do. There is some fun to be had for awhile if you actually play the game, but overall it just doesn’t feel worth it if your looking for a traditional mmo on the go.
Lineage 2 Revolution was reviewed on Android using a early access code provided by Netmarble. You can find additional information about Niche Gamer’s review/ethics policy here.