For the last seven days I’ve been exploring a new game that is nearing the end of it’s closed beta, the next one will be an open beta, then launch. Riders of Icarus is a Korean MMO that is being published for the West by Nexon, who is also responsible for games like First Assault, Law Breakers, Maple Story, Mabinogi, Dirty Bomb, Vindictus, Dragon Nest, and many others.
Riders of Icarus is like any other theme park MMO really, with one exception, it’s all about collecting and taming mounts. For people who love collection things this will be very addictive. If you’ve played Terra then the graphics and play style will be familiar to you. The classes that are in the game right now are Berserker, Guardian, Assassin, Priest, and Wizard. All of which can be played as either male or female.
The key I discovered, was to remember this is a BETA, and a closed one at that. There is still a lot that needs to be fixed and they have about a month to implement changes so the game could turn out very different from what I saw in the CBT.
The first day of the CBT was crazy, and their servers could not handle the amount of players ready to jump into the world they had created. Hopefully this will not be the case at launch. In the tutorial area, where there were no other people I had frame rates of around 10 which was very flustering and I had to have a ton of patience. Then in the starting zones it got down to around 3, at which point I closed the game and decided to try again later. They did patch through the CBT which was brilliant! And it did fix something that I had noticed were issues.
Things I liked:
- The mount taming system. After the patch- before it was super broken, after they patched, it worked a lot better for me.
- The cut scenes were interesting, the story is middle of the road right now for me though.
- Flying- very fun! The altitude system they have in place is interesting to me.
- The variety of mounts and difficulty to capture different ones is complex which makes the game unique.
- Action or Standard Play Modes- you can select which style is better for you, for me I like to play Action Mode, and I really like that I had that choice. However when I log in and out it resets and I have to change it every time I come into the game which is annoying. Another thing they need to fix.
- The attention to detail that went into designing some of the mounts is really very beautiful.
- Character creation, had a good selection to choose from, but would have liked to see more female hairstyles that were long, I’m a big fan of long hair.
- If you make multiple characters, you can skip the tutorial.
- You can tame mounts, then make them into a seal, which you can then apply to a weapon, and the mount/animal/seal then give you some sort of bonus to that armor or weapon, which is pretty cool.
Things I didn’t like:
- Movement speeds of mounts, if feels heavy and slow for a mount.
- Reaction times in combat are slow, it seems that when you press a button for your character to attack then immediately give another command the first command has to be followed through before the next, like fully. This makes the combat chunky, slow, and heavy. I hope this is something they fix. (I noticed this when playing Guardian the most).
- The game doesn’t actually close when I exit the game. I had to go into my task manager and close it that way. Also random crashes- but I suspect this will be changed for launch. Gotta keep in mind the whole CBT thing.
- Not unique game play, traditional questing (and linear), just like any other MMO with the exception of the mounts which is the whole point. (I’m also coming from playing BDO which is the opposite of this kind of game, which is totally find, just different ways of thinking).
Should you play?
Why not? If you like theme park MMO’s, and really get into collecting stuff there is no reason not to TRY this game. When it launches it will be FREE TO PLAY, so you can always uninstall it if you don’t like it. I’m not overly impressed with the game, and I’m not going to sit here and act like it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread, but it’s also not a terrible piece of garbage.
I saw and heard a lot of people really criticizing the game and I feel like they expected it to be more polished than it is, which I guess is understandable, however it’s closed beta, and in ANY beta there are going to be problems. The devs have a whole month to work hard and take in our feedback and make changes, which I’m sure they will do. I feel in a lot of ways it’s to early to pass final judgement on the game and am going to wait for launch, which I feel is fair.