Wednesday, 30 December 2009

Adventures in Aion - Easier to pull teeth

When I first dived into Aion I had hoped to keep a journal of my time there to best explain its world and the mechanics behind its operation. I'd also hoped, above all things, that Aion would actually be a good game. Sadly both of those hopes of mine turned out to be false as Aion is anything but a good game and writing about dull and boring experiences would be just as boring as every moment I spent in the game.

Twenty five hours of my life I put into the MMO and it's hard for me to be anything but negative about my experience with it. I will say that the visual quality of the game is exemplary and the vibrant colours it brings to the screen certainly give it a unique style that helps to cover the poor gameplay. But that gameplay is woeful and the thought of logging back into the world makes me shiver in repulsion.

Aion takes all the systems, all the mechanics and all the structure I despise so much about the MMO genre and happily presents them as if I'm to expect and enjoy such things. The opening areas for both races are structurally identical and the grinding procedure is so painfully obvious that I wondered if the game was missing some part of the front-end to conceal its dull inner workings.

I'll save my specific complaints for the imminent review, but Aion fails because the first 25 levels are so excruciatingly dull that I couldn't care less about the world, characters or poorly executed narrative that held it all together.

The winged combat and the thrill of getting wings at an early stage was quickly shut down by the game's needless constrictions. It doesn't do anything remotely interesting with the unique aspects it has and lacks the finesse I was expecting and hoping an Asian MMO would deliver. Even the free to play MMOs of Shin Megami Tensei or Free Realms offer a much more coherent experience in their less-than-stellar looking worlds.

This experience showed me that I was right to stop playing MMos two years ago and I can only hope that Fallen Earth, my next review project, will offer something different to take the sour taste of Aion out of my mouth.


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