Kingdoms are at war and now you must choose what side you will take in this 3D fantasy MMORPG! So let’s take a look at this free-to-play and see if it really lives up to the standard set before it. Many have claimed that this MMO looks and plays like World of Warcraft. Stick around and I’ll answer the question on everyone’s mind, is this FTPMMO a World of Warcraft rip-off or does it exude originality?
Developed by the Korean based Zemi Interactive Inc., 4Story was published by game&game in 2008. Zemi Interactive is one of the top MMORPG developers and is known for its other MMORPGs Travia, and Dragon Gem. 4Story has been successfully published in more than 10 different languages around the world.
4Story is set in the world of Iveria and takes place at a time when 3 kingdoms have begun to wage war… on each other. These kingdoms are DeFugel, Craxion, and Broa. So, are you all settled in, ready to hear a good story? Yes? Okay, let’s begin. Once upon a time, there was a game that had no storyline. The end. How was that? I know, it sucked and so does the storyline (if you can call it that) of 4Story. Basically, you are some legendary hero whose purpose is to set Iveria free from inevitable doom. Oh, and I’m that hero too. Wait; okay… we’re all that hero. That makes sense.
You: The Hero
Alright, so we’ve mourned the loss of another possible storyline and now it’s time to move on. It’s time to create your avatar. You’ll have the option to choose from 3 different races. The races in 4Story are Human, Fairy, and Werebeast. Your choice of race will, in fact, affect your gameplay experience as each of the races has different stats.
To be completely honest, the classes in 4Story are nearly identical to those in World of Warcraft. Does this kill the game? No, I don’t think so. In fact, why not play a free-to-play MMO of the same caliber as a pay-to-play? The classes are Archer, Assassin, Summoner, Warrior, Wizard, and Priest. Here’s a little bit about each one:
Archer – Archers are long-range fighters who are agile and have mastered the art of evasion. The Archer’s weapon of choice is the bow and cross bow. While they are generally long-range fighters, Archers are also pack a punch with their melee attack. While Archers prefer bows and crossbows, they are also skilled with daggers as well as one and two-handed swords.
Assassin – The Assassins are extremely deadly as they can move quickly and quietly through the darkness. Assassins are excellent in melee combat and their weapons of choice are daggers and one-handed swords. This class also has access to bows and cross bows.
Summoner – Summoners possess a deep understanding of the power of nature and have an innate ability to manipulate it. Summoners are capable of summoning a wide variety of spirits and creatures to assist them in battle. Using their mental ability, Summoners are able to command their summoned associates to heal, attack, or defend. A summoner’s weapons of choice are magic wands and staffs. They also carry magic shields.
Warrior – Known for their master melee skills, Warriors are quite a dangerous opponent. Warriors provide excellent support and are well trained in defensive combat. Wearing plate or chain armors, Warriors are skilled in using a wide variety of weaponry including both one and two-handed swords, bows and cross bows, and axes.
Wizard – Known as the artists of magic, Wizards have the ability to transcend time and space by utilizing their powerful magic. Wizards are skilled in both individual combat as well as wide range attacks. A Wizard’s weapons of choice are magic wands and staffs.
Priest – A Priest is the protector of his allies. Priests use their holy magic to not only protect their allies, but resurrect them from the dead. Their ability doesn’t stop there. Priests are capable of dealing severe damage to their foes utilizing dark magic. Priests also prefer staffs and magic wands as their weapons.
Okay, so we’ve established that kingdoms are at war and you’ll choose which one you want to fight for. Getting into gameplay, you’ll notice right off the bat that you have the choice between mouse and W, A, S, and D controls. I love this option. Everyone has a control preference and I like when the developers actually give you a choice. From the login screen to the UI, everything about 4Story screams World of Warcraft. Quite frankly, it amazes me that they can get away with making something so similar and not get shut down. Apparently it’s okay because they’ve been up and kicking since 2008.
The world in 4Story is quite extensive and really gives a feeling of “bigness”. There is just so much to explore that the prospect of journeying and treasure hunting is exciting. In Iveria there are several territories which are to be claimed by your kingdom. Battles take place at a predetermined time, daily, between the two kingdoms, Craxion and DeFugel.
Another interesting aspect of this game is time travel. 4Story gameplay will take you through both the past and the future as you embark on various quests. At the end of each chapter, you are taken to an instanced dungeon that contains a puzzle. The quests themselves are entertaining. There is also a variety of sub-quests as well as hidden quests. While the quests reward well, progression is fairly slow.
Weapon upgrades in 4Story are extensive starting at grade “F” and ending at grade “SSS”. Upgrading weapons in this MMO is like shopping for a bra size. Okay, well, not really… But come on, who wouldn’t want to meet the gal shopping for size “SSS”? Anyway, back on topic—you can even upgrade your weapon to a max of level 24, which is sweet. Weapon customization is nice too. Each weapon comes complete with special options which make weapon customization virtually limitless. So, I have one question to ask you… Do you feel lucky, punk?
4Story also has a unique battle system which employs both strategy and tactic. When clicking on the mini map, you are in complete, real-time, control of all the members under your command. You can pinpoint each member’s location and also give commands to gather, hold, attack, and ambush.
Deja Vu: It’s Like I Have Been Here Before
The graphics and animation of 4Story will definitely remind you of World of Warcraft. And really, who can complain when the graphics of a free-to-play game are comparable to those of a pay-to-play? Just like World of Warcraft, the animations and graphics are superb. The developers took a less serious approach with the characters as they have more of a cartoon look; which is an interesting take on a game where characters are on a mission of destruction.
The background music is fair. Generally, the music sets a very mellow tone which doesn’t quite gel with the impending bloodshed. With that being said, the developers took their time with 4Story’s sound effects which really blow World of Warcraft’s sound effects out of the water. From the sounds of battle to the attention grabbing spell sounds, Zemi Interactive did a phenomenal job bringing this FTPMMO to life!
The Final Word
Should you download this game? Yes! The realm versus realm and player versus player gameplay really keeps things exciting. The quests are fun, rewarding and really drive the game. Oh, and the world is very extensive which equals a lot of exploring which I enjoy. Graphics in this game are top-notch and really keep you coming back for more. Having said all that, I do have a few gripes about 4Story.
My biggest complaint is the slow pace of gameplay progression. But, if you’re enjoying yourself, which you probably will, that won’t matter. Another gripe I have is the lack of esthetic options in character customization. I just can’t stand when a game—especially one like this that has the genuine likeness of a pay-to-play—doesn’t take the time to give you appearance options for your character. It’s lame; bottom line. Something else you’ll notice is the poor English translation. Though, this isn’t the first time, and we know it won’t be the last, when a foreign game comes to the US with some translation issues. Either way, it’s just annoying.
So, having aired all of my complaints, I will say that I still enjoyed 4Story and would highly recommend downloading it and giving it a whirl. Who knows, you just may enjoy yourself!