Battle of the Immortals a hack and slash free to play MMORPG from Perfect World Entertainment. With a mix of Norse, Chinese, Egyptian, and other misc Mythology’s the game creates a very interesting storyline. BOI for short combines all the great aspects of a hack and slash dungeon crawler like games from the Diablo franchise, and meshes them with that of a 3rd person MMORPG. Coming from Perfect World Entertainment we also see what we have come to expect with top notch graphics and gameplay. This game gives both Western and Eastern style players a ton of content to keep them plenty busy. If you are looking for fast paced action wrapped in a Free to Play wrapper, keep reading, Battle of the Immortals will pull you in!
Getting Ready for Battle
As soon as you log in you will be presented with several server options, and each of those options has several channel options (more on the channels later.) When you start looking around on each server and inside the channels you will immediately notice that they are rampant with players, a good sign for any MMOer. You will never find a lack of player base, but for those who are looking for some privacy, you can find it.
The game is generous enough with the number of characters that an account can have, giving you 5 character slots. Seeing that there are five character classes this will get each player the opportunity to try out each character type. The game keeps the character classes pretty simple, you have your standard Tank, Healer, Range DPS, and two Melee DPS classes (once again more on theses shortly.) The character customization is not riddled with options, but there are enough to create some individuality. My personal opinion is the team wants you in the game and playing as fast as possible. Gameplay is fast, so character creation was meant to be fast also. Just my thoughts.
Making of an Immortal
As stated there are 5 character classes as of the writing of this review. Have to state that as you just never know what developers have up their sleeves for the future. Most MMOers know their playing style, so picking between one of these classes is pretty easy to do. Here is a basic break down of the options that you will have:
- Berzerker: This is your classic Warrior class DPS, with skills meant to deal massive amounts of damage and also party buffs that will help team members boost their damage output. The berzerker will wreak havoc on not only single targets, but also groups of foes. Typically the Statistical focus of the Berzerker is in Strength, but there are alternate builds that may work for you.
- Champion: Give him a sword and shield and he will protect and serve. The games tank class, the champion specializes in gaining the attention of massive groups of mobs to keep them off the damage dealers, but don’t let the Champion fool you. This class can deal some decent damage and take any beating that a group of mobs or a boss can hand out. Typically the Statistical focus of the Champion is in Vitality, but there are alternate builds that may work for you.
- Heretic: The Heretic is here to cure what ails you. As with all classes in BOI, the Heretic’s main focus is healing, but that doesn’t mean that they are left without their own tools to do some hefty damage not only to single targets, but also to AOE. Additionally, a Heretic has the buffs that every party is always looking for to give in that edge in the next battle. Typically the Statistical focus of the Heretic is in Spirit, but there are alternate builds that may work for you.
- Magus: Range DPS at it’s best, the Magus is here to quite simply, blow stuff up! With a full arsenal of high damaging spells, and great AOE. If you want to get through a dungeon quick, make sure you have a Magus with you. Typically the Statistical focus of the Magus is in Intellect, but there are alternate builds that may work for you.
- Slayer: Typically the Statistical focus of the Slayer is in Dexterity, but there are alternate builds that may work for you.
Class builds and gear can really make a difference, not only in the way you play the character, but also the way your character will fit into any party dynamic. With these additional options, it really allows for some interesting builds and gameplay options, as well as a ton of variety. Something I think any gamer welcomes when looking for a quality game.
Getting to Know Your Surroundings
As soon as one enters the game, you do so running! A quick pick up of a could quests will then lead you to the desert with a very Egyptian setting. Following the beginning quests also outfits your new character with gear, potions, and pets that can really make a difference. Don’t forget the massive amounts of experience that these quests give that will have you progressing through the tutorial portion of the game in no time. These basic quests along with the tutorial, and storyline will get any player familiar with controls, UI, and the overall basics of the game right from the get go. The tutorial does a excellent job of walking you through these basics, and you will even see your friendly guide pop up as you progress further into the game at critical times to make sure you have all the information you need. Not a bad thing in my personal opinion at all.
As with many other games coming out in the recent past, BOI has an automated movement system, that helps players to find items, NPCs, and even hunting grounds for the monsters they need to keep 40 of to complete their most recent quest. One can even pick a zone from the world map and put in x and y coordinates and move multiple zones while you go make a sandwich or get a drink. Beware though, when you get there you may be smack dab in the middle of hostile territory, and surrounded by bad guys who would love to put your head on a pole.
Grind it Out or Quest FTW
You will find that you really have two options when it comes to leveling, the usual grind or quest options apply. Truth be told though, the game will give you plenty of quests that will allow you to grind, or in some cases, make you grind. Many quest require killing 40 or 50 of a certain mob. Then turning into that quest only to have to go back and kill another 30 or 40 of them for a certain item from that same monster. These can get a bit repetitive, and boring for some, but with the fast pace of the exp gain (most players will be level 20 within the first hour or two), you really don’t stay in one area too long. So the change of scenery does help alleviate some of what could become monotonous. With gameplay that is so fast paced, and the game slipping you the occasional double exp stone, even the most die hard questing player will find themselves being drawn to grinding it out here and there.
UI Gets Overhauled
When I first started playing BOI in April, I walked away from the game after about 15 minutes. The text in the game was awful, the UI was painful, the gameplay and potential was there, but I just couldn’t do it. I ended up giving the game a try about two months later, it seemed a bit better, but it was still not easy to overlook somethings that were glaring problems with the UI. I did and I enjoyed the gameplay despite the UI problems. Now, thanks to a recent update, many of the aesthetics of the UI have been revamped and look much better. Text that was once almost painful to read, now has a much more clean and sleek look that has take the pain away. Other minor UI improvements were also implemented and players have rejoiced. For those of you just starting now, just be happy you didn’t have to suffer!
Taking the Fight to Them
Combat is the root of Battle of the Immortals, and it should be expects since the game is of hack and slash genre. Combat skills are simple to use and assign to the action bars. As your character progresses you will need to visit your trainer and spend EXP to upgrade your skills. The same EXP that you use to level. There is a strategy to this, and increasing ones skills and forfeiting a level or two for later is part of it. Having more powerful skills at a lower level just makes completing quests, dungeons, and other tasks that much easier. Point and click or tabbing to cycle through you enemies are both options as you many times will find yourself surrounded by groups of monsters and need to re-target after each kill, something I wish they would change. One tool each class has that is pretty fun to play with is the EXP Skill, each class has a different skill, and these do not require mana or power, but instead require you to build up an exp bar, once fully loaded you can unleash a powerful AOE attack that will help take down groups of mobs. Great for the mass slaughter type quests in the game.
To All The Furry Friends We Love
The games pet system is pretty amazing. You can catch and tame the pet types of your choice, you can also buy them from other players. Pets fight along side their masters and level up through battle. Pets have the same stats that PCs have and each level are able to increase their stats to better serve their masters. Pets can also be given powerful skills that can really make them beneficial to your adventure. Skills range from DPS to AOEs to Buffs. Pick your pets wisely as you are limited to only a few pet slots. You can increase your pet slots, but those are not free. Overall the system is very unique and really adds to the games buzz factor.
In addition to pets, the game has a mount system that works in much the same way. Although you do not capture mounts, you are limited to the number of mounts you can have, and mounts can also be enhanced. The first mount is a reward through your questing of an instanced dungeon. Other mounts can be purchased from players or from the games item shop. All mounts can be enhanced to get you around much faster.
Hmmm… That’s Different
The game has an interesting daily event system. Each day there are multiple events that each character can earn rewards for completing. Some are as simple as completing some delivery quests and then putting a party together to run around the games main city to different spots required by the final quest. Others are completed through dungeon crawls. Many are channel specific, so you can not actually complete the event unless you are on a specific channel. Events are another way to gain EXP and level even faster, but the rewards from completing events are what characters really want. Pets, Potions, Coins, Double EXP stones, the list goes on. The events really give players a ton of things to do in the game if they are needing a change from the typical grind and quest line of play.
Double Exp is something every gamer loves right? Well each week the game gives 300 minutes of double exp time, and you can start and stop this as you see fit during your weekly game play sessions. So as you are running around doing delivery quests, you can turn it off, but when you have to kill loads of monsters or are going to run a few instances, just pop it on and reap the rewards! Another added bonus that the game gives to players is salary. Salary is earned through play time and can be turned in for items in the item mall. A great way to use the cash shop and still stick to the free aspect of the game. Of course the game developers use this as a tool to try and lure you in for certain items with the hopes that you will spend money on other items in the games cash shop, and there is nothing wrong with that.
To Sum It All Up
Battle of the Immortals has evolved into one of the top games in the free to play market. If you are a fan of the hack and slash genre then you are really going to love this one. With excellent graphics, easy and smooth gameplay, and plenty of content to keep even the most die hard fan busy. It is hard to not overlook any minor flaws that may rear their ugly head occasionally. Perfect World Entertainment takes their games seriously and have already shown that they listen to their player base with the first round of updates. The company is also very good about releasing regular updates for their entire lineup of games, so I expect to see the same for BOI. If you are looking for fast paced action, not a huge time commitment, yet a game with depth when you want it. I highly suggest you step into the Battle of the Immortals world.