The Chronicles of Spellborn Review
By Chad Montague |
Gamers are always waiting for "the next big thing"; this is particularly true of MMO players. Upon the launch of a new MMO you will often see people rolling into the newbie zone and immediately asking if the game is in fact "the next big thing", desperately hoping that is. Although it may sound silly to ask others to make the decision for them, MMO players have a limited time to determine if the title features enough content to ensure a long life and high server population. Retail MMOs typically come with a free 30-day subscription; after which players must decide if they want to pay to continue to play. The Chronicles of Spellborn is available for free digital download, with a subscription model labeled "Freemium." This means that you can download the game at any time for free and try out a limited free-to-play zone until your character is ready to go beyond Level 7. A premium subscription, at the standard MMO subscription rate, will allow you access to all of Spellborn's features and content. If you want to try out the game for yourself, you can download Spellborn at FilePlanet for free.
The rocky skybox is initially impressive but soon gets a bit monotonous.In late 2008, The Chronicles of Spellborn made its European debut. On April 23, 2009, Acclaim announced the official North American release of Spellborn International's MMORPG. To kick things off they offered all players a free two-week premium subscription. Spellborn's developers and publishers must have felt the game was well polished to offer a free trial right at launch, something most companies wait many updates before doing. Fortunately for Spellborn International and Acclaim, the launch appeared to go quite well. Of course, no new game is without its bugs and glitches, but you can count Spellborn's as small in comparison to other launches in the history of MMORPGs. On the other end of the spectrum, new players are privy to conversations regarding a lack of content upon reaching the level cap, which could be cause for some to forego a subscription once their trial runs out.
The world within Spellborn is one of rebirth. Based on a post-apocalyptic fantasy theme, there is an extensive timeline wrapped up in the game's lore. In its current time period the universe has been split into four shards that have been encased in rock. Visualize living in a dome. But not a cool dome like Beyond Thunderdome (two men enter, one man leaves!), but a dome with no sun or sky above; just static rock. Without first reading the lore, one might be hard-pressed to even recognize the 'ceiling' as rock. Which is why it is being mentioned here. Yes, that is rock looming ominously above your head!
The Chronicles of Spellborn may seem very simplistic at first glance, but as you dig deeper you will find there is an underlying complexity. New and exciting things happen at staggered intervals, such as being able to select a discipline for your archetype, deciding on which House (faction) to join, receiving the ability to start using Bodyslots, and more. All of these things give Spellborn an added depth that is not readily visible when you are just starting out. Since the decisions you make in such matters are permanent, you really need to sit back and think strategically. Following a quest-line to join a High House has a rather epic feel to it; after all, this is your "Rite of Initiation". Important decisions such as this one make you feel more invested in the game. Unfortunately, after you gain in level you will find that many aspects of the whole High House and Massive PvP concept have not yet been incorporated.
There's plenty of cosmetic customization but too few races.After selecting between a disappointing total of two races, Human and Daevi, you are presented with a slew of character customization options. If you enjoy starting your game experience with a little virtual Ken and Barbie, then you've come to the right place. Beyond physical attributes, you will select a full set of gear, which can be further personalized using a color palette. Customizing your character to this extent prior to entering the game world makes it yours right from the get go. Armor is merely cosmetic in the game; no statistics are associated with your gear. When you enter the world, new looks and dye jobs are available for purchase both in shops and on the market, but actual stat boosts come from the use of bodyslots and sigils. So instead of hoping for good gear drops, you're waiting for good sigil and crafting drops.
Following character customization, players begin their Spellborn journey in a lengthy tutorial. If you are a seasoned MMO player then chances are you will feel the tutorial is unnecessary, you may even try to escape from the shardship that you're cruising in on; don't bother, there is no escape! Even newcomers to the genre may find it to be rather bloated. However, you will complete the tutorial at Fame Level 3; consider this a gift, as experience is not earned quickly in The Chronicles of Spellborn.