While there are a ton of games on the Apple’s App Store, only a few games can be considered to be innovative, comes in an almost complete package and a pure time sink for users, Gameloft’s efforts to innovate the mobile MMORPG genre has once again, came into full circle, with the release of Order and Chaos 2: Redemption, the sequel to their 2011 mobile MMORPG, Order and Chaos (which is still available mind you.). While the game is indeed a sequel, some changes were made and with Gameloft’s decision to switch to free-to-play, there must be some pretty dire trade-offs in the game for sure.
The story revolves the threat of new evil rising as the secret of Khalin’s Hammer and the location of the Primal Heart were discovered by heroes. During Order & Chaos 1, the story led our heroes to find the Hammer to save their world of Haradon, and was used to destroy the Primal Heart, which of-course, did more bad than good as heroes continued to die and the world fell into chaos. We awake 600 years after the incident with new heroes tasked on saving Haradon once again.
The visuals in this game are good to look at, sure there are some rough textures but can you even think that this was possible? A full-scale MMORPG on your phone? Older MMORPG games couldn’t even pull a full 3D game when it launched and that was on PC, over-all the visuals in this game are good, the sun rays, taking screen-shots are a dream compared to other games, and this game implements little to no loading times, so everything is persistent and hardware limitations are allowed as an excuse this time around.
Character customization on the mobile platform has never been much a priority for most games as we were forced to play the same face-gender-locked avatars, Gameloft has done good by giving its players a few options that do give some uniqueness to the characters through some with races (Humans, gnome-like Mendels, Elves, Orcs and new reptile-dragon looking Kratans), hair, face, body and color options, however they could have done so with more options to choose from. The game also lets you pick into one of 5 classes: the average boots to butts frontline Warriors, the ever tactical-trap-deploying Rangers , the master of arcane arts and ranged Mages, the spear-wielding-healing Monks , and the newly introduced life-sacrificing Blood Knights. No dedicated healer unlike the first game however if you want more healing or support, the Monk may be your best bet, too bad its melee-ranged though.
Questing in the game may be confusing for those who aren’t used to playing on iPhones (oh hail the iPad!) or smaller screens as the UI can take up 10-20% of your screen, but with a simple tap on the quest objective, also expect “Kill XX monsters”/”Proceed to xx” type of quests as the quest system relies on “Old-school” tactics but there are also small events that appears on the map (think dynamic questing by Guild Wars 2, but with no world consequences), you won’t get lost though as one click on the quest objective leads you to a trail in which you can follow to proceed with the quest, however If you do get bored you can queue up one of the games solo-dungeons (or Dream Dungeons as the game calls it), or do 4-man dungeons that can reap crafting materials that you can use to create and upgrade your “Heritage weapon”, gear, and gold. Crafting could use an overhaul since I do find that there are no crafting nodes in the open world and it can only be obtained through enemy drops or dungeon rewards.
Combat has been easy to control just like the old, using touch commands , you have access to your normal attack, 3 skills (expandable to 7 if you needed it just by clicking the small arrow near your 1st attack). Skills are a bit complicated as “Insciptions” modify the skills effects by adding more functions, learning skills (active or passsive) and inscriptions do cost skill points and only a limited number of inscriptions will be allowed. Also some monsters are huge, I have played it only on my iPhone 6 but imagine playing on the iPad Pro?
The game also implements a Vigor system, one thing that I really do not like about this game is this mechanic, as you continuously enter dungeons, do questing, your Vigor depletes up to a point that you cannot do dungeons anymore, forcing you to take a breather and go focus on your real life. Although some may see it as a way for the developers to allow us time to rest, it also contradicts itself with recharge potions in the item store, but if you do not mind closing and coming back, eventually it will recharge by itself and you can go on questing.
With a free-to-play model being implemented, Gameloft sure (up to this point in time), gave the players much wiggle room instead of a paywall. The item mall hosts very little items that can gain you “Pay-to-Win” status, with only the “Heritage Weapon” upgrade powder and Vigor potions, you can also buy in-game gold via the gem store, along with some knick-knacks, costumes, etc.
What intrigues me though is Gameloft’s “VIP” system called H.E.R.O, as you spend real money in buying gems, you may get additional benefits that those non-paying players do not have, just like most mmorpgs out there. As of writing, I have spent up a few $$$ to reach HERO level 2 (saw an ad for cheap wings… AESTHETICAL WINGS!). Some “walls” do exist in the form of you can only just create guilds if you reach a certain HERO rank, but that is a given in most VIP implemented games.
Well finally, if you do decide to try the game out, be advised that with Apple’s App Thinning (click here to know more about it), if you do download this game, I recommend using your PC/iTunes as much as possible its a 1.6-2.0gb download/install, and if you decide on getting it for iTunes, you will get all versions including both for the tablet and the phone. Also note that sometimes the download is too slow but that may be a different problem altogether.
Also the game is also available to both iOS and Android however, there are different servers, which means you cannot play with your Samsung Galaxy wielding friend, and vice-versa.