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The entire game was made with the Unreal 3.0 game engine. The same engine that is used in games like Gears of War and Unreal Tournament. Now, when you compare the look of the game to those games you may be disappointed. However, The game does have stunning graphics for an MMORPG. Just don't expect to much detail as the graphics focus more on special effects and curb appeal rather than an overall amazing look. As a long time gamer I feel that it pales into comparation to what one would be used to seeing in a high quality Unreal 3.0 engine game. But it's nice to know that the potential is there for improvement.
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The Gameplay is what makes Chronicles of Spellborn a unique experience. Two points will almost immediately stick out for new players. The first is the lack of gear and the second is the combat system.
Now the lack of gear doesn't mean that the game is unfinished. It's actually a design concept of the game all together. Gear is meant to be nothing more than a way to 'dress up' your character. The stats and abilities your character has is controlled through points you get to distribute when you level up. It may sound odd but it really does work out for the best. It prevents players from fighting over loot, especially guilds, and allows so much more flexibility when you are shaping your character. Don't get me wrong, there is gear in the game. You just will not find a piece of armor that increases you stamina by 100 or a sword that increases your damage by 50. Recently they have added slots to a lot of gear that can drop. This means that you can 'upgrade' your gear. But again, its built more around making your character look the way you want it to first and then improve your gear through enhancement slots.
Surprisingly enough, even veteran MMORPG players might have troubles jumping into the game. Thankfully the game offers a quick tutorial to introduce players to the basics of the game. It's pretty interesting I might also add. It keeps you wanting more and lets you get a feel for the combat system.
Firstly, Chronicles of Spellborn does not use a targeting system. Rather you use an aiming system similar to that found in Age of Conan. This included melee, ranged and spellcasting. The action bar is pretty unique and different as well.
Instead of a normal action bar you have one of several skill decks. A skill deck is simply an action bar with 5 skills on it that you add and remove skills from. But, this doesn't limit you to only 5 skills simply because your 'action bar' is rotating. Each time you use a skill from your first skill deck, the action bar rotates to your second skill deck. Spell and abilities have cool-downs just like other MMORPG and there are everything you would expect including buffs, debuffs, damaging spells and healing spells. As you progress in level you can gain more skill decks to rotate through and more skills/abilities to fill them with.
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The sound does nothing more than add to the game. The ambient and background sound does a superb job of drawing you into the game. The sound makes everything else fall in line and click just right. You can start playing 'just for a bit' and before you know, hours have gone by. This is mostly do to the amazing game-play mechanics and awesome sound that will be pumping through your speakers.
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Like all MMORPGs you will go through most of the game doing quests. Instead of gaining XP when you kill creatures, you gain pep and fame which make you stronger in combat. This makes XP gain entirely done through questing. The quests you will do are your typical MMORPG quests. Go to a place, kill 10 pigs, return to NPC and collect rewards. It can get old and repetitive but Chronicles of Spellborn does try to make quests as fun and interesting as possible.
Currently there is only one instance in the game that is only accessible by players in the 30-35 range. Aside from that players do have the option to PvP in controlled duals and house vs house. The game is still currently getting on its feet and doesn't really offer all that much in the form of things to do, especially at higher levels. In a few months or even years the game may be worth but until then its just something to pass the time. You can play it for free until your character reaches level 10 but if you wish to continue you have to subscribe.
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Chronicles of Spellborn definitely has a few perks that make the game more than interesting. However, if you are looking to get into an MMORPG in which you can spend many months or years, keep on moving. Chronicles of Spellborn isn't quite at the stage where it can keep you busy enough to want to keep playing. You will quickly find yourself getting tired of doing quest after quest as there is pretty much nothing else to do in the game aside from crafting professions and a small bit of PvP. I've played free MMORPGS that allow you to do more than this game. The Chronicles of Spellborn looks promising and it's a game to be watched as it improves overtime, just don't bother sinking any cash into it yet.