The highly anticipated MMORPG Darkfall Online will be dropping into european stores on February 25th. The current release date for North America is unknown, however the guys at http://darkfallonline.com/ have reassured us that those of us on the other side of the Atlantic will be able to buy the game online and play on european servers if they so choose. Darkfall has been in the making for several years, and MMORPG fanatics have been nearly clawing their eyes out waiting for its release. The entire game takes a very radical new look on MMORPG's, so if you're looking to take a break from WoW, or just a new game to play, Darkfall is worth giving a shot.
I personally have not been able to play the beta (even though i signed up a million times with my new power house computer :-/), however through extensive reading and research I have a very good picture of what this game is going to look like. Darkfall is a fantasy game much like its predecessors filled with magic, swords, elves and all the usuals, however to judge this game by World of Warcraft, Age of Conan, or Everquest would not give it justice. Darkfall uses a new combat system that resembles a first-person shooter more that an rpg, allowing you to aim and dodge spells and arrows, hone your mellee attacks, and much much more. There will be no more jumping around slashing widly at the air and scoring crit's in this game, this is the real deal. The graphics are not spectacular, but if gameplay matters more to you than being able to see every blade of grass as it is dramatically crushed beneath your characters feet, then this should be no deterrent. Another fantastic aspect of Darkfall is the visable damage feature. When someone slashes your chest open and hits you in the head with a club, you dont just hear "clunk" and see "350" rise above your head in red letters. instead, these wounds atcually appear on your character, so when you get stabbed, your character will bleed. This is one of the more mature features of Darkfall.
Probably the most innovative piece of Darkfall would be the leveling system. Quite simply, there is none. Darkfall is based completely on skill, so if you want to use a broad sword, pick one up and swing it around, and if you want to use a certain spell, learn it from the trainer. Each character has the capability to everything and anything that they want. On the subject of playing in a free world, the world is huge and contains no instancing. This allows your character to run from one continent to the next without seeing any loading screens.
Although Darkfall is a game that allows complete PVP (you can kill whoever you want whenever), there are three factions that you must belong to. These factions constantly war, and if you kill those from opposing sides, your reputation within your faction will rise. On the flip side, if you kill those that belong to your faction, then your reputation will fall. Along with the PVP, there is also full player looting. The idea is that you keep what you kill. Your character will have access to all of its victims items when they die. This is a questionable concept, and many casual players have voiced their concern with full PVP looting. Finally, Darkfall will have a fully functional and realistic economy to manage prices of items, bartering, supply and demand...etc.
Overall, this game seems quite innovative, however there are a few drawbacks and sinkholes. The graphics could be better, the gameplay is very adult, and the game is most certainly geared towards more hardcore players than casual. However, I would not decide here and now not to check out the game when it arrives on shelves. The new and innovative pieces of the game are definentally worth checking out if you are an MMO fan.
Thanks for reading,