When Darkfall launched a while back now (it’s been almost a year in NA, over a year in EU) it was met with some pretty harsh criticism. Eurogamer infamously awarded the title a 2/10, and we also gave the game a score of 6.0 on a scale of 10. But in the months since its launch Darkfall has seen numerous patches and even free expansions to add in content that was unable to make the initial release. And now Aventurine is doling out 14-day trials for their little MMO that could and I think it just might mean it’s time for me to give it a whirl.
My recent foray into the Craft of Gods beta has me itching for a modern sandbox game with a fantasy setting, and by and large that’s what I understand Darkfall to be. Also I'm not quite ready to put down money for Cyberdemons' own indie MMO just yet. But here’s the rub… will I really like the feeling of having my corpse looted upon death by other players? Darkfall is an unapologetically hardcore PvP experience. There’s even friendly-fire (as far as I know) for AOE spells which leads me to worry that I’ll be more of a burden to any group I join than a blessing. Still… the lure of an entirely open and player-driven experience excites me.
I remember my time spent in Ultima Online back in its heyday fondly even if I didn’t then grasp the true purpose of that world until long after I’d moved onto today’s more prominent theme-park styled games. There is also the “Good and Evil” alignment system which gives me hope that Darkfall’s players won’t all be just murdering virtual psychopaths. But has the game evolved enough since launch to give a real go? I guess that’s what the trial is for.
I didn’t get caught up in the prerelease hype of Darkfall, expecting that the long development and independent nature of the studio would lead to some early troubles and the lack of polish cited in our own review. But by and large I see the game’s faithful claiming that a great deal has improved over these past 10 months. After my successful return to Age of Conan after that game had such a troubled early life, I can’t help but wonder if Darkfall is deserving of my time these days.
Like so many of us, I long for a more “world-like” MMO experience. Even if I’m not sure what exactly that entails. I think I’ll be giving Aventurine’s little darling a try in the next couple weeks leading up to E3.