The first Lineage was arguably one of the most popular MMORPG's of all time. Therefore naturally everyone had super-high hopes for Lineage 2. Although I was in the beta I didn't get to spend a whole lot of time testing the game out due to other time constraints, so when it was released I definitely had to give it a shot. A lot of the opinions and reviews I had read about the game before digging into it myself weren't the most positive in the world, but then again, what do review writers know? Err ummm disregard that... Anyway, I picked myself up a copy and played it basically from release to present and what follows are my opinions on the game. Keep in mind even tho I have played since the Chronicle 1 update, I haven't had real chance to try out the castle sieges and such; so I'll have to add my opinions on that at a later date. Enjoy!
Well if there's one thing they got right, it's definitely the graphics. For the most part that is, I do have some MAJOR complaints, which is why I rated the Graphics an 8 instead of a 9 or even the much sought after perfect 10. Overall the graphics in L2 are absolutely amazing. The character models are beautiful. Some of the monsters are down right amazing. Even the lower level stuff that most games don't put a lot of effort into graphically is spectacular. The environment is very well done and believable; and the aforementioned excellently done monsters fit very well into it. The trees are so realistic I feel like they should be in my yard, well, except for the fact that I live in an apartment and have no yard... But if I had a yard they'd be there! As far as the cities go, they're just right in my opinion. Not too large so you get lost and never see another player in them, but also not too small so you feel like you're in some backwoods village instead of what is advertised as a major city. The layout is easy to remember after just a few trips to town. The buildings are both believable and functional as well as being very easy on the eyes. And the buildings in the racial cities are very fitting for the races involved. The Dark Elf city for example is all dark and black and creepy looking; like it's all carved out of obsidian. As you can see the game has a LOT going for it in the graphical department, now let's talk about what I didn't like about the graphics, or dare I say even what I absolutely hated about the graphics.
First of all character customization, or rather, the lack thereof. When you create your character you have all of five races. And don't get your hopes up, there's nothing new here, just your standard issue fantasy setting races: Human, Elf, Dark-Elf, Orc and Dwarf. Unfortunately the race selection is quite possibly the selection in the character creation process where you get the most choices to pick from. For gender you naturally have the two selections, and for class you have two selections: Fighter or Magic-User (Unless you're Dwarf, which can only be a Fighter). Now you get to physical characteristics, the part where, if you're like me, you have the most fun. And recently released games have definitely raised the bar in this area. Games like City of Heroes and Star Wars: Galaxies have really put the freedom in the player's hand to create exactly the look they want for their character. Well, if you're anything like me, prepare to be drastically let down. On average you're going to have a whooping two selections for facial features and around 5 or 6 or so for hair. As you progress through the game this is helped ever so slightly by different armors and weapons, but it's still by FAR not enough. You will see people who look EXACTLY like you at all levels throughout the game. Whether or not this is for some strange reason done on purpose for PvP aspects of the game, I don't like it. I like the individuality I feel when I create a character that looks like no one else.
Now let's move on to my other complaint, which not really about anything that was done wrong, just a personal preference complaint. Why exactly do they feel the need to make sure every female in the game is showing as much skin as possible? Yes, I know sex sells, and the target audience will go gaga over the Dark Elf female character model in her bikini armor, but really, how realistic is this? What exactly is the point in wearing armor then? Maybe I'm missing something, if you're in a sword fight and you're female, does the opponent ONLY aim for the breast and groin areas? Completely ignoring the exposed midriff and other vital areas? At least if you're going to put stuff like this in the game, give us options! Provide suits of armor which are realistic and not sexy. But then again, with the previously stated problems with character customization, this isn't really a realistic request either.
Overall the sound is very well done. The sound effects are great, combat sounds are very satisfying. The clash of sword on armor or shield is very nice; as are the sounds of your weapon rending the flesh of your unarmored opponent. Spell sound effects match the spells very nicely. The ambient sounds of the world really help to increase the immersion levels of the game. Just the little things like sounds of insects or wildlife in the forests are so well done it's spectacular. The music in the game is beautifully created and very orchestral feeling. It's completely unobtrusive; which in my opinion is the most important thing about music in mmorpgs. I want the music there but I don't want to know it's there if that made any sense. It kicks in at key moments like entering a city or landmark area, does its job, and fades away. In closing, there's really not a lot to complain about as far as the sound in L2 goes.