First Impressions of the Mobile MMORPG Sequel
Order & Chaos was one of the original mobile MMORPGs coming out of the perennial mobile game maker, Gameloft. Now, several years later, the sequel is here with Order & Chaos 2: Redemption. Boasting upgraded visuals, controls, UI, and loads of other additions, we’ve been dabbling with the game this past week ahead of the official launch.
First and foremost, if you’re tired of quest-based MMOs, you won’t like Order & Chaos 2. It’s not for those of us looking for a revolution in the MMORPG genre, but rather for those of us looking for something familiar to play on our mobile devices, away from our desks, on train rides, in the bathroom, etc. Basically, if you can’t get enough MMO-ing in your day to day, Order & Chaos 2: Redemption looks to give you a full themepark MMORPG experience on your phone or tablet. And so far, it does that pretty darn well.
While the visuals aren’t bleeding edge for PC gamers, on the mobile market, there’s not an MMO that can compare. It looks great, simply put, playing on my iPhone 6 Plus. The familiar invisible joystick is here, but you can zoom the camera out and use tap to walk a la Diablo and other Action RPGs if you so desire. I tend to use both, depending on the need of my viewpoint.
Combat is akin to tab-target with a bit of active button pressing. You have skills you slot by the right thumb, plus a recurring main attack that can be pressed repeatedly to create a small combo. I’ve been spending my time with the Blood Knight, a magic-using melee tanks class who focuses on big two-handed weapons with a fair amount of PBAOE and cone damage. It’s been pretty fun so far, though I have to say that the leveling speed seems pretty slow for a mobile game. I think I’ve put in a good couple hours and I’m still only level 6.
In fact, O&C2 seems a lot like the kind of mobile game that’s not designed for just a couple minutes play. You will do as much traveling here as you do in WoW, and quests take a handful of minutes too. Even the solo “Dream Dungeons” that you can queue up take 5 minutes a pop. Of all the “core” games coming to iOS, Order & Chaos 2 feels the most like a meaty game you could spend hours with. As long as your battery life can handle it.
I’ve been playing on the rather under-populated servers right now, so it’ll be nice to see you all in the world starting today. So far, there haven’t been any real technical hurdles to overcome, but I imagine quest mobs and the like will be a bit more contentious with a populated world.
Monetarily, O&C2 doesn’t ask for a subscription. Rather it seems to be following the “tiered bonus” methodology. Free players have access to all the content, but those who spend money level up their “H.E.R.O.” level of their account. In so doing, you get perks like a summonable mailboxes, daily rewards, extra Runes (RMT currency), free gold stipends, portable crafting tables, and more. Free players basically would lose out on a lot of convenience, while even someone who just pays $5 once would get a bunch of pretty decent perks. To wit, I bought a Rune pack to get said perks. I don’t mind paying money for free games when there’s no “P2W” mechanic in place.
I think, if there’s anything that’s going to hurt Order & Chaos 2, it’s the same thing that “hurt” the original in the eyes of serious MMO gamers: it’s very clearly a derivative fantasy world. The story is pretty decent as far as these things go, the quests are well written and entertaining, but you’re still just killing ten of this, collecting 5 of these, and talking to this guy in the next town over. It’s been there done that when it comes to the main gameplay loop, the only real difference being that it’s on your mobile phone or tablet.
The thing is, on your phone or tablet, there aren’t a lot of great MMOs. There are a lot of MMOs, but few are worth your time. I need some more time with O&C2: Redemption, but so far it’s looking to be the most faithful representation of the traditional MMORPG on portable devices. If, like me, you want something a little deeper to play on your phone or tablet, Order & Chaos 2 might be right up your alley. There’s not a lot here you haven’t seen in dozens of other theme parks, but it’s very well done and worth looking into for anyone who wants a PVE MMO on the go.
Look for our final review in the coming weeks.