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Pagan Online Impressions: Anya Is a Force To Be Reckoned With

By Joseph Bradford on August 14, 2019 | Previews | 0

In my first moments as the Blood Ritualist, Anya in Pagan Online, I knew I found the character I wanted to play from the get go. Deadly stylish and able to tackle large groups at range, how does this character, and Pagan Online on the whole, fare thus far?

Pagan Online, for those who haven't been following, is an upcoming ARPG by Wargaming and Mad Heads Games. Set in a fantasy world heavily inspired by Slavic myth, you're tasked with finding the missing Gods of the world to help restore balance to the world. 

While there are multiple heroes to start with, and eight total to choose from, the main thing that drew me to Anya originally over the other heroes was simply due to her character design. The skull-laden armor, large red accents that look like veins crawling around Anya's body is stylish and imposing. And then there was the whip she holds - its flaming thong spitting from a spiders body like a life-ending web really looked cool. A Blood Ritualist, Anya fuels her attacks with the blood of the fallen around her. Her skills are a mix of damage and leech skills, sometimes accomplishing both at the same time. 

Each enemy Anya kills drops a Blood Fragment, which as mentioned previously will replenish her corrupted blood pool, health and will also offer a damage bonus as well. Blood fuels her, and thankfully on the battlefield it's plentiful. While Anya isn't the hardiest of heroes by any stretch, she can hold her own in a fight as well. A ranged character by nature, her Whiplash primary attack keeps enemies at bay, but if they do close in, her Spinning Slash can clear the airspace around her easily. Additionally, her Vitality Rush gets her out of sticky situations by racing through enemies - with the added benefit of leeching some life from the enemies she passes through.

Taking Anya through her paces in the first few campaign battles did take some getting used to, however. If you want to use a controller in Pagan Online good luck as it really isn't implemented well. You can also control your character using the WASD keys or a mouse click. I prefer the keyboard movement, but even that isn't without its faults.

Anya is a very direction-focused character. While the Spinning Slash is a 360-Area of effect attack, everything else basically stay in front of you. Not being able to adequately position yourself can get you into trouble - and unfortunately no matter which control scheme you use there will be growing pains. I found myself wasting some of her special moves, such as the Bloodsucker Bat spell you gain early on, because I was facing the wrong direction. 

I also really enjoy Pagan Online's MOBA-inspired maps and enemies so far. I get a very League of Legends/Heroes of the Storm vibe in how I approach taking down scores of monsters, and the synergies between your own skills also go a ways to help make this feel like the best parts of MOBA combat. Using Anya's Heartbeat - a skill that summons a giant heart which explodes in an AOE hellfire - and combining it with her Bloodbolt ability, which roots enemies in place, can be extremely powerful. Being able to root your enemies in the AOE range of the exploding heart can mean more and more Blood Fragments to consume only moments later. 

In the end, I'm really enjoying my time with Anya so far in Pagan Online. And while it has its quirks, it's definitely an interesting take on the ARPG genre. Look forward to our full review later this month.

Full Disclosure: Pagan Online is represented by Team Critical Hit, a games PR company co-founded by former MMORPG.com Managing Editor Bill Murphy.


Joseph Bradford

Joseph has been writing or podcasting about games in some form since about 2012. Having written for multiple major outlets such as IGN, Playboy, and more, Joseph started writing for MMORPG in 2015. When he's not writing or talking about games, you can typically find him hanging out with his 10-year old or playing Magic: The Gathering with his family. Also, don't get him started on why Balrogs *don't* have wings. You can find him on Twitter @LotrLore