League of Angels is the latest MMO offering from the prolific publishers Reality Squared (R2) Games. It is a free to play, browser based fantasy MMO in which Angels which protect the continents of men have been bound by a dark, evil person. And it is your job to go up against enemies like Jetli to free the souls of these Angels and once more bring peace to the land. Along the way gather your team, craft and otherwise build yourself your perfect little army for taking out evils and other players.
Graphically speaking League of Angels is pretty standard for free to play browser games from the East. It relies heavily on scantily clad women with…assets. While male characters come in one of two varieties, the pretty boy hero or the man beast monster thing. For most of the game the screen is cluttered with all of the different things available for people to take part in. The only time this isn’t true is when you’re in combat. The music is somewhat generic and though it helps with the mood some it is mostly unnecessary.
Automation is king in League of Angels. Autopathing allows players to go from one one person to the next, or to the instanced mission with a single click. Even inside the dungeons pathing is how you get around. Everything in League of Angels is automated. This includes combat. Once you enter combat with your team of NPCs the fight is out of your control. This is where minmaxing and the importance of having the best build comes in. Players can choose which attacks their characters have, how they want to upgrade them to give them boosts and which NPCs will stand with them in the fight. For number crunchers this is great. For anyone who wants to be able to decide things like what attacks to do, or even move around…well you’re just out of luck. Even though the story all takes place through the PvE portion of the game it isn’t the focus. In fact one could go so far as to say there is no focus in League of Angels whatsoever. You have PvE, your story where you save the Angels and as you level up you unlock more and more things. Many of them are PvP. Once again, even in PvP you are reliant on that build you made for your team.
You could end up spending the first 10 minutes of every play session getting your daily log in rewards, tweaking your build slightly and then playing the side games. The side games can be a pretty entertaining distraction because they’re games we already know and love. And for those who are working on minmaxing they are a must. Play Gemology, better known to the rest of the world as Bejeweled to earn gems to give you a boost in stats. Or enter the garden for a mini Farmville experience where you can enslave fellow players and steal gold from them! And if these distractions aren’t enough either jump into one of several different types of PvP, work on crafting your build, or take part in one of the random events that happens throughout the day. There are quizzes held, encounters with the world boss, and events that offer bonus EXP.
If rating numbers went into the negative they would for innovation in this game. With mentions of “The One Ring” and an entire zone called “Forgotten Realm” they not only aren’t innovative with naming but they actually go and flat out rip off other popular titles from the fantasy genre! Add to that the Bejeweled and Farmville knockoffs and you really just have a game that knows how to copy/paste. There isn’t anything about League of Angels that is unique or new. The only thing that makes it new in any way is how it was slapped together to make it look new.
If there is one thing that League of Angels can’t be faulted for it would be having a sloppy game. Aside from the painfully stiff dialog that isn’t always proper English the game is clean. There aren’t any bugs and there are very few spelling errors. Customer Support is easy to reach and there are constant alerts when there has been a new patch or when a popular event is about to start.
For anyone who isn’t an extreme minmaxer this game is not worth logging into for a second time. Though there are a lot of different things to experience in League of Angels it just isn’t worth the value of the time spent. Which is of course the only cost there really has to be to a player because it is free to play. But more than likely you will find yourself wishing you could get that lost time back. On the plus side, though you do level quickly the amount of levels available are quite large. So if you do end up sticking around you’ll have something to occupy yourself with for some time. If you're a fan of old school Final Fantasy and want to see the good old battle sequences? You'll get those here. Granted when we say this we mean fans of old school Final Fantasy battles but who also aren't interested in actually interacting with them.
There is quite a large emphasis placed on the social aspect of League of Angels. Though the chat system isn’t used for anything other than a recruitment tool the developers have found other ways to bring in socialization. It begins with congratulating your friends when you’re under level 30. You can earn gold by congratulating them and in turn they get gold for doing the same for you. Earn a level, get some gold. This creates a culture of “quick, friend EVERYONE” which will come in handy further down the line when you unlock team dungeons. There are guilds which can give you bonuses if you join. And there are at least 4 different ways to engage in PvP. Finally, there is the ability to watch other people’s fights after they’ve won. What qualifies them for being announced on the world chat channel remains a mystery but it does give an opportunity to size up the competition to know what kind of numbers they pull versus what your stats look like.
League of Angels is free to play and they make sure to remind you of that every chance they get. Want something special? Break out the wallet. Want to steal all of a person’s gold after you’ve enslaved them in your garden? Get out the cash. Being a VIP earns you even more rewards every day. Though it is a term that is slightly over used, it has been used against this title, Pay to win. A lot of the things in the store are cosmetic only. And the items in the store that aren’t cosmetic are all things that those who chose not to play can still earn. But it takes time so those who do opt to pay do end up with quite an advantage over those that don’t. Is it pay to win? I suppose that depends on how much you dislike losing. Do you need to pay? No. Does it help? Sure.
In the end the reality is that this is a game for bored minmaxers and no one else. If you aren’t a fan of the numbers game and are looking for an in depth gaming experience then carry on to another title. If you enjoy being rewarded for your time spent in game and are a fan of numbers then by all means give it a try. The lack of focus may put you off though. You have been warned.