Riders of Icarus officially leaves early access, err.. I mean leaves Open Beta? If you’re like me, you may be confused by this. I had thought the moment it was available on Steam with various packs to buy with real money that it was live and not in any form of beta. I was wrong and decided to dive in and take a closer look at this free to play MMORPG from Nexon.
Riders of Icarus currently has access to 7 different classes to play. Ranging from the normal Guardian (tank type) to the newly released Trickster (pew pew summoner with teddy bears) and a sprinkling of other things in between (Ranger, yes please!). While there is an option to “try” to play the game as a more actiony type of MMO, at its heart Riders of Icarus is still very much a tab targeting oriented MMO. At its core it’s a theme park style MMO, granted it’s done well, but the question is it done well enough for you to spend time playing it?
The big selling point of Riders of Icarus is the Familiar/Pet system. You go out and use taming points to cast a spell on various monsters and hit space bar to mount them. And from there you basically holding on as you hit W,A,S,D at the proper time to tame the monster and make it yours. Tame it and now you have a brand new mount which can level and have abilities! But wait, there’s more! Use a pet scroll and now that giant wolf you were riding becomes a pet that follows you into battle.
In theory, the system sounds engaging and a good hook to set the game apart from other similar fantasy type theme park MMORPGs. But there’s the chance that while you’re taming something, someone can attack it or other monsters can attack you and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. Oh, and when that wolf you made a pet is out in the wild attacking stuff with you? It’s stamina bar beings to drain, once the stamina is drained the pet goes away to pet storage until it slowly regains its stamina or you use items (which can be bought in the store) to recharge them. At that point I was put off by the pet system, it made me feel like the work I had put into taming a creature just wasn’t really worth it.
But what about the rest of the game you ask? I found it to be fairly standard of what you would find in a theme park type MMORPG. Quest hubs, fetch quests, gathering for crafting, recall stones. Visually the game is very pretty and had some good moments of background music. The game has dungeons, solo story instances and cut scenes aplenty. You may wish to skip a few because at times the voiceover work is barely OK.
In the end that could be the biggest problem with Riders of Icarus. It’s OK. Besides the familiar/pet system everything else in it has been done and at times overdone via other MMORPGs. The game is a solid MMO and can be a grind like any of its various counterparts, but it feels like a decent game that would have done better many years ago compared to today's current market of MMORPGs.