Aion: The Tower Of Eternity (PC)

In the West, NCsoft is known for its ambiguous game called Guild Wars, but it is nevertheless more than ten years since the company only focuses on massively multiplayer games. In Asia, titles like Lineage have also won a success that exceeds that of World of WarCraft. A performance course that does not go unnoticed, but that NCsoft would like to reproduce in the West. To achieve this, the editor relies on support from Ubisoft and a title already available in South Korea. A title that some say halfway between the typical Asian MMO and canons of the Western game. A title that we are testing now.

" Aion children of the Fatherland … "
Available for nearly a year in South Korea, Aion lets us to discover the world of Atreia. It is divided into three parts since powerful dragons, Balaur, broke its balance by destroying the Tower of Eternity giving subtitle to the game today, now the world is divided between the Abyss where they live, exiles, Balaur, and the homelands of the two human factions: Asmodae and Elyse. The former are portrayed as ‘bad boys’ of history, but in reality it does not change much. Upon its arrival on a server, the player can choose the two factions that they wish to belong and, nice or nasty, the choices are ultimately very similar, leading us to the same phase of creation of heroes.

Without going into details without interest, specify that this establishment phase allows extensive customization of the character. Many physical characteristics can be modified. Stature, body size, shape of face, arm length, size of the mouth: the options are extremely numerous, which is not the case for the choice of classes. In early party, and regardless of the faction chosen, we have four possibilities: Scout, Warrior, Mage or Priest. Classes that need little explanation and which in fact mostly smooth start, without having to explain thousands of things early in the game.


In reality, the move from tenth level are completed with the emergence of specialization to choose among two available class. The Scouts can opt for a career as an Assassin or Ranger when the Warriors become Gladiator or Templar. As for the Magic, the choice is between Sorcerer and Spiritualist when the Priests must decide for a bard or a cleric. If these names mean nothing to you, there is no need for concern and their operation takes literally the canons of MMO with the presence of strong men to take the blows, trainers, support, archers, master of stealth. To be quite honest, we’re a bit disappointed to see how developers Aion remained prudent.

Thus, even the famous wings Daeva that we acquire in this famous passage of the 20th level seem to take more than the gadget novelty that is able to revolutionize the genre. Early in the game, their use is limited to very few areas and from 1st to 25th level, the character spends most of his time walking the paths and roads of Atreia, rather than the airways that ultimately serve that to "high" fairly which is impractical. To make matters worse, this defect is exacerbated by the operation of quests and the progression of the player. Throughout the first part of the game NCsoft effectively multiplies the quests like "go get it, will bring it" and therefore requires us to do countless trips between different zones.

The first part of the game looks a little too much a test of patience then, and this, especially since the ‘classic’ horses do not exist and characters that are not slow. Another element rather painful: the fact that often the player is not strong enough, once all the quests is completed in an area to address in good condition to the next. Kill many creatures to reach the necessary level. It is also in the same craft that requires hours of harvest to achieve progress. We then returned to the wings and management constraints.


Despite these criticisms, Aion is far from a bad title and first sight it even offers a simple level. Of course, the fact that it is available for nearly a year in South Korea is probably something, but it is fun to play with a title that runs well, no particular bug and properly optimized. In this sense, it also points World of Warcraft and you will see that this is not the only positive thing it shares with the game from Blizzard. In fact, defects in Aion are like qualities and if it does not offer a game system as innovative as Age of Conan or Tabula Rasa, it is also much more directly "usable".

Suddenly, the player progresses quickly through these first 25 levels of experience that work ultimately as a kind of introduction that is very long. An introduction which then opens the door to the famous fashion PvPvE vaunted by NCsoft. Once the Abyss achieved by the player must actually be measured by the other faction while continuing to address environmental, here represented by the faction Balaur, fully controlled by artificial intelligence. This phase of the game, the most promising is also the most difficult to grasp for the player of course, but also for the tester. Currently, things are not very organized and it is therefore difficult to assess the value of the thing in the long term.

The fact remains that all this is promising and that the Korean experience is in the right direction. We also assess the principle of wings that can vary considerably by fighting with the integration of this "third dimension". Finally, the mixture as it is systematically between PvP and PvE is interesting, even if it does not seem sufficiently exploited by NCsoft. Other regret is the fact that the two starting zones can not be attacked by another faction. Suddenly, the world loses tension and atmosphere, even if the script explains things well.


One scenario, however, can not be explained why the early part are so identical. Whether you choose a Asmodian or Elysian, a Warrior or a Magician, it is necessary to do almost exactly the same quests and "stuff" almost the same trend, which is likely to limit Rerolls (second, third hero of the same player). This defect, if not catastrophic, is symptomatic of a broader problem: probably scalded by a few unsuccessful attempts (Tabula Rasa?), NCsoft has actually been very (too?) Wise. Taking up a game system tested, the publisher may be strongly criticized by those who have already released other MMOs.

The most obvious example of this relationship to other MMOs is undoubtedly the progression system (which we have already spoken) and the combat. The latter takes us to the same principles, the more worn genre and only "innovation" introduces the idea of combo skills to use in a specific order to achieve greater efficiency. We would have preferred to see NCsoft for further developed ideas, but the result is not bad so far and, just like World of WarCraft, it compiles somehow and everything works best in the competition.

The different elements associated with the small PvPvE is excellent finishing allowance of Aion that left a really good impression but frankly nothing is innovative. If you are a veteran of World Of Warcraft and you’ll probably feel playing a clone "orientalized" Blizzard game. A good game, therefore, a very good finish, but a title that gives the impression of arriving "after the battle."


Aion is distinguished by its mass character "led". A result is also demonstrated as an exemplary finish, although rare in the genre. A finish that hides probably a lack of boldness on the part of NCsoft which translates into an increase of heroes probably too "cushy" for the regulars. Linearity and repeatability are two other flaws that will highlight those while comparing Aion with their past adventures. Indeed, the NCsoft game seems more appropriate for newcomers, those who wish to leave "good start" with a massively multiplayer genre. Rest for the players sake of size, logistical this time: despite the beta test and pre-orders, NCsoft has completely underestimated the needs in terms of servers and queues that prevent to enjoy the game under good conditions.


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