Okay, I promise the next post I make will have some artwork in. I just felt the need to say something about what I think of this game so far.

RF Online

First off. Damn it’s pretty, with reservations.

The characters look beautiful, and are well animated. Weaponry, armour and clothing all looks absolutely top notch. Where it’s a little let down is the scenery, not so much in that it’s simplistic (which it is) but that the textures are often badly tiled and there’s quite a lot of tearing in the geometry. Personally, I don’t find that in itself too annoying, and MMO’s are bound to have a few teething problems, it’s the nature of having so much crap going on at once. The design of the game is asthetically pleasing but… as many seem to have mentioned – it’s a grindfest. If you are unlucky enough to go through the first few levels without realising you need to build up your PTs (points) you can find yourself in trouble. This happened to me, I didn’t really pay attention to the (very minimal) tutorial at the beginning, got to level 7 and realised I had to go around PT training, which is a bit tiresome and time consuming. The shield PT ridiculously so, the most efficient way to do this seemed to be picking monsters of a low level and equipping my shield and then letting them hit me incessantly for anything up to a couple of hours.

I actually did the housework, shredded a load of paper, shoved some washing in the machine and ate breakfast and lunch while my character was being molested by big winged thingys. Boring much?

There’s also the mining. Sheesh. Practically the only way to really generate any cash is to mine for ore which you can either sell or process and craft. Mining is this simple: equip your character with a mining tool and battery, go to the mine. Press ‘Mine Mode’, ALT+TAB out of the game and go and get a few hours sleep. As long as you don’t get killed by some random stroke of fate or a raiding party you’ll be as rich as a king by the time you wake up. How is that gaming? It’s called AFK (Away From Keyboard) mining. *Yawn.

RF Online Character

There are, of course other aspects to it; Player vs Player and the Chip Wars. Characters can form guilds and you can choose from three opposing factions : The Cora, Bellato and the Accretions but until you get to level 30 it’ just grind, grind, grind. If you like grinding.. then it’s all good. Quests are given to you by various pop-ups, one of which has an animation in where the lady in question seems to be jiggling her boobs so hard I thought my vision had gone wobbly. These quests are by and large go kill X amount of Monsters, and that’s it. There’ll be a brief bit of story around it and it might be phrased as ‘catch 20 bulky lunkers’ but this really only translates as ‘kick the shit out of 20 bulky lunkers and you get a prize. usually a level increase or armour that you grew out of three quests ago. 😉

Still, look at that texture dammit ! I have to say, that the artists have done a stellar job with the character faces. They don’t have modelled eyes, but I’ve seen very few games with the amount of expression in he face that these have, and they haven’t resorted to overdoing the wrinkles to get it there. The skin is simple and perfectly toned. It works very, very well with the style of the game. I can’t fault it on that.

In summary, I still don’t think we’ll bother continuing the subscription after 30 days. But even then I’ll have pretty much had my money’s worth so am not too bothered.

Now all I need to do is find one that’s free to play. Or maybe not, I should really do some work !

Oh, one last thing. The manual sucks and blows. It contains barely any info about what you need to do in the game. You have to rely on trawling through Codemasters forums to find out what you’re supposed to do and how to do it. Either that or use the chat box to pester people for help, and as that can barely fit five lines of text in it can be utterly frustrating.

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