Out of Order
When Gameloft made it clear they were going to bring an MMORPG to life on iOS I assumed it would be polished and a good cut down version of the sort of game we’re already used to seeing on the PC. What I didn’t expect is that this would be a real challenger to those games.
Yet here we are with Order & Chaos, Gameloft’s answer to World Of Warcraft. The game is impressively stuffed with features and the storylines that you’ll ‘unlock’ as you make your way through quests from NPCs are, for the most part, well written and ensure that you want to follow them through.
After choosing from a range of class and character models, you begin your journey. The first couple of hours play will guide you by the hand with using weapons, talking to characters, interacting and trading. The other area that you’ll need to get used to is in using the multiple menu screens, which control everything from inventory to discussions and notes on tasks you need to perform.
It’s these screens which form one of the most impressive feats the game has to offer. On the PC, MMOs are notorious for their wealth of options and displaying these alongside the game is a standard feature. On the iPhone this isn’t really possible, so Gameloft have used a branching menu system that is accessed from the character portrait in the corner. The menus are so intuitive that even WOW users will soon get used to going through this process rather than having it up there on the screen as you play. You can, however, show a discussion bar at the bottom of the screen which overlays the action. This is essential with conversation being required for both NPCs and other people you meet in the game.
For such a large game the graphics hold up surprisingly well. It’s even more impressive when you realise that the style and detail is almost the same as in Warcraft and that there is very little lag or issue with tearing on what is essentially a fully populated online world on a small handheld device. It’s a joy to walk through the world and see the scenery in each area while attacking enemies. Yes, there are some occasional missing character animations and sometimes things will go awry, but for the most part the graphics engine is impressive.
An MMO will live or die by how populated the world is. Two months on from my initial play-through, the game world in Order & Chaos is still very busy. Not only this, but the Android community, recently brought online by the release of the game, will soon be joining the iOS community as the game servers are synced and new content is added. This bodes well for future updates and for players who are new to the game, coming in to a world populated with a large online community. The only issue at the moment is that there isn’t always a lot of room to breathe in the current world, so we’re hoping that Gameloft can bring us more areas to explore soon.
Add the cost of the subscription, just 59p ($1) per month, and you have a successful formula for an ongoing, thriving online game.
Some space should be given to praise the iPad version of the game. What works so well on the iPhone is even more impressive on the larger iPad screen and suits the device perfectly. If you’re looking for a portable MMO that captures the World of Warcraft feel with a similar sized display to a PC, the iPad and iPad 2 are the way to go.
Order & Chaos Online is an impressive and immersive MMO that Gameloft have somehow managed to squeeze on to a tiny iOS device. Its popularity is testament to the game’s ability to bring a fully fledged online adventure successfully on to Apple’s platform.
- Sound: 8
- Graphics: 9
- Gameplay: 10
- Longevity: 10
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