Mobile gaming: Lineage 2 Revolution

Here’s a sentence I never expected to say or write: I’m currently playing an MMORPG on my mobile phone.

Weirder still, it’s actually really good, and feels (to my limited knowledge and level of experience), like a “real” MMORPG.

The game is Lineage 2 Revolution, and it’s kind of blowing my mind at the minute.

Lineage 2 Revolution

I’ve seen a massive advertising push for this game, especially on YouTube and gaming sites.  That’s usually a good indicator for me to choose to ignore it.  The “hyped-up gamers” being interviewed about it, the celebrity endorsements (Conan O’brien), it’s more than enough to put me off, especially for a mobile game.

However, seeing as though I’m on the prowl for something new to play on mobile, and Animal Crossing really isn’t doing it for me (more on that another time), it caught me off-guard, and willing to give it a go.

Expectations

Call me a pessimist, but my expectations here couldn’t have been lower.  A free-to-play mobile game that claims to be an MMORPG? Yeah right!

I thought it would be all non-game footage in the adverts, and it would be some kind of hot-mess that would be forcing micro-transactions from the get-go, and it would just be some naff attempt to be the latest “hot” mobile game.

Reality

Erm…..well…..this is embarrasing…..it’s actually pretty good.

It’s an actual MMORPG, with other people playing at the same time, clans recruiting, messaging, different servers to play from.  Decent looking 3D graphics, resembling something well beyond my expectations.

There are cutscenes, bosses, battles, quests, rewards.  It reminds me so much of the few hours I ever put into World of Warcraft.  Frankly, it’s ridiculous that this is on a mobile phone.

You have an on-screen movement stick, and your attack buttons and abilities.  You can fight hoards of enemies, and speak to a whole host of NPCs that give you quests and rewards.

Abilities, armour and weapons can be upgraded and improved, and you can craft items to help you along the way.  Honestly, it goes well beyond what I expected of a mobile game, and it’s literally a mobile MMORPG!!  I can’t get my head around it.

Gaming on a mobile phone

I’ve never really been one to consider the phone as a gaming device, perhaps because of the games on offer, perhaps because it’s a phone and I love my battery life too much.  But Lineage 2 Revolution has kind of made me re-assess this frame of mind.

Sure, it feels like a “proper” MMORPG, but it’s also been designed with mobile in mind.  You can do everything in “auto”, so your avatar will do all the running and battling for you whilst you micro-manage your items and rewards.  Simply set off on a quest, and let it happen.

That sounds terrible, but it’s actually perfect.  You can intervene manually whenever you so desire, but with so much to do, and things like battery life and connectivity to maintain, you can be really efficient and get a lot done without much effort.

Impressions

I’ve hit level 12 now (not high at all), and dip in and out for 10-15 minutes a couple of times a day, so I’m not ever going to be some pro player that’s really invested in this game.  The thing is, in this time, I’m completing quests, I’m keeping everything leveled up, and I’m always progressing.

This really works for me, I have to say that it’s a really nice balance of game satisfaction and getting stuff done, whilst not investing hours upon hours of time that I don’t have.

I’ve created a clan for the VasDown boys, and we can actually play together (still waiting for them to start the game though….), and I’ve even jumped into PvP battles to test my skills.

Lineage 2 Revolution scratches all of my mobile gaming itches, doesn’t cost me a penny, and can be dipped into whenever I want without feeling like I’m falling behind.  It’s really cleverly thought out, well implemented and so far, it’s just good fun!

A couple of things to note

I was definitely disappointed at the lack of character customisation.  Four classes, each with the same 3 subclasses.  Visually you can change your hairstyle, and that was about it, although hair colour may have been possible too? I can’t remember.

The biggest issue is of course battery life.  Granted, I could do with a new battery, but holy cow! This game knows how to burn through that power.  Definitely worth playing whilst it’s charging, and not so much whilst you’re out and about.

Otherwise, so far, I’m struggling to take issue with it.  It’s well beyond what I expected, hell, it’s beyond what I thought was possible on mobile (which is ridiculously short-sighted of me!).

Give it a go, and see what you think!

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