The road is long and I keep slugging along killing random mobs when it dawns on me. This game never changes, the mobs are always the same no matter where I am. No matter how many times they re-skin them they all do the same thing. The small mobs run up and melee me, the tall mobs shoot at me from afar, and the bosses always try and chase me and do the same grand smash the ground attack every boss before it has done. I look at my game map, and I see that from what I can tell, I am about halfway through the game. At this point I am level 17, keep in mind that the max level is 60, so how can I be halfway through the game and still only be level 17? From what I have seen nothing has changed except the skins on the different enemy types, no new enemies have shown up, nothing interesting has happened almost since I started the game.
King’s Road is a Free to Play MMORPG that is browser based, now when I first saw that is was browser based my eyes rolled too but when I actually got into the game it genuinely interested me with how well the implemented the 3d graphics were and how good the game world actually looked considering that this was a browser game. I started off the game and was introduced as a hero of the troubled land of Alderstone.
The game introduced the combat system to me in a way that showed off the combat at a leisurely pace but the developers need to know that their own pop-ups can lead to making the tutorial unable to be continued. What would happen is I would be going through the tutorial menus like normal learning about how the game is played the games automated pop-ups would block my tutorial and since the tutorial makes it so you can only click on the buttons it is showing to you it makes it impossible to progress. Anytime it happened I would literally have to refresh the game in order to get back to what I was doing. This is a huge oversight on the developers part as I was still being shown tutorials on how things worked in the game even up until halfway through.
After the tutorial I was told to rescue various townsfolk throughout the land which would open up the various shops and crafting centers that I would need for end level. Like most RPGs there is a blacksmith where you can take older armor and weapons and craft new more upgraded ones. Unlike in Diablo 3 or other games of its kind where you take old equipment and armor and salvage them for crafting pieces in King’s Road you take 6 old armor or weapon pieces and then combine them into a new random piece of upgraded armor. I looked at the other crafting options and while it does let you craft up to even legendary armor this is only unlocked later in the game.
There is the class trainer whose only function is to let you switch between the games 3 classes, The Knight, the Archer, and the Wizard. Its nice to be able to switch to the other classes at any time without having to make an all new character but it seems your character doesn’t share progress with the other classes at all, if you choose a new class you are starting from square one. There is also a skill trainer where you allocate your points that you get through leveling. The game splits its abilities into Active abilities and Passive ones all of which can be all upgraded 10 times to increase their respective effects. This can help to make your character varied but none of the spells or passives really did anything unique besides boosting stats and the passives never change between any of main classes so its basically choosing what passives you think are the most important. The Active spells between the classes are nothing we haven’t seen before in other Diablo like games and I was kind of disappointed at the lack of creativity they took with their spells. The only other trainer in the game is the enchanting trainer, now enchanting is done pretty okay, you can socket items with gems to give your items additional stats and effects, fuse gems together to increase the level of a specific gem you want, and evolve max level gems to increase their quality, and even re socket your items so if you find an item you particularly like you can use extra gems you don’t want on your items to let you re socket an item that either doesn’t have the socket you want or you just want to try for extra sockets. The enchantment in this game really stands out and it really feels like the people that created the games enchantment cared about how the system was going to work and made it cool. I just wish the same could be said about the rest of the game.
The game, unfortunately, as a free to play game does run into the rut that most free to play games run into, this game from my perspective is pay to win. I decided I was going to keep all my comments about it to myself until this paragraph where I would lay out the reasons why the game is pay to win and why it doesn’t need to be and how it could fix this. The first thing I saw that showed it was pay to win was the fact that your bag never gets any bigger, you are stuck with a 16 slot bag from the start of the game and the only way you can increase its size is by paying with the game’s premium currency in gems.
Now you CAN get gems simply by completing missions and the more you play levels the more your mastery level will increase and the more gems you get. From I could see looking at the levels mastery levels its takes 5 times through the same level to get to last amount of gems which is 50. So you can get a total 70 gems out of a level which is nice considering that you don’t have to pay a dime. However playing through a level 5 times is kind of boring and I wish they came up with a better way to award them than this. There is also the pop-ups that I mentioned before that are always “deals” that they are trying to making you purchase using gems and they are never an amount that a normal free player would even have. Also there are the chests, which are basically left in game maps to get you all excited and then immediately disappoint you when it says, “Ooh look at all the wonderful loot in this chest! Do you want to open it with 200 gems?” Once again this wouldn’t be a problem if a free player were making that much money but they simply aren’t and dangling better items in front of players that are working hard enough already to get loot the hard way is simply nothing but trying to get at their wallets.
Before finishing this review I decided I owed it to my readers to trudge through the rest of the game. And yes I mean TRUDGE. While the difficulty and variety of enemies do increase to my pleasant in last five levels of the game it doesn’t make up for the sheer boredom the other areas had with their level design and character variety. I did find the difficulty did indeed spike though with me never dying up to this point I was using maybe two or three lives a level on a boss simply because it would hit you with unblockable kill moves which I would then immediately pick myself up and kick him in the gut. The final boss accurately describes what I feel about this game though, you get to the final boss, Adamar: Lord of Shadows, and he immediately starts you off with a boss rush….. a boss rush, really? He does have 2 other forms that feel like traditional final boss forms but starting him off with a boss rush felt lazy.
King’s Road in a nutshell is mediocre. Its a perfect way to describe it, it doesn’t do anything hopelessly bad, it has decent combat, decent enemy variety, and decent bosses. Everything it does it does somewhat well but not well enough to distinguish it from games that does what it does better. Its a decent game all around but its plagued with Free to Play issues and if it expects to be more than just an okay browser game its going to have to change a lot of things around before it can consider itself a contender to other titles like it.