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Horizons: Empire of Istaria Image

Mixed or average reviews - based on 13 Critics What's this?

User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 19 Ratings

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  • Summary: Horizons is an MMORPG set in a world of legend and lore. Filled with humans, elves, dragons and many other creatures and races, Horizons allows players to adventure alone or together in a world of boundless excitement, exploration and if they choose it ? danger. Horizons is filled with cities and towns, castles and strongholds, villages and mystical structures, in environments ranging from tropical jungle to arctic tundra to windswept plains and mountainous wilderness. Players may choose their path within the world ? Explorer, Miner, Crafter, Wizard, Warrior or Settler of the new frontier. Live in the civilization of the Empire or venture into the unknown and create an empire of your own. [Atari] Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. With its engaging advancement system and visual feel that invokes the best of "Morrowind," Horizons may not be the true home for wandering seekers, but it's an excellent place to stay. [Mar 2004, p.77]
  2. An intricate and fun game. If you like crafting you will think you’ve reached Heaven. If you do adventuring and crafting you will wish you had ten more hours a day to play.
  3. They have created a game that allows the player to create the type of Player vs. Enemy or crafting game they like. Even with its current short comings, I am having a great time in the game and cannot wait to jump online whenever I have a chance.
  4. It’s stable, easy to learn, cheap and has plenty of scope for development, which is perhaps more than the competition offers.
  5. It became clear at this point that Horizons follows the MMORPG cannon to the letter, that the graphics are very average, and that there's no reason to play outside the social aspect. [Feb 2004, p.111]
  6. It has many game mechanics in common with "EverQuest," the potential for town building like "Shadowbane," and a complex crafting system like "Ultima Online" or "Galaxies."
  7. A shrug-inducing "so what" game that - judging by the barren servers - seems to be keeping players away in droves. [May 2004, p.86]

See all 13 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. OliverC.
    Dec 10, 2003
    This game is the best mmorg till now. The crafting system is excellent and the mission system too. Just buy it!
  2. AdamP.
    Dec 26, 2003
    What this game does, it does like no other. The crafting system is wonderful, and the fighting system is good AND complicated. The best mmorpg out right now, I guarantee it. Expand
  3. Jan 2, 2014
    Still up and running after reaching it's ten year anniversary, this game is definitely worth checking out. It may not have the flashy visuals that characterize modern MMORPG's but more than makes up for this through unique features such as playing a dragon race through three stages of life development, or building a real plot or dragon lair as part of the world where anyone can walk in and sit down instead of having instanced situations. There are over 26 different adventure classes (all of which can be combined with one another in a multi-class system for great customization) for the many races that walk on two feet, and a unique draconic adventure class for the dragons.

    Now run by Virtrium, it is also showing promise as new content is released periodically. Recently added was a whole new crafting class for Dragons and a new area to explore called Fiery Rift. The company often deals with players personally when they need help through a ticket system, and has a very fast response time. Although the game does have bugs, the developer's often work hard at quickly eradicating them when they arise.

    The community is also one of the best I've seen. Max level players continue to go out of their way to help new players learn or provide equipment to help them. The Order shard of the game (Roleplay) features a small but tight knit community of roleplayers and just plain good people, while the Chaos shard (PvE) is there for those with less of a 'In-character' bent.

    Final verdict: Definitely worth a try on trial period to test out the multitude of different races. Or go Human for free-to-play option.
  4. XWraithX
    Jan 24, 2004
    I'll admit that this is my first mmorpg, aside from playing star wars galaxies for a few hours, but in all Horizons seems to do quite a few things right, the crafting system is amazing, the combat while not perfect is still fun and interesting enough to keep coming back for more, and the music is amazing. And although i do agree that some parts of the maps are devoid of life, there are plenty of things to see, do and kill. My main complaint is in the requirements. Even on my System it runs choppy occasionally. P4-2.66 512MB DDR 2700 ATI Radeon 9700 Pro 120GB WD SE HDD w/ 8MB Cache Expand
  5. HendrikM.
    Dec 20, 2003
    Evolutionary, not revolutionary improvement on current MMORPG gameplay paradigmata. Decent graphics that strangely work better than AC2's, great user interface, awesome crafting/trading system, but suffers from an apparent lack of content variety and missing features (which the developers are currently promising to deliver in various future patches and expansions). Expand
  6. [Anonymous]
    Dec 10, 2003
    I bought this game and returned it right away. Unfortunately, I just couldn't get past the visuals! Compared to another MMO i've been playing the models are *very* polygonal and unlrealistc/un-believable, and character movement is very jerky and not-so-easy on my nerves. With all the pre-release hype, I'm sure it's a great game once you get into it and ignore the relative lack of polish, but it's not for me. Expand
  7. FlorianM.
    Dec 19, 2003
    Horizons has been released in a pre-beta status. Many central gameplay functions are bugged, some of them are not even implemented. There is no noteworthy support, no patch documentation and no timeline. After one week everyone complains (as in the "real" beta phase) about a lack of motivation because there is no competition and no sense at all. Nice graphics and a perfect game interface are clearly not enough to run a successful MMORPG. Expand

See all 13 User Reviews