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Sep 26, 2014There is a word for games like these: Shovelware. Look it up.
Swordsman Online is the creation made Perfect World Entertainment for the sole purpose of riding the Wuxia Bandwagon and milk money from people who were bored or disappointed by Age of Wushu or 9Dragons, even though the engine was originally made for Point and Click games like PWE or Jade Dynasty. You can imagine what happens when you try to make something in a program that was not intended for that use.
First thing first, the character creation. Compared to other games it's a bit limited. You have a few hairstyles, the usual sliders for body proportions, but they left out basic things like skin or eye color... oh no, wait, they're only available for paying users. Also, the female character model looks just weird at first.
Then the graphics... typical Perfect World graphics, not the highest quality, but not too low either. The skills are all flashy, unsurprisingly, though there are many things that look horrendeous up close, even if they're not in the background. Yeah, I'm talking about you, stone door thing that was suppose to open...
But now let's get onto the abyssimal gameplay:
Even though the game has "Action mode" which enables you to use the nowadays trendy "MouseLook with Crosshair", it is ridiculously sluggish, especially when projectile-based skills are used, making the whole camera control just painful to do.
The story starts off with your home village being attacked by a bunch of bandits, who you can kill off with a simpleChuck Norris style Roundhouse kick, before running away from them despite they take NO HP from you. The story in this game is stupid, and you WILL end up being confused about what is going on. What you'll pretty much get about it is "You're going around stopping bad guys." but other than that, it's a mess. Thanks the translators for that. Also, it's pacing is ridiculously fast.
The game is a gigantic Auto-Route fest, and even though I'd prefer walking on my own, most of the times I needed to use the function still because the NPCs on the map are extremely poorly signed, and many things like cutscenes do not trigger unless you stand on the exact one spot the Auto-Route brings you to.
Remember how you could do tricks and such on rooftops? Yeah, they're automated too.
There are many schools you can choose from, however, NONE of them explains anything about their style. The only thing school master said when you have to make the decision is "If you join my school, I'll teach you how to fight." You NEED to look it up on the internet before choosing because the only thing that gives you a slight hint is the weapon they use and the skill showcase videos that, ironically, doesn't showcase the skills in one skill tree, but just some button mashing.
You can, no you HAVE to literally noclip through a wall (that was supposed to be some stone door) to proceed, and on top of that, you can noclip through fences, lamp posts, signs, bushes, basic decoration elements. Also, the things mobs drop are usually invisible, you only know they're there because the gather icon is shown, and only when you pick them up you can see their name.
Combat feels really cluncky, there are noticable gap of waiting between animations, that is also added up with the lag. Also, the auto-targeting it beyond stupid. How many times I aimed to lash my whip towards the enemy player, and my character turned around and grabbed a mob I just passed by, or a breakable decoration. Then there are the "lightness skills", you have the Air Dashing like in Age of Wushu, but it's much less smooth and rather clunky as well, there are also other dodging skills, double and triple jump, which are much smoother, as well as the "Forced Move" which cancels your current attack, a very useful thing you can bait people with.
Now, remember how is Wushu there was the nice Rock-Paper-Scissors mechanic? PWE decided to spice it up by adding Lizard and Spock to the mix, thus, completely messing up everything. Each skill has one or more status effects carried to it, which can be countered by another, different status effect. Which one? Good luck figuring out, because the game doesn't tell you. So long for "strategy".
Quests are also very generic most of the time, however, the game tries to break the monotonity by making you carry a monkey, get drunk (like everyone else in this game) or help a friend winning in a race, but it falls short to make a real difference because they are just too short.
And there are the armor-recolors, and other things I could mention.
Overall, this game seems incredibly thrown together, lazy, overly-instanced to be called an "open-world MMO" and pay2customize. It's a crystal clear money-cow, there isn't many good things in it that could get you hooked, in fact, you most likely get bored by the end of the "tutorial" that is at Level 40.
It's mediocre at best, which is very disappointing, because I expected somewhat more... okay, a lot more.… Expand