When it comes to MMORPGs, there are a few that spring to mind due to the unprecedented legacy they’ve left behind. World of Warcraft, The Old Republic, Guild Wars, each huge incomparable realms with millions of players adventuring through them every day, so I guess it’s a little brave for developers these days to create new worlds to contend with these industry giants. If you browse through Steam’s MMORPG library, understandably you’ll notice many of them are free to play, so when one comes along with a price tag attached to it, you can’t help but take notice.
Guardians of Ember is the latest epic MMORPG from the scholars at Runewaker, the creative minds behind successful online games such as Runes of Magic and Dragon’s Prophet. In this new addition to the fantasy world of gaming, you control a Guardian of Ember, a legendary immortal of old that must rid the land of Olyndale from the Dark God worshiping evil that resides in it. Amongst killing endless waves of dark forces, you must complete quests to win the favours of the nation and ultimately uncover the fabled Holy Ember, the only hope you have of crushing the world’s evil. In a somewhat overcrowded genre set on a somewhat unoriginal backdrop, it’s essential for studios to offer players something a little new, and in GoE’s case that’s exactly what it tries to do. Runewaker describe the game as a hack n slash MMORPG, giving players a much faster paced experience to the typical RPG formula. Another neat feature that offers players something a little unique is the ability to choose a second class, yes that’s right, no longer are you confined to just being a mage or a knight, now you can be both and truly conquer the battlefield with your very own, personalised dominance.
You begin the game with an option to fully customise your legend. Choose from one of 4 races, starting with the typical human, Elf & Dwarf, or for something a little different, why not select ‘Neia’, a childlike fairy creature who is no doubt completely new to your RPGing career thus far. With race comes class and there are 6 to decide on, Dark Knight, Ranger, Engineer, Arcanist, Priest and Knight, each specialising in dozens upon dozens of special abilities and weaponry. Your adventure starts at Rye Ridge in the middle of a heated butchery between humans and goblins, as you defeat the oncoming horde and become a hero in the eyes of the people, setting you on your pathway to cleanse the world from evil once and for all. Speaking to the townsfolk will trigger quests, and speaking to other players may result in a companion for life, or at least for an hour or 2 … just don’t follow them into the game’s arena, as they could have you nailed in PvP action. If facing other players isn’t your thang, as it’s definitely not mine, then if you get fed up with the quests you can always head into any of the game’s randomised dungeons, which not only play out differently each time, but feature their own level of difficulty, so you’ll always find something to do if you find the story going nowhere.
On the surface, Guardians of Ember doesn’t appear to be anything new or terribly exciting, however, once you get started on your adventure you realise that it could genuinely contend with those that have inspired it. It looks great, it plays smoothly and there’s enough content from the off to peak your interest from the first swing of your sword. Currently it’s in its early access state so no doubt the finish article will differ from the version I’ve started to explore, however so far, so good! It may lack the huge names or production values behind it, but what you’ll find is a very enjoyable adventure game created by a strong team of competent RPG visionaries, so watch this space as you could find Guardians of Ember being the next big bandwagon everyone wants to jump on!