Known for its vast array of free to play games, most notably Wartune, R2 Games recently added League of Angels to its collection. It doesn’t make much effort to differentiate itself from the rest of the R2 Games titles and continues on with the browser-based MMO tradition. Players have a choice between two classes, the warrior and the mage, which can be male or female. The game takes players through many different areas where they must confront evil minions, save the souls of endangered angels and restore peace to the land.
A Game that Plays Itself
Now League of Angels is an interesting conundrum because it walks a fine line of actually being a game or not. With only two classes, there’s almost no variety in the player base at all, besides various party members which can be acquired along the way. Besides the lack of innovation and diversity, it’s possible to play a large part of the game by clicking the exact same spot. When a new quest appears players can click on it and their character will walk to the non-player character it needs to talk to. If a monster needs to be killed, click on its name and you’ll walk over to it and attack it. League of Angels saves players from all the monotonous things generally present in games like walking, thinking, and exploring because it’ll do it all for them. When new events became available a tutorial forces the players to click through them step by step.
I’m sure at this point some people are thinking that maybe the combat is a redeeming factor in all of this. Unfortunately, it’s not. There’s absolutely no player interaction at all once a fight begins: no skill, no strategy, no input at all. This means that the winner is determined solely by a player’s Battle Rating, a combination of stats based on gear and level, and the almighty random number generator. While agility decides who attacks first, the game still decides what is attacked. The only way players can have any impact on the battle outcome is before the fight starts by enhancing equipment, training party members, or buying gear from the premium shop.
Not only does League of Angels attempt to minimize player interaction, but it also rewards players for not even playing the game. When the game is left on, but no questing is being done, the game goes into “auto-pathing” mode, which essentially gives the character experience for standing still. In addition to auto-pathing, players can Blitz by using stamina to have the computer run a series of dungeons for them. Free players can only Blitz around 30 times a day, while VIP players can reset the limit depending on their VIP level.
In addition to questing, or AFKing for experience, there are a variety of mini-games to occupy players including Bejeweled and FarmVille ripoffs. It honestly feels like R2 Games put more effort into designing the countless mini-games, in an attempt to relieve players of their cash, than the actual game itself. Most of the games consist of some type of gambling system that rewards players with crafting material or other various items. Being consistent with the rest of the game, VIP players also receive extensive bonuses in these games, such as increased daily attempts or energy.
The two mini-games that stand out are Gemology and the Garden. Gemology is a tile-matching puzzle game where players are rewarded with gems, to socket in equipment, for matching three or more of the same gems in a row. There’s a basic and an advanced version of the game, and players are limited to a certain amount of moves per day by requiring 1 energy for every move.
The Garden is a bit of a twisted take on the typical farming simulator. Various items, such as experience and gold, can be planted in the garden and reward the player when they are harvested. Additional soil plots can be purchased with gold when a certain VIP level is reached. What’s interesting is that other players can be defeated and captured to work in your garden, which also allows players to harvest the captive’s crops, and other players can capture you.
It really seems like R2 Games has put in a ton of effort in order to distract players from how lackluster the main game is by constantly bombarding them with distractions. A lot of these events have a recharge time of 15 to 30 minutes, which could essentially keep players logged into the game for the entire day. There’s always something to do, check on, defend, or click.
The Worst Type of Pay to Win
Generally speaking there are three types of free to play games: those in which power can be directly purchased through items and equipment, indirectly purchased through easier leveling or random chances for upgrades, and arguably the best type where only aesthetic items require real life currency. League of Angels is quite clearly the former, and one of the most offensive I’ve ever seen; there doesn’t appear to be anything that can’t be purchased with real money.
Just subscribing to VIP access grants more stamina, friend capacity, enhancement success rate, free daily task attempts, garden slots and a list of at least 25 other perks. What’s worse is that the more money that’s dumped into VIP levels the greater the bonuses, further creating a rift between free players, casual spenders, and those willing to unload a small fortune. In addition to VIP rewards, Diamonds, the in game premium currency, can be purchased and spent for gear upgrades that can’t be purchased any other way. In the premium shop players have access to weapons, mount upgrades, costume upgrades, training equipment and stamina/energy recharge items.
Because so much of League of Angels is based on player versus player, the disparity can only continue to grow as the game progresses. It’s nearly impossible to have much success in Arena, Team Arena, Wyrm Races, or the Clash of Might as a free player when other players of the same level have exceptionally more power simply because they spent a bunch of money. Placing high in the aforementioned grants currency for newer, more powerful equipment that creates a cycle of winning or losing. For anyone who enjoys winning and being the best, it’ll only be possible here by constantly spending money to keep up with everyone else.
Too Cold for Angels to Fly
Despite how bad some games seem to be, I almost always try to find redeeming factors for at least a niche player base. Unfortunately, when it comes to League of Angels, there is honestly no reason for anyone to play this game. There’s no innovation, everything has already been done before, and the combat is virtually non-existent. The extensive amount of player versus player content could have created some desire to play, but instead of a competition of skill it’s who can spend the most and stay logged on for the longest amount of time. With all of the other free to play options available on the market, League of Angels should be avoided at all costs.
- Bug free
- Free to play
- Plenty of mini games
- No innovation
- Pay to win
- Terrible combat system
- Only two character classes