The first thing you need to know about Royal Quest is that while it touts the tagline: “From the Creators of King’s Bounty”, it does not actually reflect this game in any way other than being an isometric RPG. There are no turn based battles and the world is not quite as large. Is that a bad thing? I thought so at first, but then I tried something revolutionary: I played the game.
Royal Quest starts out like a typical MMORPG with character creation, selecting your class, gender, etc. There are also plenty of pre-made faces to choose from, which makes the adventure fairly customizable, even though you can be rest assured that most people aren’t going to be looking at your face. After character creation it asks you to create a pin number to help reinforce your account security. I was particularly impressed with this feature, especially considering how often MMORPG’s are hacked by gold farmers. Let’s face it, we’ve all lost an MMO account or two and it would have definitely been avoidable with a PIN system like this. Getting past that, I made my character, a mage, and I entered the game expecting to find…well…exactly what I found. A basic starter town and a heap of fetch quests. As I continued to play however, I noticed something interesting. The fetch quests weren’t entirely stupid. In fact some of them were downright funny. One example is an incident where I had to go teach a parrot in the wilderness not to curse at students of the mage academy, only to find that the parrot was a former mage transformed into a bird for one reason or another. It got even funnier when I found out that the parrot had actually been trying to conjure partners for himself and had accidentally spawned a host of ghost parrots around the area, which I was then charged with dispelling.
One thing I noticed about Royal Quest was the sheer quality of the environments. From the crisp clear running water to the beautiful stylized rocks that dotted the landscape, it was all quite beautiful. Most of the time when I’m playing an MMO I find myself simply running from one place to the next, trying to level up as quickly as possible, but in Royal Quest I actually felt compelled to explore, even in the starting area. To put it quite simply, the game is what could be considered a fusion of the old isometric Ragnarok Online and World of Warcraft, at least when it comes to the interface. One complaint I do have however is that the world is not seamless. Rather, it is comprised of square areas that can be typically accessed through points at the edge of the map. Still, each area is large enough to sufficiently entertain.
As I delved further into the game I was able to try out the grouping system, and it did not disappoint. Because dungeons, such as the Catacombs in Elgore are contested, you can encounter any number of players down below that will be more than interested in grouping up to accomplish common goals. Typically if someone is around the same level as you, they’ll be completing the same quests which makes it easier to play together. There are plenty of features in-game to keep you busy for years, and even a battleground(with a queue system) for those who are just looking to smash or burn some skulls.
The guild system is pretty robust, and it even includes a castle siege system which will permit your guild to participate(for a price) in the siege of one of the castles listed whether it is occupied by another guild or not. These sieges are scheduled, much like the sieges in Archlord, and you will need to coordinate with your guild to make sure everyone is present and accounted for. Additionally, I find that a well-balanced party is just as important in this game as it is in any other.
One thing I would like to point out is that while this is a free MMO it is NOT a blatant cash grab. It is clear that a lot of thought was put into this, and great care was taken to build a stylistic interface, text, and even world. The story is great, the controls are responsive, and I had quite a bit of fun, even with a random character trait reset at level 19.
Now on to the bad, and you know, every MMO has to have at least ONE bad thing. Well, the bad thing here is the cash shop. I’m not going to go so far as to call Royal Quest a pay to win game, because you don’t NEED to buy anything in order to advance. There are certainly items in the cash shop that help with crafting, and there are definitely character services you could use, but generally you could get by without them if you don’t mind the grind. One thing that IS in the cash shop and apparently nowhere else to be found would be mounts. Like other free to play games, mounts can only be purchased from the cash shop, but the developers have implemented a new mechanic to ensure a consistent cash flow. Your mounts get hungry and the only way to feed them is to purchase packs of food from the cash shop. Don’t worry, your mount isn’t going to up and die if you don’t feed it, but the stats will be significantly reduced, and it will complain a lot, probably making you feel guilty enough to pull out your credit card and spend the $9.99 for a basic pack of Reales.
You have the option to purchase premium time of course, which increased your experience gain as well as giving you free travel between maidens. But wait, what are maidens? Maidens are a method of travel and revival in the Royal Quest world. Each time you die, you can either choose to resurrect in place using a premium item, or you can resurrect at the last maiden you bound your character to. An additional perk to the maidens is the fact that you can choose to travel between them, cutting down time for traveling across the map. Beware: some areas do not have maidens, and you will need to make sure you find one in an adjacent area, or risk dying and being sent back to the starting area which is never pleasant. In that aspect the game does absolutely no hand holding.
On the surface, Royal quest looks like a simple game, but if you really dig deep and give the game a chance, you’ll find that epic adventure awaits whether your quarrel is with the environment, or with other players.
+ Responsive Gameplay
+ Great User Interface
+ Beautiful World
– Pay Real Money to Feed Mounts
– Castle Sieges are Expensive
– Clicking A Monster Starts Auto Attack
Rating: 8.5/10Related: F2P, Fantasy, MMORPG, Review, Royal Quest