Everyone knows that the mobile MMO market has been more than a bit lacking. The first game to make the attempt was Tibia, and it was forced to create a separate server and app specifically for the mobile version. While this game is still around, it is not very popular, though it did seem to provide a proof of concept for other games like Order & Chaos Online, which looked like more of a World of Warcraft clone than anything else. However, Forsaken World Mobile is an MMO that I can absolutely get behind, even if it doesn’t quite measure up to its larger PC based cousin. You’re probably wondering how good a mobile MMO could be, especially with the rather jaded history of the genre. Well, here are my thoughts.
Getting started, I have to admit I was a little more excited than I should have been because I’ve played a lot of the original Forsaken World. So I knew for sure that my favorite class, the Bard, was going to be in the lineup at character selection. If you’ve already played the game then you can only imagine my disappointment when it was completely absent. Instead I found this lineup:
Well, that’s great. I was definitely disappointed, but it’s something I got over fast when I chose a mage, finished creating my character and logged into the game. Once I got in, the game started with a simple tutorial intro, and then we dove into the game proper. The beginning quests are pretty simple; you’re sent to kill a certain number of things, and then you move on to bigger things, gain experience, go back, and repeat the process.
Being a mobile MMO, the areas were pretty small and I found that there was really only one quest giver per area. As you completed the quests for each of them, they would send you on to the next area. One thing I noticed is that the game is extremely instanced and it did not seem to resemble an open world at all. There wasn’t much reason to revisit any of the areas once I had actually finished the microscopic quest line, and eventually it all led me right to a ‘city,’ which I would describe as more of a large auditorium full of quest givers and vendor NPCs. There were a few quests and eventually it led to the king, who was apparently in the crappiest of moods. The quest eventually traced back to a tapestry on the wall behind the throne and that's where we unlocked the first dungeon.
I love dungeons in MMOs. I’m not even going to lie about this one. I love everything about them. It’s something about the whole grouping with other people and trying to accomplish a common goal that makes me happy. Well, I checked the dungeon finder, and the disappointment about the bard thing hit me again. However, it was slightly intensified when I realized that not only was every dungeon solo-able at the lowest level, it was mandatory. That’s right: mandatory solo dungeons.
Well, I went through the dungeon but I’m going to tell you right now that it took me two tries, and not due to a lack of skill. It was more due to the fact that you have to use potions to restore your health, and those are in short supply unless you stop by the cash shop – at least the potions I needed to actually finish the dungeon. In any case I finished, and then the real fun could begin.
The next time I went through the dungeon, I did so with a group of four other players, and we actually did pretty well. I was surprised that the holy trinity configuration worked as well as it did, and we complemented one another nicely. For a mobile dungeon experience, I was actually quite surprised, and I even ran through a few more times just for the heck of it.
So we finally come to the rub. It’s a mobile MMO so it’s bound to have some issues when it comes to the interface, and that is absolutely what I found when I was playing. Now, this game does run on tablets with larger screens, but I was playing on a Galaxy S3. So my real estate was a bit limited, to say the least. As you might expect, the actions took up a good portion of the screen, but it wasn’t horrible as the hotbar was arragned in such a way that the icons all sit on the corner of your screen rather than along the bottom.
Due to the way you have to hold your phone to play, it’s nice being able to reach all of the actions and abilities using only your thumb. You can use your other thumb to control an on-screen joystick which moves your character through the world. I don’t have a problem with any of this until we reach the point of actually moving the camera. On a PC, you would right click and hold to rotate your camera, which is something that we tend to take for granted when we’re playing the full featured MMORPGs. In Forsaken World Mobile, however, you are forced to place two fingers on the screen in order to move the camera. This is something that I completely disagree with.
In all of the other mobile MMOs, you simply use one finger, which is helpful, because that finger was most likely on the screen already anyway. With Forsaken World Mobile, you have to literally bring another finger to the screen, and it was likely the finger that was holding the device up, which means you now have to tighten your grip on the device, making everything a bit more awkward than it needs to be.
Aside from the ridiculous camera issues, the rest of the interface is on par for an MMO, but there was also something present that I’ve found in most other PWI games, which was the auto-route feature. Instead of walking to each and every quest destination, you can simply auto-route to it, which I for once didn’t mind. Lets face it, you’re going to walk there anyway, and with the way the game is set up, you’re probably just there for the dungeons anyway. The quests really did seem to be an afterthought, though a pretty well designed afterthought.
The last thing I’m going to mention is the auto-fight system. If you’ve read any of my other reviews then you already know how much I detest a game that does all the work for you. Okay, so there’s a lot to like with Forsaken World Mobile, but for some reason they decided to put an auto-attack feature into the game. Basically, when you turn it on, your character will actually move toward any monster in the area and begin attacking it. Once it has defeated said monster, it will move on to the next, and the next, and the next, using any abilities at its disposal, along with potions when it gets low on health.
You can load your character up with potions, park it, and walk away if you really want to. The leveling will be a lot slower this way than it would be with questing but it still happens, and this means there are an awful lot of players who did little to no work to gain their levels. In case you were wondering, you can also do it in dungeons and it is effective.
There are some things I don’t like with Forsaken World Mobile, such as the auto-fighting and the obvious pay wall, but for a mobile MMORPG it is actually set up quite well. The download is fast and signing in is easy, so I would definitely say that the game is accessible. If you’re looking for a nice mobile MMO experience, this might be your ticket.
-Awkward Camera Control
-Causes smartphones to heat up