Crystal Saga is a Free to Play Browser Game (MMORPG) set in a fantasy world that offers 5 classes each with unique talent paths.
While Crystal Saga offers very little in the way of true innovation, it manages to offer a genuine MMORPG experience within the confines of an Internet browser, and as such, can be enjoyed effortlessly anytime, anywhere.
Browser games have come a long way in the past few years. Today, they often offer a complete game experience without the need for a download or install, making them a great alternative to school work and a magnificent method for procrastination in the workplace.
Crystal Saga, from R2 Games, is one such game. An MMORPG on its face, Crystal Saga is to the browser game world today what Runes of Magic was to the Free to Play MMO: a full MMORPG experience and a benchmark for the future of the genre.
Unlike other browser MMORPGs such as A Mystical Land, Crystal Saga opts for a more traditional gameplay experience, utilising gorgeous 2D art direction and traditional gameplay elements. In many ways, this makes Crystal Saga an average MMORPG that offers little in the way of innovation other than the simple fact that it can be played anywhere at anytime.
Character creation is simple: there are five classes, the Knight, Rogue, Priest, Mage and Ranger, and customization is restricted to a choice of portrait. Limiting? Very. But again, this can be played without a download. Within those confines alone, this is quite impressive.
Gameplay is also very traditional, in that progression is fuelled entirely by linear quest progression that, with the help of auto-navigation, requires about the same amount of mental input as is required when making a cup of coffee at 5AM. Quest variety is again very traditional: the vast majority requiring little more than ‘kill x of y’ or ‘talk to that guy about this’.
Adding insult to injury, Crystal Saga also offers auto-combat scenarios that, quite literally, allow you to AFK and continue to grind for experience. You can set up parameters like when to use potions and the game with play itself.
And on a normal day, I’d be against it all. But again, this is a browser MMORPG. Things are different here. While normally I’d consider a feature like AFK leveling to be heresy, perhaps it does have a place in this new fast-paced, casual browser world. I can see myself getting used to the idea if I’m playing at work; play a bit, alt-tab for a meeting, but the leveling continues and when I get back it as though I never left.
I think we’re getting away from what gaming really means at this point, but it is happening, and if you can think of a way that a feature like this could help your gaming experience improve… well, it probably a good thing.
Crystal Saga offers PvP too, and a bunch of other things that I’m not going to mention, because I’ve said it all before in another review of another game that more or less the same thing. There not a lot of ‘new’ in Crystal Saga, but if you’re in the market for something to play at work or school in your browser, this is a pretty good choice.
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