Since the introduction of the iOS App Store way back in 2008 I’ve dreamed of one day getting a full MMORPG experience on the go. While many games have tried over the years and have done a good job at scratching that itch, due to the limitations in the tech, networking, and the rapidly evolving trends in mobile gaming, I had pretty much written off the idea that a full fledged MMO would ever show up on my phone. That changed once I saw developer Netmarble’s Lineage 2: Revolution first hand at Twitchcon 2017. For those unfamiliar with Lineage 2, its currently one of the biggest MMO’s in South Korea (with a player count that’s over 10% of the country’s population), and after seeing it in action I can see why the current player count is over 100,000,000 people.
Graphically Lineage 2 :Revolution is astounding, but visuals are only scratching the surface on what this app brings to the table. While this Unreal Engine 4 game looked amazing running on an iPhone 6 Plus (I’ve been told its capable of running on an iPhone 5 with graphics settings turned down) the fact that Netmarble was able to bring the PC MMO experience to the device that I use to like pictures of people’s dumb pets is an achievement in itself.
Combat is intuitive and optimized for the small screen with the option to have combat automated. While on the surface this may seem like a “casualization” of traditional gameplay by letting the game play itself, it makes sense for the system the game is being played on. Netmarble’s biggest hurdle with a smart phone is the extremely limited amount of real estate on the screen, and because of the scope of the game, the implementation of auto combat is a necessary option for people who want to grind but also navigate menus, organize inventory, and do everything else that would be easier to control with a normal sized screen. It was also pointed out to me that combat still requires strategy and skill for the tougher enemies and PVP and you wouldn’t be able to just auto battle a raid or higher level dungeon.
Character customization is surprisingly deep for a mobile game and features 4 races with their own classes and subclasses. Like many popular MMO’s you can equip mounts and buy various weapons of different tiers throughout the game with the two currencies. One can be earned in game by running quests and defeating enemies while the other hard currency (Red Diamonds) can be bought with money or earned by selling items in the trading post to other players. The inclusion of an in game market makes this free to play experience much more inclusive and less “pay to win” than most mobile games of this scope and Is a welcome addition to these types of games.
While its a full fledged MMO, PVP is where Lineage 2: Revolution truly shines and stands out from even PC MMO’s. At release players can engage in 50v50 pvp clan battles all in real time over cellular data. As well as traditional co-op boss fights and raid dungeons. The idea of 200 players on screen at once sounds impressive and while I personally can’t wait to see how my iPhone 8 Plus holds up with that much chaos happening on screen, ill most likely turn some of that off in the in game graphics options to keep things simple.
Lineage 2: Revolution may be the game that finally brings me back to the world of MMORPG’s but allows me to do that at my own leisure wherever I am. The graphics, intuitive gameplay options, and large scale PVP battles definitely make Lineage 2: Revolution worth checking out when it launches November 15th on Google Play and the Apple App Store. You can preregister here to gain additional currency as well as other in game items.
Is a mobile MMO something you would want to play? Does the idea of a full fledged desktop experience on your phone excite you? What do you think about an auto battle mechanic? Lets us known in the comments below!