Take flight with the latest MMO from NCSoft, though be warned that your air time is limited
Posted by Alex V (SpectralShock) on Jan 16, 2010 - 7:43pm EST (Jan 16, 2010 19:43)
This review is based on the experiences in the game from level 1 through 26. A review trial was provided by the publisher.
Aion is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) released by NCsoft, and developed by a dedicated Aion team. Initially, the game was known as "Aion: The Tower of Eternity" but it was released in North America under the one-word title. The game combines PvP and PvE as many other MMOs do, but with its own set of twists and small changes to the formulaic gameplay. Unlike many modern MMOs, Aion requires a definitive time commitment in order for players to progress through the game and unlock the best that it offers, which can be considered both a blessing and a curse for the players. While there is a lot of interesting and engaging PvP content to be found, it is all mostly hidden away from the lower-level players by hours upon hours of repetitive PvE quests and map exploration. Nonetheless, Aion is a great-looking MMO that plays great and requires some time commitment to fully unlock its potential to the player.
The story of the Aion world is told through various cutscenes and quest dialogue, though they are not very clearly told at times. The cutscenes do a good job of showcasing the world and your part of the story, but the best explanations don’t arrive until later levels which makes the story a bit thin and hard to follow at the beginning. There is much more story to be found in the various campaign quests you complete, but there is little incentive to read through the many paragraphs given. In short, the world of Aion (called Atreia) was once whole and all its inhabitants prospered. However, an evil nation called the Balaur has attacked the center of Atreia, which was the Tower. Balaur charged the tower and destroyed it, and the resulting cataclysm broke the world in half. The two Guardians of the Tower decided to sacrifice their life energy to ensure the two new fragments of their world would not separate into space. This new layout has caused one side of the world to be always covered in light, while the top half of the world was now in eternal darkness. Those that lived in the light part of the world, the Elyos, saw little change and continued to recover from the disaster and rebuild society. On the other hand, the inhabitants of the upper part of the world, the Asmodians, had to adjust to their new conditions and this reflected upon their appearance and personality. The once united nation was now two distinct races bound to battle each other until either side prevails, though at least they both remained human. The Balaur were not destroyed in the explosion, and instead now occupy the Abyss, a centered piece of land that floats in the center of the planet. This presents Aion’s players with an interesting mix of PvP and PvE that occurs in the Abyss.