Eldevin is one of those MMOs that gets mentioned when people are asking for recommendations for little-known and underrated titles. Those are the kinds of games that I’m always keeping an eye out for, so I loaded this one up over the weekend for a try.
Strange note, it turns out that I had tried this at SOME point in the past, as I had a level 2 character on the screen. I don’t recall when, and my auxiliary gaming brain (this blog) is of no help. In any case, I started with a fresh character, marveling over the low-polygon graphics.
I mean, REALLY low-poly. Eldevin gets compared a lot to RuneScape, and I can see why. Both games offer similar generic fantasy styles with low draw distance and chunky visuals. Yet both also have some measure of charm in them, and I appreciated that there was some effort here to provide world details (such as flowing sewers or ambient creatures) and a colorful setting.
Another point of comparison with RuneScape is a class-less system. In Eldevin, you start out as a generic Human adventurer like everyone else and can invest ability and talent points as you level up. Pretty standard stuff, but then again, I kind of appreciated how easy it was to understand all of the systems in Eldevin. Sometimes in MMOs we get devs who feel like they have to reinvent the wheel and make everything far more obtuse than it needs to be.
I won’t say that the opening hours were anything that amazing in this game. It’s one of those MMOs where it feels like it has to hold your hand for a long, long while, where every quest is an extended tutorial of some sort. About the most interesting part was when I was sent through a portal into some sort of void dimension that felt like the “dark world” from Zelda.
Combat is… well, it’s there. Since you can pick your playstyle, the game encourages you to try out melee, magic, and archery to your heart’s content. I settled on archery, mostly because it was enjoyable to sit back and thwip-thwip-thwip hogs and beetles to death. On a weird side note, the auto-attack in this game is obscenely fast. Like this would be rapid fire in other MMOs, but here your guy is just going nuts. I think it may be the fastest auto-attack I’ve ever seen.
A nice player came along and took pity on my noobness by donating an entire vanity set of Santa Claus gear to me. Nothing like bringing Christmas cheer into March, I say! Ho-ho-ho.
One early quest that showed potential had me diving into multiple levels of a goblin cave to rescue “Mandreke’s Wife.” Pause for recognition. Yeah, it’s a cheap World of Warcraft joke, but hey, I smiled. And it was weird because the lady refused to be rescued, instead complaining that her husband should come down and rescue him herself. He, in turn, sent a letter and an amulet as an apology. The game let me choose whether or not to keep the amulet (I did), which was a nice touch. And the boss fight with a hobgoblin was the first fight I’d had in the game where a critter didn’t die in under a half-second.
Still in the throes of tutorials — and I promise you, I’d been trucking for a good solid two hours here — I found myself taking a self-guided tour all over the main city while my character provided narration (?!) as to the locales I’d passed. The end result of this was a little teleport token that I could use to return to the city, which I would probably never do because I’m not a big fan of fantasy cities to begin with.
From my early experience, Eldevin is a nice but forgettable MMO that manages to get the basics right without doing anything that interesting or different. I mean, it’s adequate, but how can I recommend adequate when there are other MMOs that do pretty much everything here but better? It’s cute, it’s inoffensive, and it’s at least understandable, which is more than I can say for some titles. But I doubt I’ll be coming back.