Great Game Tour Day 4: Albion Online

While the primary purpose of this month’s Great Game Tour is to investigate some of my gaming backlog, I also wanted to toss a few MMOs into the mix. The challenge here is that there are actually very few of them that I haven’t played at some point in my life. But hey, Albion Online? Never done that one yet! Let’s check it out.

It’s clear that there were some lonely, lonely devs working on the character creation system, as evidenced by the lack of modest outfits for female characters. Maybe if you stare at them long enough, Greg, they’ll come to life and profess their undying love for you. Maybe you need to get out more often.

Obviously I’ve seen screenshots and even videos of Albion Online before, but let me tell you, playing it really brought home how good-looking and slick this game is. I was deeply impressed with the visual presentation, both the game world and the UI. That map is just SLICK, and for a fixed, overhead camera perspective, they really make some good use of verticality.

And can I just gush about this adorable name plate? When’s the last time a name plate caught your eye in an MMO?

Initial combat is fine, although the skill keys are slotted to really weird placements. It’s got a good auto-attack pace with your standard extra skills thrown in here and there, and I like it. Nothing fancy, but it gets the job done.

Got me a mule! So cute. Let’s go conquer the world, noble steed.

It’s not just fighting, of course. Albion is heavy on the PvP and crafting, so the tutorial focuses a lot on teaching crafting basics. Happily, they ARE basic and not to aggravating. I like how the skin comes off the fox when I gather up its hide, leaving behind a skeleton. Nice touch.

Forging on (pun intended) through the newbie zone meant a combination of combat and crafting quests. Honestly, I’m just bowled over by this game. It’s *way* better than I had anticipated, and now I’m going to have to invest some more time into it to see if the PvP angle will turn me off — or if there’s a way to live and let live.