When I think of Archlord 2, I think of epic free-to-play MMORPG battles with unlimited ways of having fun. The world of Archlord 2 can be considered as a parallel universe to that of the previous game Archlord, showing an alternate history of the world of Chantra. The game revolves around your own play style, giving you a balanced arsenal of weapons to equip as you see fit on your character without having to be restricted by your race class stats. Though the game is more focused on combat through PVP and PVE events, there are plenty of side activities to be had on the way to great fortune and success.
The visual aspects
The very first impact that Archlord 2 imprinted on me was how robust and well balanced the pallet of colors and graphical designs the game embodies. The titan world of Chantra seems dark and gothic like, where every living or undead creature is ready to take you apart and shred you to pieces. The visual and performance ratio is well balanced, even though there aren’t too many optional setting to go through. I am a bit disappointed about the character’s moving animations where turning, jumping and strafing made my champion seem to float rather than have a normal action behavior, but I’m pretty sure this will be covered in a near-future update of the game. The user interface is quite friendly and intuitive and even most game mechanics aren’t a hustle when it comes to managing most of the character’s stats and inventory.
Not many games bring too much flavor to the character creation tool in their first stages, but Archlord 2 does make it easy for you to come up with an awesome looking champion in just a few well-placed clicks. The main aspect of the game is that you have to choose one side of the war, to either play as a human in the Azuni coalition, or as an orc in the Crunn coalition. You have to understand that once you choose a side you can’t create a new character in the opposite faction, but this a good thing since Archlord 2 makes you work hard and devote yourself for the war efforts of your coalition.
Now the creation of your character is fairly easy and doesn’t take too much effort since most of the character’s features are in a preset order, giving you the opportunity to come up with a champion that looks mean, strong, weak, or even crazy. However, the trick is that you are not bound by a race class and no matter what weapon you choose to start with you can always excel with other weapons you pick up along the way.
Though the weapons have different names for each side, they all associate to 4 classes: Tank (Two-handed Sword or Ax), Warrior (One-handed sword or Lance), Range (Crossbow or Bow) and Mage (Staff or Wand). I soon found out, to my surprise, that my character can have 2 weapons equipped on his person and that I could easily swap between them in battle to evade sticky situations or even to engage and defend my guild friends. You can basically train with all 4 weapon types, according to your race, and change your play style in respect to your surroundings.
Funny thing is that according to the Archlord 2 tales, the Orcs were once humans who were betrayed by the Lord of Chaos. Everything started many years ago, when the descendants of the children of the gods, who initially were created to defeat the armies of the Lord of Chaos, separated themselves into 2 clans: The Fire and Earth Clan. The clans started a great argument based on the union of the children of the 2 clan’s leaders, who later developed into a full scale war. As the story goes, the Earth Clan was defeated and almost driven into extinction, but they made a pact with the Lord of Chaos to obtain great power to fight against the Fire Clan, not knowing the harsh price they were going to pay for.
When out of combat, you can always go explore the vast lands of Chantra to discover new areas and dungeons, but thread carefully as you can easily encounter big leveled creatures lurking in unexpected places. Exploration comes with its benefits as you can gather materials in your travels and later on craft them into new weapons and items to use in battles. Alchemy is also a great way of obtaining potions as Archlord 2 will force you to use every resource you have available at your disposal, thus having consumables with you will always prove beneficial in hard situations.
Another interesting and neat game mechanic I have discovered is the fact that you can unbind items after they have been bound on your champion. This is a great way to use a good piece of equipment and later on put it up for sale and get a bit of coin to get yourself something better. Never the less you can also improve your equipment or disassemble it for parts.
Aside from the generic PVE environment, players can challenge other players through PVP events. PVP is actually an important aspect of Archlord 2, since once you gain the title of Archlord you also obtain special benefits such as weapons, mounts and so on, until someone can challenge you in combat and take your title away. There are different types of PVP such a 1 vs 1 duels, or 5 vs 5 people skirmishes after reaching level 30. Bigger events include Contested Arena where people join based on the level cap and complete specific arena quests, or the Battlegrounds where the clash of the factions bring 200 vs 200 people after reaching level 40. The fun part is that in PVP events there are no safe zones, so be ready to fight or run since most of the opponents have no mercy.
I have to say that Archlord 2 is a game packed with tons of fun and interesting new mechanics. With beautiful graphics and a robust artistic world, the game will envelope you in its magic. Though having to only side with on faction in the game seem like a disadvantage, Archlord 2 gives you the pleasure of becoming the ultimate PVP champion and have the benefits of a king. With plenty of PVP and PVP content, you can adapt your play style with any weapon you choose depending on the battle situations you will encounter. If you are a gamer who loves to make his character really count and have true meaning in a free-to-play MMO, then Archlord 2 is what will fulfill those desires.