Found a couple of reviews of the third beta weekend which I’d like to share with you. Unfortunately, neither praises the game as a whole and in each review there’s a few negative points, but I have to disagree with some of them. Even though Aion is often compared to other games, there are enough new places, quests and several innovative elements which should keep us busy for quite awhile.
First, Tobolds review. Overall it seems his experiences with Aion were mostly positive, but since he’s not too keen on PvP it might of turned him away from the game a bit.
The only major disappointment of my Aion weekend was the severe lack of replayability. There being only two races means there are only two newbie zones from level 1 to 10. And the two newbie zones are very similar to each other, starting you in the wilderness, getting you to a first village with all the trainers, then a lake area, a forest, another wilderness area, a big camp full of enemies, and a cave. Several quests in the two zones are downright identical, for example the final quest in the cave where you need to activate three colored colums before destroying an abyss gate. As I mentioned, even the big cutscenes for the destiny quest line are the same for the two races, and for every class. So while Aion can compete with World of Warcraft in terms of quality and polish, in terms of amount of content WoW is far ahead, even if you compare 2004 WoW with 2009 Aion.
You can read the full post on his blog here.
The second review is by Serennia on WoM.
Although there’s much more to talk about, I think the point I’m trying to get across here is that although Aion quite obviously tried to mimic a lot of WoW’s best aspects and funnest selling points, NCsoft still has a long way to go if they really want to make any sort of dent in the WoW playerbase.
It seems to me Serennia wouldn’t be impressed with any game regardless of its quality, but that’s just my opinion. Just because people are bored with World of Warcraft does not mean they’ll all suddenly switch to Aion, and most importantly it certainly doesn’t mean they won’t like the game. Personally, I haven’t played WoW in over a year and have no desire to, but I like Aion so far because it seems like an interesting and fun game, unlike many others.
If you ask me, WoW is definitely the best MMO game out there. When you take into account the number of subscribers, the amount of content and the time you can spend playing it without getting bored, that’s a hard nut to crack. But if you’re looking for a WoW-clone and expect it to be perfect and even better in pretty much every aspect, I doubt you will find one, not now and probably not in the next ten years.
Why everyone expects literally every new MMO game coming out to be the so-called WoW killer is beyond me, and frankly it annoys me. It doesn’t have to be polished right from the start (note: Aion is still in beta and everyone generally agrees it’s quite polished), it doesn’t need thousands of quests and hundreds of different areas. What it needs and in Aion’s case it might already be present, is its own “soul” and NCSoft should stick with it.
Aion may be similar to WoW, Warhammer or any other game, but they all are similar – that’s why we call them MMORPG games. It obviously needs to offer something different to be successful, and Aion might have exactly what it takes.
Aion won’t appeal to everyone, just like WoW doesn’t. It will however have it’s own fanbase and thousands of players who will appreciate and enjoy it for what it is, and not because they’re bored with other games. It might not have eleven million subscribers and generate billions of dollars of revenue, but we’ll play it anyway because we like it. It’s hard to say where Aion will be in six months or a year, but if you ask me if it keeps me entertained for that long, I’d call that a success.