MMO News, Reviews & Opinions
- Written by Exile
First and foremost, let us get a few things out of the way: I hope it will not dissapoint you to learn that if I had to choose between chopping onions and playing a SOE game, generally I'd be in the kitchen in an instant. Although both alternatives make me cry, the deciding factor for me to give Free Realms a try is because it is "free" to play, reviews have been good and its easy and fast to install. Additionally, I was encouraged by the idea that this game will offer some cooperative gameplay, moving away from the fps MMOs which we have seen over the past few years. Being in an MMO limbo for some time, I had nothing to lose.
The download and installation procedure is a breeze. You head over to the site, choose a name, a character and after a few minutes you are ready to go. Character customization does not allow for a meaningful variety of options, however. You can choose between a human or a pixie- male or female- and pre-defined facial features and hair cuts. No sizing of body, chins, eyebrows, shoulders and what not- so I entered the world expecting many Troneas out there in slightly different outfits.
The world is relatively small, and by looking at the map for the first time, you get the feeling of holding a map of Disneyland's themepark, but, rather than eye-catching, colourful, popping towers or roller-coasters, you get the same in terms of towns and villages. It seems more maps are planned for the future, and these will be linked to the main one.
After playing the brief yet helpfull tuturial, you are set loose in free realms. You spawn just outside a small village, and, a few steps down the road, you are greeted by an NPC pixie with a big "!" up her head you can't fail to notice.
A few comments about the general abilities and professions: When adventuring and "running about" free realms you will see no buttons to fire special abilities. Rather, the only icons available to you in the screen are menus which lead onto your inventory, profession screens, pets, clothing and weapons screens etc. There is also a menu which lists your online friends and the quest window, showing your current active quest and the steps needed for its completion. Commands and abilities will only show when engaging in profession-specific minigames. Naturally, the chat window is ever present with pre-defined words and phrases such as "hello", "lol", etc.
Following the welcoming pixie's direction, I ended up at the "pet addoption" house as my first destination. This was my first minigame experience in free realms, and my first encouter with the game's RMT component. Minigames is what this game mostly consists of. Wheather you decide to take up cooking, racing, brawling or nursing.
Continue at: Free Realms First Impression Review Part II.