A First Look at Riders of Icarus
Recently, I had the wonderful opportunity to participate in the third and final closed beta session of Riders of Icarus. This closed beta session ran from June 2 to June 7. Now that it's over, the game will go into open beta on July 6.
As of this beta session, the NDA has been lifted, so here are some of my thoughts on Riders of Icarus. Please note that since the game is still in beta, this may not be representative of the game when fully released.
The game's tutorial is pretty badass. It starts off with your character breaking out of jail and flying off on the back of a pegasus into the sunset. Seriously, how cool does that sound?
The game is gorgeous. Its beautiful graphics are reminiscent of TERA. The tameable creatures are also wonderfully detailed.
Open world. The game's world and maps are massive. I found myself spending hours simply exploring and finding cool new creatures to tame.
Mounted combat. Ever hated it when your character got off their mount when getting attacked? Well, now you can fight back while on your mount. The player can fight on their mount using a crossbow or lance, even when flying in the air.
There's a lot of cool mounts. There's creatures from dragons, unicorns, phoenixes, and dinosaurs that the player can choose to tame. These mounts can also be transformed into a miniature pet version which will follow and fight with the player. Some of the mounts will require special items to tame, making them more desireable.
The game starts off and progresses rather slowly. After the awesome tutorial sequence, the player goes though the starter area. They can only leave after reaching about level 10. The problem with this is that it can take a few hours just to reach this point, and the game doesn't get very interesting until past then.
All of the cooler mounts and content are way past the starter area. Mounted combat is also only introduced around level 15. So having to wait so long to get to that point can be frustrating.
While the game's world is massive and invites exploration, the player will find themselves being stuck in one small area of the game's huge world, just because it takes a long time to level up and get to the next area.
Combat feels clunky. I'm not a huge fan of the combat system. The attacks don't feel fluid and satisfying. It took me a while to understand that the "auto attack" command didn't combo attacks. And sometimes the game's targeting system wouldn't work, which kept me from attacking enemy that was standing in front of me.
However, I've only played the berserker class so far, so I'm not sure how combat feels for other classes. Apparently mage classes can cast spells while moving, which I think is an excellent feature.
The grind is real. I've always hated grinding in MMOs, and Riders of Icarus is no exception. Leveling up requires requires taking tons of quests at once, especially since killing mobs gives very little EXP. The quests will mostly consist of killing a certain amount of creatures, gathering items, and the occasional escort quest.
I often found myself getting bored of doing quests, and just exploring instead.
Riders of Icarus is a decent game that focuses more on the game's taming and mount system than combat.
Players who are interested in mounted combat and capturing and taming creatures like in Pokemon should definitely give the game a try when it goes into open beta.
If you want to learn more about it, check out the Riders of Icarus website.