Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Lack Prophecy - Black Prophecy Review

   Black Prophecy is a space combat MMORPG by Reakktor Media, and published by Gamigo. You fly around freely in space and shoot things on a a three-dimensional plane. The game is very well made, and the Prologue (which will take you hours to complete) is nicely decorated with many cutscenes and interesting characters in a somewhat unique world. Not only that, but you are given the option to skip most all of the dialogue and cutscenes if you don't want to look at them. Honestly, there isn't much to complain about here. Let's jump into the right and wrong...

   Actually being able to fly freely, in my opinion, is a great accomplishment for free MMORPGs and it's not something you see very often. You will seldom ever hit the edge of the map because they are so large, and the different areas in space can look substantially different from each other.

I could look at this all day...oh wait, I'm getting shot it. *SIGH*
   Aside from flying, the game has a nice amount of customization options for your ship and your character. To keep up with modern games, you can modify a lot of insignificant parts of your face to make your character look exactly as you want them to, assuming you want them to look really specific. Though small changes in appearance happen from switching out parts of your ship, your ship's appearance mostly won't really change at all. The biggest change happens when you finish the prologue.

   After finishing the prologue, you're thrust into the actual MMO part of the game, where two factions war against each other. You pick one side and swear to kill the crap out of the enemy side as much as possible and for no particular reason. Aside from that, your ship changes to the model of the side you chose, which is a nice change of pace. As a side note, pressing V let's you look out from the cockpit of your ship. This view was shown in the trailer, but it's very unnecessary, and the game isn't really made for that view. But it looks really cool!

Would be cooler if it was used for something, but meh.

   Of course, I call this game an RPG for a reason. After finishing the prologue, you are given access to several "Specials" that can "buff" your ship temporarily. Doing missions and killing people gives you "XP" which you use to "Level Up" and input "Skill Points" into whatever area you want, so you can equip better stuff. Really though, most of the game will come down to you trying to aquire better equipment, and I would argue that that's more the main focus of the gameplay. To emphasize some things, let's now turn to what the game does...

   The game doesn't do a lot wrong, but some things nagged me quite a bit. Starting with the somewhat slow movement speed, which is the other reason you will likely never touch the boundaries of a map. The game doesn't do that well with even the illusion of speed, and while battles tend to be intuitive, they also tend to be a bit slowly paced. The missions in the game also tend to space targets far away from each other, and having to spend so much time travelling is never fun. This large amount of space also tends to turn the game into a mostly single-player game, despite the genre "MMO".

   Black Prophecy also features absolutely no walking, running, or any movement from your character whatsoever besides customizing them, which would explain why you only customize the face, but does not explain why there are so many in-door areas you see but never travel inside of (all the stations).

Rest assured, you will never explore any of this area.
   Lastly, the game makes money from an in-game cash shop. From it, you can receive boosters for your exp and credits...but also for combat efficiency. It sounds a bit ominous, but I was told from some of the community that they don't actually help that much, so it may or may not be anything to worry about.

   The game is visually appealing and nicely structured, and while the prologue is nice, the game turns into almost an entirely new game after it ends. The gameplay is addicting, but fun in it's own right. There isn't really a reason not to play this.

   4 out of 5

   Without the prologue I would've only rated this a 3.5, but the cutscenes and characters actually impressed me a little.

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