After being bombarded with Age of Wushu (or Wulin if you are in Europe) ads yesterday, I decided to stop doing important things and start learning kung-fu. To tell the truth I was pretty excited about this MMORPG, because I am a freaking idiot who will always hope that an MMORPG won't suck.
Conceptually this game is brilliant, because it doesn't have elves, or superheroes; what we get it is a world in the style of the Kung-Fu cinema, like Hero and House of Flying Daggers.
(It also gave me the desire to reach the ever distant memory from 2005's Jade Empire, the rad ass BioWare game). The sad thing about Wushu is that it looks kinda dated, and it only just released. Part of this is because of the free to play nature I'm sure, and the rest is just the desire to have a very realistic Ming era China. This makes for stellar environments but jarring avatars, especially when close up, or in a story animation. Unfortunately that is not the only downfall of the games design, as I said the environment is pretty classy; so why the hell would you cover the screen with so much crap! The UI that is a kin to an infant finding the pots and pans drawer, while you are trying to listen to the Beethoven's 5th. Clearly Snail Games did not get the memo on clean interface creation either. Which is why they have chosen for you to have about 15 different character info windows, all with many more subsections in them. It feels wrong to have so much paper work in a game that is about weightlessly running up bamboo trees to have an epic duel.
Speaking of paper work, the start of your adventure is silly with the stuff. I am the kinda person who knows his way around an MMO, but not this day. I had to open the tutorial and hint box, (I felt like I was my mother looking down my pair of reading glasses trying to figure out how an internet worked) something that I have not had to do, well ever I think. Oh did I mention the books yet? Well in order to become a master of the Fu you have chosen to Kung, you have to find books. Who has these books well everyone, but don't worry they aren't in one central location you need to schlep yourself all over town first, and then out of town, then to a temple, and then to a truck stop to kill some dogs. Though once that is all over you can finally punch, block, throw, and sweep the leg to your hearts content Johnny.
Alright let me get off the toilet now, and wash my hands of that nastiness. From what you have read so far, you may think I hate this game, but I don't because it was free. Though I do have other reasons too. The goods in this game are not easy to miss, like the auto path that you can do to get your character to the next book to read (seriously isn't there a central public library in this world?). A horse! You get a simple mount at the beginning of the game (probably so you can ride around to find more books) which is pretty nice. Combat is more interactive than clicking to auto attack, you kinda roshambo through combat, since one style of move can overpower another, as well as the need to actively block to lessen damage.
For the wrap up, I'll say it's free, but may not warrant being played unless you really like MMOs, or Kung-Fu fighting (oh ho ho hooo). Also it made me think WTF BioWare where is my Jade Empire2!? Or hell you should have avoided that SWTOR biz and made Jade Online. Here's to hoping.