Albion Online is a nifty cross play sandbox MMORPG featuring true real time cross platform play between Windows, Linux, Mac, Android, and iOS. This does require downloading the Albion Online client on Windows (the format I am playing on) and isn’t available on Steam, GOG, etc…
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So, how is Albion Online?
This is a player driven world and while there are no lack for PvE encounters and general player quests, I haven’t found there to be an actual story per se in the midst of my actual playing experience. This is however a post-Arthurian land wrecked by Morgana’s magic and plenty of other factions and their actions. You will as such encounter some familiar names from the King Arthur mythos, from Sir Kay to the recently added Joseph.
The gameplay in Albion Online is actually pretty diverse and comprised of whatever you want it to be.
PvE, ARPG style combat is featured, wherein you simply click on an opponent and let your character run with it, while clicking buffs and special attacks to boost your effectiveness, heal, etc…PvP is handled in similar fashion of course.
Albion Online features a player driven economy, and as such, many players choose to be craftsmen and women over being adventurers. Ultimately though, whether you choose to be peaceful or warlike, you will need o join a guild, and your efforts contribute to the guild’s overall success.
Crafting is a huge part of Albion Online regardless of the role you choose to take on, and the tutorial will actually run you through all the basics of crafting in addition to the basics of warfare. Anything you need, you will be able to craft as long as you find and harvest the right ingredients or materials, and those are quite plentiful in the world.
You can choose to be a simple adventurer (the path I actually have taken so far), in which case, you can wander the lands defeating creatures, raiding bandit encampments, and exploring dungeons. All are quite lucrative ventures. Most enemies won’t be aggro’d unless you get pretty close to them, and you have the luxury of fleeing encounters. Additionally, if you die, there is a resurrection system in play that will allow you to wait a little while and then come back to life. You can also choose to simply reappear back in a town, but I actually never use that option, since you lose all your equipment when you do so.
Unique areas feature different types of creatures, resources, and so on. Sometimes, you will have to travel quite far to get a specific resource you want, unless you are willing to trade for it instead of course.
All of this sounds great. There are however issues with the game in my estimation. The first problem is that a lot of the awesome features are hidden behind the purchase of a Founder’s Pack and the length of your subscription. For example, you can’t buy your own island without it, which essentially kills a big feature of the game designed for casual players, for a lot of said casual players. Additionally, because it is a shared server between PC and Mobile players, there is a lot of lag and some features are also stripped down accordingly. For example, the camera is set up in static frames, meaning you can’t pan over to see what is in the next area despite presumably being able to actually see it if you were really standing on the edge of said frame. I feel this is an example of a bad design choice that I feel is forced on the game due to it’s need to be more inclusive to mobile players.
All told though, the gameplay is definitely solid and despite some issues due to cross platform play and paywalls, I still give this category a 7 out of 10
The graphics in Albion Online are pretty nice. I wouldn’t call them top tier, but then again, as a game designed to share time with PC and Mobile users, I feel some concessions have to be made. I like that you can pan in for close ups and those close ups show nice textures and overall design with the characters and the world itself. There is also nice use of color and contrast to provide some very clear and nicely rendered sprites in the game.
7 out of 10
The audio wasn’t something that really captured my attention at all. It’s there, from ambient sounds to the sound of combat to background music, but nothing really stood out to me at all.
5.5 out of 10
Albion Online is by its very nature multiplayer-centric. You can definitely spend all your time focused on PvE or economy based pursuits, but PvP is definitely an aspect of the game as well, especially as you travel and have to deal with player banditry and other factions/clans. The economy itself is almost completely inter-player based as well.
My own experience while in friendly territories is that most players just go about their business and ignore what you specifically might be doing in the same area, be it farming for materials or battling NPC enemies. However, I also encountered quite a few players that would see a battle and jump in to help out only to then go back to whatever it was they initially were doing to begin with.
Some players definitely work together as well, and if you have friends who also play Albion Online, this will maximize the experience for you. An always open on screen chat room will enable you to communicate with almost anybody at anytime if you so desire.
Overall, I would say this is the best aspect of Albion Online and quite successful in general. 8 out of 10
Albion Online is a fun MMORPG that can be whatever you want it to be, within reason and the constraints of Founder’s Packs. The developers are always active and are constantly adding content to the game, making Albion Online a game that should carry on for a long time to come. Is it the best game out there? No. It is however one of the few that allows you to play with friends who only have mobile devices or different operating systems with minimal drop off in functionality. I’d recommend giving it a try if you are looking for a more casual online experience that can turn crazy if you so desire.
6.9 out of 10. There is a joke in there somewhere, but I shall abstain from its telling.