Elsword is a 2.5D MMORPG and is developed & published by KOG Studios. These company were known for making a really great 2D MMORPG called Grand Chase. This game is basically a spiritual successor to Grand Chase. Despite this game being received critically acclaim by both critics & users,the game suffer from repetitive gameplay and incoherent decisions that the developer made lately such as dungeon no longer drop skill notes and you are force to spend real money to buy it. However does that mean you should avoid this game at all cost ? Not really because this game has it own unique charm put into it. The server is heavily populated ever since the released of Add. GAMEPLAY : 7/10
When you start off the game. Instead of being able to create your own character,you are given to choose a gender class locked character. While this might be a downside for some people,each of this character have a unique background story and different fighthing style.
Tutorial doesn't explain much about the game so you left wondering what you must do.
There is two ways you can level up,either by training in field or by playing dungeon with a bunch of random people.
Level progression is balanced ( you gain don't level extremely fast and slow at the same times ) but skills progression is extremely linear.
Tree skills only offer 2 different sets of skills and optional skills for you to choose,once you choose one,you cannot choose the others unless by using skills resets.
Another downside would be you only can assign 4 skills & 3 items slots so if you want to expand them then you need to buy using real cash in the item mall.
Quest can be extremely repetitive at times since it required you to play the same dungeon 3-5 times in order to progress to the next one.
Another problem would be the stamina bar. If you stamina bar reach zero,you couldn't get any experience points killing monster or completing dungeons. I don't understand why the developer think would be a great idea to implement a facebook like game stamina feature. You only get unlimited stamina during Friday-Sunday.
In-game money is not difficult to earn considering the item drop rate is quite high and you able to sell off you items in market too ( you don't need to use real cash to set up your own market ). GRAPHICS : 9/10
By far one of the best 2.5D MMO graphics i seen so far.
The gorgeous artstyle and colorful visual impressed me a lot. Both the character and the monster design look pretty appealing.
One minor issue i have is that there is seem to be a lot of clipping issue when you fully equip your character with rediculous gear especially when two people stand together at the same area.
Different segment of area have different looks on them so you won't have to see the same repeatable background.
The interface is quite ok i would say while at the same time it a clutter mess and you can't customize it. AUDIO : 9/10
Wide variety of soundtrack you going to listen as you progress far into the game. A lot of them sound like it comes from the Tales series game which had outstanding soundtrack.
All the characters in the game have Korean voice ( only when you initiate a skill they will speak in English ) and they are all well done ( some of the voice suite very well to all the playable characters ).
Some of the sound effects sometimes acts weird if you heard multiple critical strike.
Nevertheless i don't have much problem with the sound effects. LONG-LASTING APPEAL : 7/10
For a 2.5D games,it provide sufficient fun for you to keep playing.
There is PvE,PvP,marriage,guild system as well as raid boss. Even though you level your character to max level,you can still choose to play other characters to test his/her ability & playstyle.
There is a new event every 2-4 weeks depending on how the current event last. FINAL VERDICT : 8/10
While the gameplay fall short and there is many restriction within the game,i say give it a shot just to try out the gameplay mechanics considering it rare to find a 2.5D MMO games.
It add a ton of fun if you could introduced a friends to join with you in playing this game.
It pretty addictive once you get used to the combat mechanic since it fast paced and well executed.
Oh and the player base of this game is pretty strong especially during weekend.
If you wondering if the game is pay 2 win,it actaully not. Only pay 2 win aspect i see is the additional skill & items slots you have to purchase but that is a minor issue and it optional.
Just stay away from PvP and focus entirely on it PvE. From there you gonna have a lot of fun in this game. GRADE : B ( Great )