Elsword is a free-to-play, online action RPG that uses classic side-scrolling game mechanics in an immersive anime inspired world.
User reviews: Very Positive (3,252 reviews)
Release Date: Jul 2, 2014

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"A Korean side scrolling, mmo, rpg, with a manga style. Very colorful, fun, with multiple characters to play, and constantly updating with new content."

Recent updates View all (106)

April 14

Step Right Up for the Critter’s Carnival!

Hi-ya, Elpeeps! Starting tomorrow, come to Elsword Online for a special event dungeon and stay for the loot. We’re celebrating the adorable creatures that make your Elrios adventures all the more spectacular in the Critter’s Carnival!

First things first: A creature called the Wild Rider has caused destruction in Elrios and needs to be contained. Get in the game this Wednesday and after a minute you’ll find the Wild Rider’s Hideout Map in the mailbox—hang on to it. Next, see Glave about a Soul Sealer Stone. This will help you take over the Wild Rider once you have weakened it enough. When you’re ready, you can use the Map to locate the destructive creature.

However, be warned—this dungeon is tricky. Another evil being runs it, and will definitely get in your way. They say there’s only a fifty-fifty chance of actually finding the Wild Rider, so be ready to go back as many times as needed. Why? Because it’s your chance to earn a FREE mount! Check our main website tomorrow for the full details!

Retro Life Crystals
Missing one of the previously released pets? Get it as a life crystal! Adorable pets like the Hallow Witch, Sheriff, Dark Hatchling, Berthe Jr., Raincoat Cats, and more are coming back to the Item Mall in life crystal form this Wednesday. Make them yours!

Ara’s Salvatore Denif
The Master of Water is embodied in the latest costume set featured in Ara’s Ice Burner, available for the next two weeks starting tomorrow. Complete the outfit soon!

Ancient Demon Accessories
Last but not least, these new accessories arrive at the Item Mall as well. Try them on as soon as the update kicks in.

See y’all in-game!

7 comments Read more

April 8

New Nasod Battle Mount

A quick blog update with two exciting new ItemMall Updates!
In need of a matching ride for your Nasod Battle Suit? Mechanize yourself with the new Nasod Battle Gear Mount. It’s got tons of explosive projectiles and laser beam attacks! Blow all TEH stuffs up!!

Add, Elesis and Ara giddy-up in their new Western Outfits! <3

See you all in-game!

5 comments Read more


"A great experience right from the beginning — there is so little downtime that you'll find yourself pulling off combos in no time. Combat is where the game truly shines."

“Winner: 2011 Best Sidescroller”

"Top 3 Action Games - Reader's Choice"
--MMO Site

“Beautiful, 3D stylized scenes cleverly accented with manga charm.”

Steam Greenlight

Steam Big Picture

About This Game

Elsword is a free-to-play, online action RPG that uses classic side-scrolling beat ‘em up gameplay mechanics and deep customization to bring a unique manga experience to life.

In Elsword, you star in your own comic book while experiencing all the excitement of a massively multiplayer online game. Get ready for fast-paced gameplay, stunning animation, and epic bosses. Whether conquering hordes of enemies in dungeon runs or showing off your skills in the PvP arena, Elsword is the most intense free-to-play action RPG to date.

Key Features

•Co-Op Gameplay - Party-up with friends to explore over 50 unique and beautifully rendered dungeons, towns, and secret levels.
•Unique Characters, Unique Stories- Players can choose from nine customizable characters, each their own unique story, play style and special skills to develop.
•Skill-Based PVP Combat- Elsword offers intense and strategic PvP with matchmaking and multiple competitive modes. Challenge your friends in matches of up to 8 players at a time.
•Customize like Crazy- Each character features multiple job changes, dozens of skills and endless opportunities for customization. Create or discover your personal look.
•Community Support- Constant game updates, item and content expansions, and special events including GM Livestream play sessions, community contests and PVP Tournaments are all a part of the Elsword experience.

System Requirements

    • OS:Windows 2000
    • Processor:Pentium 3 800MHZ
    • Memory:256 MB RAM
    • Graphics:GeForce MX 400(32M)
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:1300 MB HD space
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
    • OS:Windows XP
    • Processor:Pentium 4 2.7 GHZ
    • Memory:512 MB RAM
    • Graphics:GeForce FX5700/ATI Radeon 9600(128M)
    • DirectX®:9.0c
    • Hard Drive:2 GB HD space
    • Other Requirements:Broadband Internet connection
Helpful customer reviews
237 of 322 people (74%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
1,001.3 hrs on record
Posted: November 6, 2014
Let me list my problems with this game.

There is a significant pay-to-win issue in the game in the form of costumes and gear enhancements. Contrary to a relatively "fair" free to play game model, Elsword's costumes (for a reason which is easily fathomable) give stats and overall power. As a result, this results in those who are willing to pay real cash having a significant advantage over individuals who do not. More to the point, Equipment enhancements, due to their nature of increasing stats via an increasing percentage per enhancement level (From a 1% stat increase at +1, 15% stat increase at +6~9 and a +30% stat increase at +9~11) results in a ridiculous power disparity between high-enhancement weapon wielders and low-enhancement weapon wielders. With the present average enhancement at +7, people at +8 and higher will have a 15~100% base attack stat advantage in comparison to the average player.

The PvP system of this game, contrary to most individual opinions, is genuinely well-thought out and generally well made. This game's PvP is dependent on your ability to 'catch'- i.e., hitstun your opponent and land a series of hits in the form of combos, and repeat. Hence, it is potentially possible for any character at any level to defeat any character and any level, as long as one's skill level is higher than the other. On a clean, basic flowchart, I find this highly appealing.

However, there are several significant issues with this PvP system.
First and foremost, there is a signfiicant balancing issue between the many classes and characters you can choose in the game, particularly with the more recently released character/classes. For those interested in said balance issues the PvP forums are the place to go.
Secondly, due to this game's frame rate being directly tied to your computer's performance level (i.e. general graphics and CPU power) and because your frame rate is directly tied to your character's input response speed (e.g. Attack/Movement/Jump speed) anyone with an inferior computing experience compared to the opponent will find themselves severely disadvantaged due to their character's slower response time- hence opening up far more opportunities for your opponent to catch you whilst simultaneously reducing your number of opportunities to catch you opponent.
Thirdly, this game's matching system is a peer-to-peer system, which directly connects your IP to the opponent's IP. As I am an Australian and this game is based in America, naturally most of my opponents are individuals across the whole pacific ocean, resulting in horrible latency. This results in delayed response times as hits and actions on your screen may not register on the opponent's screen, as is the same for your opponent to you as well. This results in a horrible PvP experience for both parties.
Finally and most importantly, the above enhancement system comes into play in PvP as well. As in PvP, you can be matched up with anybody and anyone regardless of character level/class/equipment enhancement level, anyone with equipment of lower enhancement level will find themselves highly disadvantaged in many matches due to their equipment being inferior to their opponent's. As a result, the gear discrepancy between players becomes ridiculously high as one progresses up in PvP rank, as eventually, regardless of their skill level they will find it extremely difficult to defeat their opponents who have far superior equipment. For instance, a +7 weapon wielder may find themselves hitting for 3-digit damage on their opponents whilst they hit back for over 4~5 digit damage.

Hence, the PvP system at its present state is highly undesirable to play without significantly increasing your character's power level, which in turn requires (and will inevitably require) real cash investment, i.e. as the common phrase is, it will require you to buy power.

On the flip-side of the coin,the PvE system of this game serves as several dungeons in which you clear stages after stages of monsters, culminating to a generally difficult last-stage boss. However, after a while these bosses become walkovers, and it becomes boring to grind these after a while. Challenges exist in the form of solo Secret Dungeons and Henir Challenge modes. Although these are indeed interesting, they harshly punish you for failing in them as the former consumes rare items for entry, and the latter will only provide rewards for entry only once (i.e. if you enter and die in the first few stages, you won't be able to get any rewards for the rest of the day). This also results in significant time and power investment.

Would I recommend this game? No. really, no. It's genuinely fun, yes. However, that's only once you reach the end game and you have sufficiently invested enough time and money in order to establish your character's power and place in the Elsword world, as I have done so. I genuinely do not recommend this game for anyone with insufficient time or money on their hands.
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115 of 164 people (70%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
1,127.2 hrs on record
Posted: December 4, 2014
I've played this game for god knows how long (roughly 3 years). I feel I should post a review.

Play one of 9 (soon to be 10) characters, with 3 different and slightly-to-very unique playstyles on each. With gameplay that is a mix between Smash Bro's, a traditional fighter, and traditional MMO.

So lets hit hard with the Pros and cons.

•Core gameplay is extremely enjoyable
•Variety variety variety
•The aesthetic is very pleasing, even though the whole "play your manga" original tagline is nowhere to be seen

•there is very little actual content
•there is very little actual balancing. With the arrival of PvP Season 3 proving it in spades, good luck if you arent 70 and dont have a weapon +8 or above.


Final word:
I love this game, I really do. I've spent minimal actual dollars on it, and made tons of friends. which is nice when you're a casual, but if you want to be a competative-to-hardcore player, have fun dropping several hundred++ dollars in this game.
Please bare in mind, I still play this game, and love it. But I cannot recommend it due to flaws which are out of our hands.

Even though I gave this game a thumbs down, I hope to see you in Elrios one day.
-ign: fetishfox
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131 of 195 people (67%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
48.4 hrs on record
Posted: February 5
Pay to win :)
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73 of 106 people (69%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
873.1 hrs on record
Posted: December 8, 2014
As a veteran of this game for almost four years, i can safely say this game does indeed have potential, but wastes it in alot of areas, the game requires necessary grinding for a good amount of skills, and the pay wall in this game is ENORMOUS. Unlike other games, Elsword locks both four skill slots off, and extra pages in the skill tree, both of which are nearly 20$ apiece. The game also does indeed have a problem with class balancing, and the developers refuse to listen to the american playerbase for opinions regarding buffs/nerfs, listening only to the korean playerbase. This game is indeed fun, but that will only last at most a few weeks before you start to become bored with the game or play with friends. If you do indeed like grinding, forced halting of your gaming due to the stamina system that is implemented, and severe balancing issues, than this is for you. Otherwise, i say skip out on Elsword, and look for some other game.
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34 of 50 people (68%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
90.0 hrs on record
Posted: January 13
This game may look friendly, but the more you delve into it,
the more you realize that it's just a façade.
It's says it's "Free to Play", but it just have enough free content to
last you a couple of dungeons. Unless you pour cash in this game,
you will have a hard time alone.
Pay to unlock the B skill set. Pay to get another skill tree setup.
And don't get me started on the bank. If you think half was bad enough, wait to see the bank deposit,
Oh, and that nice ice burner sets? Too bad, you need to be Filthy rich to collect just ONE of those. And that's
only for ONE character.
Oh yeah, you need to buy all of these things for every character you create. Funny, eh?
Oh, you want to PvP? Too bad, Equipment and Costumes stats carry over to PvP. Skill is one part of the equation, and
it's the little part. The moment you encounter an opponent with the same skill level, the one who wins is the one with the most overpowered gear. Not even kidding.
And it's not even balanced. Want to be OP? Get the latest class. 90% of the time it's OP as hell.
KoG it's not known for being great at balancing stuff.
I come from Grand Chase, and even though it's a very old game, The PvP is balanced, because the Equipment stats don't carry over to PvP. The only thing that matters it's your skill.
And Mounts? Pfffft, same as Ice Burner sets. Good Luck Trying to get that "Chocobo".
Overall, I wouldn't recommend this game, unless you have good friends to play, or if you play a couple of hours a week.
-Nice Graphics
-Aisha can be a Magic Girl
-If you don't care for PvP, Jobs are actually entertaining

-Extremely overpriced stuff
-Pay for everything
-PvP is utter crap unless you pour unlimited money works
-Phorus, Banthus, and Pong can ruin your sanity
-If KoG could sell instant Lvl 70 upgrades, they would.
-Stamina (I mean, maybe in Korea it's a good idea to limit the amount of time people invest in this game, but in NA it's actually a very bad move. I mean, look at Elsword EU)
-Korean voices (If you're not a fan of asian things in general, you will hate the voices. Even though it was hinted that this could have an English Voiceover, it never materialized, AND GRAND CHASE HAD TONY OLIVER, WHY?! EVEN ELSWORD EU HAS ENGLISH VOICES)
-Elsword it's an irritating brat
-Job costumes are timed, and there's no way to buy them
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26 of 37 people (70%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
125.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 2
Terrible and a waste of time. Don't bother spending any money on it because you won't stop after. PvP is flat out unbalanced and bad. There's potential but that'll never happen because KoG won't ever listen. Now if you excuse me, I'll be uninstalling for trash like this for some space that's worth having. :^3
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28 of 43 people (65%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
3.6 hrs on record
Posted: November 12, 2014
To be honest this game is only fun for an hour its the same quests, same moves and no challenge even of very hard
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101 of 178 people (57%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
17.0 hrs on record
Posted: December 25, 2014
>Be invited to 6v6 by friend
>"But I'm like level 21, m80"
>he shrugs it off like nothing
>I join anyway
>he promises that his friends will go easy on me
>sudden realisation that ima be rektd
>try best at game
>did decent damage
>get slashed once
>get unfriended by friend that tells me "Get. Foking. Good."
>mfw I was then banned from his clan
>puts down Elsword
>goes back to Team Fortress 2
>Go on server
>Bunch of kids screaming
>turn off computer
>sit on bed
>curled up
>mfw I never touched the game again
11/10 Must play game to get rektd in. All Hail Raven
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22 of 33 people (67%) found this review helpful
5.8 hrs on record
Posted: February 13
pvp is just really unfair if someone has more money then you they get abunch of unfair buffs not to mention that the combo system is so broken just spam the same buttons over and over untill you win
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41 of 69 people (59%) found this review helpful
1.8 hrs on record
Posted: November 13, 2014
While interesting intially, the game quickly becomes redundant and along with the minor glitches, lack of real customization... I just couldn't keep myself interested. If you like mindlessly grinding extremely easy content, then this might be the game for you, but I personally like more customization and uniqueness in mmos. There are other mmos that do what this game does better.
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45 of 78 people (58%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
487.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 16, 2014
Everything in this game is so broken. The character arena gameplay is just so off balanced and the lvling of the dungeons is the same thing over and over again usualy to get boring at sometime. Everyone in the game is a butthurt little 12 year old. Arena is full of ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥ everywhere. Don't even waste your time with this game. It may have some good graphics and ♥♥♥♥ but it sucks...
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10 of 13 people (77%) found this review helpful
5 people found this review funny
378.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 16
I love this game.. cute characters, nice combos, fun pass time.. But if you hate it, then.. Here~ Make an apple pie instead :3


2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon salt

2/3 cup plus 2 tablespoons shortening

4 to 6 tablespoons cold water


1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar

1/4 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon salt

8 cups thinly sliced peeled tart apples (8 medium)

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1) In medium bowl, mix 2 cups flour and 1 teaspoon salt. Cut in shortening, using pastry blender (or pulling 2 table knives through ingredients in opposite directions), until particles are size of small peas. Sprinkle with cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing with fork until all flour is moistened and pastry almost cleans side of bowl (1 to 2 teaspoons more water can be added if necessary).

2) Gather pastry into a ball. Divide in half; shape into 2 flattened rounds on lightly floured surface. Wrap in plastic wrap; refrigerate about 45 minutes or until dough is firm and cold, yet pliable. This allows the shortening to become slightly firm, which helps make the baked pastry more flaky. If refrigerated longer, let pastry soften slightly before rolling.

3) Heat oven to 425°F. With floured rolling pin, roll one pastry round into round 2 inches larger than upside-down 9-inch glass pie plate. Fold pastry into fourths; place in pie plate. Unfold and ease into plate, pressing firmly against bottom and side.

4) In large bowl, mix sugar, 1/4 cup flour, the cinnamon, nutmeg and 1/8 teaspoon salt. Stir in apples until well mixed. Spoon into pastry-lined pie plate. Cut butter into small pieces; sprinkle over filling. Trim overhanging edge of pastry 1/2 inch from rim of plate.

5) Roll other round of pastry into 10-inch round. Fold into fourths and cut slits so steam can escape. Unfold top pastry over filling; trim overhanging edge 1 inch from rim of plate. Fold and roll top edge under lower edge, pressing on rim to seal; flute as desired. Cover edge with 2- to 3-inch strip of foil to prevent excessive browning.

6) Bake 40 to 50 minutes or until crust is brown and juice begins to bubble through slits in crust, removing foil for last 15 minutes of baking. Serve warm if desired.
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96 of 175 people (55%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
858.5 hrs on record
Posted: November 5, 2014

+Pretty fun for the most part, espcially with a friend(s)
+Currently 9 unique characters, each with different classes
+Nice graphics
+Combos are very different from character to character
+It can be addicting once you have found a character class that you enjoy playing
+Decent and friendly customer support

-VERY overpriced cash shop about $15-$30 for a costume (optional of cousre, but does give stats that help out slightly) or $23 for a mount, that will greatly help out in PVE
-Some costumes are only available through "Ice Burners" which are $1 each, but are not even close to guarenteed to get you a single piece of the costume set. (you could spend $50 on ice burners and get nothing useful)
-If you want more than 4 skills (which helps out alot) it's $9
-PVP is very unbalanced (incredibly gear based)
-Most characters are also broken in their own way
-Extremely grindy after level 45ish, made harder with the slow EXP gain
-Stamina system, which limits how long you can play each day (however not too much of a problem later on)
-Dreadful community- example: tons of ragers who will insult you in a very childlike manner over the stupidest of things
-Dungeons become very boring and repetitive after a while
-This version of elsword (North America) is behind with updates when compared to Korean elsword, but is ahead in updates compared to other versions at the same time
-ED (the in game currency) is pretty useless, it can not buy you costumes or any useful, unless you want to trade with another player, which will cost you millions of ED

Do i still reccommend this game? Yes and no...
This game does become highly addicting despite all of the negatives, you will always have something to work towards,which is what makes the game addicting, be it gear only obtainable through doing secret dungeons, wanting to grind your way towards level 70 or SSS rank in PVP. You could even try your luck in getting the best time in Henirs mode, which has most of the bosses from each region that you need to kill consecutively (does require good gear however.)

Finding a particular character and class that you enjoy in this will be hard to do as there are 9 characters with 3 classes each (that you can progress at later levels) and only a limited number of character slots (7 to start off with I think.) Once you do find that 1 class that you like, you will have a lot more fun because you obviously enjoy it.

Then again, Elsword is a free game and there is nothing stopping you from playing it and trying it for yourself. Most of what I said is debateable, but the only way to truly know wheter you will enjoy somethinge is like is to try it yourself. Who knows, maybe you will have a differenet opinion than I do . :)
Overall i'd say it's worth your time if you are willing to spend a little bit of money on it later on.
4.5/10... I guess
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46 of 81 people (57%) found this review helpful
14 people found this review funny
29.7 hrs on record
Posted: December 17, 2014
Pre-Release Review

The game is jsut a bunch of copy and paste side scroll dungeons.
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23 of 38 people (61%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
31.6 hrs on record
Posted: February 14
I advise no one to play this unless you hardly get angry. You WILL get ♥♥♥♥♥ int he corner in PVP. You WILL get bored of dungeons and then go to the Arena and GET CORNER ♥♥♥♥♥. PVP IS UNBALANCED AS ♥♥♥♥ AND DUNGEONS GET BORING. PLZ BE CAREFUL IF YOU DECIDE TO PLACE THIS GAME BECAUSE YOU WILL BREAK YOUR LAPTOP!
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15 of 23 people (65%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
14.5 hrs on record
Posted: February 1
Ok, i love this game. I don't use the cash shop and i don't do the pvp, i mainly just dungeon delve and feed my pet. I play this casually. So why do i not recommend this? Xtrap.
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39 of 69 people (57%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
19.2 hrs on record
Posted: November 3, 2014
unfair pvp leveling system .. I'm level 15 and they match me with level 44 how am I supposed to win lol
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5 of 5 people (100%) found this review helpful
8.0 hrs on record
Posted: April 21
Elsword is a Korean MMO beat 'em up in 2&1/2D. Here the player controls one out of nine (as of now) characters to level them up and defeat hordes of monsters while progressing through the story.
Unfortunately, I already ran into problems at the level of trying to register an account. Apparently their confirmation emails can only reach certain domains, like GMail. Before I figured it out, however, I already linked my Steam account to the one that I couldn't activate and had to wait a few days for it to expire before being able to re-link it to a working one. During that time my enthusiasm for this game died out completely and it basically set the tone for my playthrough of this. If the creators fail on the level of account creation... That's just not a good sign.
Once we enter the game, the first thing that comes to us is the fact that the English localization team decided to leave the Korean voice acting intact, which is quite unusual for most English versions of Asian games. I personally don't mind them, it's just that it was kinda hard to understand what they were actually saying, me being used more to Japanese.
Speaking of that, I usually like to mod my games to some extent, so I managed to find (by complete accident) a mod which replaces the voice packs with those from different languages, so for example I could try getting Japanese ones into the game, which would keep it somewhat climactic yet I would be able to make out some words out of it... eeexcept the NA version (which is apparently the Steam one) changed the voiceover format from .wav to .ogg. For no reason.
Another thing that stroke me as kind of odd is the fact that you need to name your characters. I mean, it would be okay if they were just classes to be chosen from and you could customize their appearance to some extent, but they are all named characters with unique backstories. Why do you have to call yourself something like "Eve Clone no. 99"? Why can't you just give your account as a whole a single nickname to use for all of your characters?
I stretched out this rant long enough, so let's get to the main part of the review.
The anime-style cell-shaded graphics look okay. They aren't anything spectacular, and can kind of make your eyes tired, especially the low-res textures. While it did take over three years for the game to leave Asia, it still came out later than for example Team Fortress 2.
In the sound department, it's honestly mediocre. None of the music felt memorable to me, and you will get tired of your characters saying the same thing over and over again during their combos or victory poses.
When it comes to gameplay, it's pretty much just your standard 2&1/2D beat 'em up but with RPG elements. You level up your character, your skills, obtain better gear, power it up... At level 15 you can advance into one of the three possible paths for your character, each possessing different skills and abilities, and at level 35 you can achieve the final form of your chosen path. And here's where the bad things begin to pop up: even the normal mooks are often tanky damage sponges with heavily-telegraphed attacks, turning at least the early game into a button mashing contest of you just wearing down their HP using the same combos over again. Your chances of dying at anything that isn't at least a mini-boss are basically nonexistant provided you do dodge their blows. You can use special skills which are usually very powerful hits or autocombos akin to supers from fighting games, burning MP in the process which can be gained back by hitting enemies and slowly replenishes itself over time. Also, you get only three item quickslots and four skill quickslots. You can double those amounts... by paying real money. Imagine if in an MMORPG, you had a very limited quickbar for skills and items and had to pay for another quickbar.
Oh, and guess what: after reaching certain levels, you get two new skills... to choose from. Yes, you can get only one of those two. Considering you are already limited to taking a maximum of eight skills with you to any given battle, four if you didn't pay up, this kind of thing heavily limits the level of versatility your character can achieve. of course, you can get the other skills via a different skill tree... by paying real money for it. The worst part is, it wasn't like this for six years. Only later did the creators realize that they can grab money off of that new possible restriction.
Also, the costume pieces you get in this game only last so long. After that, you are switched back to regular, unimpressive, plain clothes. I dislike limited-time stuff like this in games in general, since they're just one huge bait. You get used to them, and then they are taken away, like that. If you want me to earn my cool looks later on, then don't showcase them early on, so I will actually be able to see how my character progresses from plain clothing to divine-level armor or something.
The quests are also disappointing. They have the standard story dialogues, with the only difference being that your character isn't a soulless mime who just listens to what others have to say. Most of the quests are your basic "kill X enemies", "collect X items" or "beat X dungeon". Heck, some quests even outright tell you to beat the same dungeon multiple times. Let the obvious grind begin!
Okay thing that bothers me is the fact that higher difficulties, for the most part, count as Numerical Hard, i.e. enemies' stats are inflated to higher levels but they fight the same way and it only takes longer to beat them down. Besides that, higher difficulties sometimes add an additional miniboss for you to fight, and that's about it.
Another thing is that, despite it being technically a beat 'em up, it still has accuracy and evasion stats. Why does the RNG get to decide whether or not you hit your opponent when your weapon visibly makes physical contact with your opponent?
Since this is a beat 'em up, I wanted to play it on a gamepad, but this game's support for it is honestly pretty mediocre. You still need your mouse to get through menus, and the number of skill and item quickslots (without buying the additional ones!) already exceeds the number of buttons a PS controller (which I'm using) posseses. So you'll have to reach your hand out to the keyboard often.
I can't say much about PvP since I'm not interested in it, but I can already tell that it's not fun. The game allows you to take your gear and its stat boosts into PvP matches, and while it does get "normalized" to not allow min-maxers to build something ridiculously broken and impossible to counter, it doesn't apply to everything. While skill obviously allows you to overcome challenges, the gear is still an important part of it. You'd think that it being a beat 'em up will have some kind of way of purely skill-based play, at least as an option, but no.
Okay, so until now it was only the negatives. What are the positives? Well... the wide variety of characters and their possible classes allow for a lot of experimentation. The bosses are still pretty fun to fight against. There is also a Stamina system which is supposed to lock your character out of dungeons for the duration of the day if their Stamina gets completely depleted, but it shouldn't happen unless you've been playing for a few hours straight. The character arts also look absolutely amazing. (Too bad they aren't nearly as detailed in the game itself.)
My final verdict? The cons far outweigh the pros. There are restrictions on things that shouldn't even be restricted and certain solutions to things that are just plain stupid. I can't recommend it unless you play it more as a side thing for fun, not taking it too seriously and ignoring all of the limitations induced upon you. If you do want to take it seriously, however, be ready to shell out some money.
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6 of 7 people (86%) found this review helpful
23.9 hrs on record
Posted: March 20
I've played this game for more than 2 years, and I have well over 1500 hours in this game (because I just recently got it on Steam, my hours are very low)

Honestly, this game used to be fantastic. Nice economy, classes weren't too overpowered, paying wouldn't give a too much of an advantage.

Then came Ara, Elesis and of course Add.

Once Ara came out , the game just killed itself. What I'm saying is, the game is unbalanced. I can't even play my favorite classes such as Code Nemesis, Lord Knight, Deadly Chaser or any of the Ravens, because every match feels like I'm playing with a huge handicap. Ara, Elesis and Add are hated because they have always been strong, and have no "real" weakness.

Ara - Easy to use. Can deal large amounts of damage without using too much mp. Aras can just do the "zz loop" and spam " ^ x ", and you'll find yourself with a huge chunk of your health missing. Her attacks have long hitstuns too, which matters a lot if the match is laggy. Her movement makes her tricky to catch, and she even has skills that are nearly IMPOSSIBLE to dodge or knockdown from. Remember how I said Ara can deal alot of damage without mp? With mp, she deals staggering amounts. Not to mention, with all that spare mp, she can escape your combos by simply manabreaking. I can't say she has any real weakness, since each class can deal with it differently.

Sakra Devanam - Defensive and nimble. Has a annoying passive which gives her about a 30% chance to block your attacks, reducing their damage GREATLY. This causes characters who tend to deal more hits by nature, to suffer much more. Oh, she also has a move called Flying Kite (or Swallow Assault as they call it in NA) which is impossible to dodge if shes within range, CANNOT be manabroken from, deals HUUUUUGE AMOUNTS of damage, and get this it takes NO mp and has a 21 second cooldown. All it takes is spirit energy, the more you have, the better. Sadly, spirit energy is EXTREMELY easy to gain, and it doesn't require too much mp either. I've lost to many Sakra Devanam, because they got a few attacks on me, and let Kite do the rest. (I cried everytime)

Yama Raja - Deals massive damage, and is also quick. Also has a passive which prevents her from dying, and regenerates up to 10% of her hp. The passive doesn't have a long cooldown, so if she just runs, you'll have to kill her over and over again. She is also ranged as well, but she plays as a melee character when it comes to combos. This gives her a catching advantage, and makes her harder for melee characters.

Asura - Not much to say, but she is just as bad as the other classes. Balanced in all categories, but is VERY offensive, and offers safe approaches. Not too fun to fight, but she does have really cool moves.

Elesis - Think Elsword, but better in most categories. Elesis is faster, does more damage and her skills are better as well. Like Ara, you don't need to use a lot of mp. Elesis' play is simple, and most players play her the same way. Hell, if you don't play her simple, you're probably handicapping yourself, since it justs complicates things and isn't as effective. Elesis' actives and passives are EXTREMELY powerful. Examples include, Rushing Sword, Iron Body - Strong, Revenge of Blood, Condemnation, Fire Stigma, Body of Fire, Injection Stigma etc. Each Elesis class has a way to counter any of her "weaknesses", lets look at them individually.

Her Grand Master class is in my opinion, the most balanced class of Elesis in the game. Her damage could still be lowered as well as her passives, and buffs. Her Waltz of Sword passive, and Sword of Victory should definitely be nerfed. Theres not much to say, but I find Grand Masters to be the most fun to fight, use, and look at - because she is the hottest too.

Ahem...*Clears throat*

Blazing Heart doesn't even need to combo you for that long. ZZZ active, Z active, XZZ - you'll manabreak by than. Her debuffs can't be fought back with resistance, since she can ignore your fire resistance. You saw that previous combo I typed a sentence ago, right? How much mp would two actives take? Barely any. You know what that means? She will MANABREAK YOUR EVERY COMBO, or she will just SPAM IRON BODY-STRONG. I'm not a huge fan of her. She's very boring to fight, but she does have the coolest looking moves of all the Elesis classes.

Crimson Avenger - Like Blazing Heart, but much worse in every category. Her dashing combos eat away your health like FOOD. How much mp does it take for her to kill you? Barely any. However Crimson Avenger won't manabreak your combos. Instead she'll spam iron body - strong. Because she has the Condemnation passive (which I mentioned earlier), every time she uses iron body, she will take A LOT OF HEALTH OFF YOU. 4 - 5 digits worth of health. What i'm saying is that, her combos require very little skill to use. Catching with her will be your only difficultly, but catchiing with Crimson Avenger isn't too difficult. There is another class known as Veteran Commander in the game. He plays VERY similar to Crimson Avenger. Guess what. Veteran Commander got severely nerfed, and Crimson Avenger follows his playstyle UN-NERFED. You may not completely understand what I mean, but I'm just saying that previous fact pisses me off... I really, really hate this class.

Add - Personally, I love Add as a character, and I do find him fun to use. Even though I don't play him often, I can clearly see how powerful he is. Think about what I said about Ara and Elesis, and you get Add. Easy to use, powerful combos without using too much mp, cheap skills and even more. His only weakness, is supposed to be his defense. That can be overcome by:

1: Getting decent gear, and socketing properly. People in PVP don't always have great gear (you'll understand why later)
2: Well, just manabreak. Its not like he uses too much mp to begin with.
3: PLUS consider the fact that Adds are even better when you're actually talented with them. Think of a nooby Add as a monster. Think of a pro Add as a smarter and quicker monster.

I don't hate Add as much as others, but I have never fought an Add and said "That was fun".

As you can see, the game does a poor job when it comes to balance.

Economy - Thats enough about the classes, lets talk money.

The economy in this game is absolutely crazy. I saw this guy a few days ago offering over 350 DOLLARS (In K-Ching, which is currency you use in the cash shops) for a somewhat rare costume sword. Yeah...

You looking for rare stuff? A single gear piece or accessory you want to buy with in-game currency, can cost you BILLIONS. That is a lot of money. To put it into perspective, if you started from level 1, and capped your character WITHOUT spending ANY money on ANYTHING, and selling ALL the goods you grabbed along the way. I HIGHLY doubt you'd get EVEN CLOSE to 200 million, let alone 10 or 20 billion.

So how do people make so much money? Simple. They spend real money on ice burners in hopes of getting rare things to sell, or just sell other cash shop products for RIDICULOUS amounts. Looking for rare stuff? Spend money, hope you get lucky, and sell items for unreasonable amounts. You'll just be contributing to its terrible economy though :c .

Did you puke after reading that? Sorry, just don't play this game.

I also apologize if you don't understand most of what I've said, but I think its better that way.

Truthfully, this game will NEVER EVER be the same it was again, nor will it get close to it.
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33 of 59 people (56%) found this review helpful
3.7 hrs on record
Posted: November 4, 2014
(TL;DR at bottom)

So I was talking to my friends one day, and they told me about "This awesome game called Elsword." So, naturally I took a look at it. At first glance, it looked like an ok game, I wasn't too into the art style as i'm not a huge anime/manga fan, but I let it slide, and was ready to try it out. So we (Me and my 2 friends) all created new characters so we could start playing at the same time. I went through the tutorial, and played a bit, and I have to say, I was frankly dissapointed. I'm just going to split this review into 2 sections, the good, and the bad.

Movement controls - I LOVE the movement system, it's fluid, it's responsive, everything a good side-srcolling game should have in a movement system! Once you take a jump, that jump is YOURS to control. You can manuever quite easily, and I'm pretty sure one or two characters might be able to fly or float!
Item management - The inventory system is nice, and the GUI is really spiffy, and nice to look at. There are different items and cosmetics that you can buy for your character for customization purposes, and you can even remove everything if you so wish :P
Skills - Each character has a plethora of different skills and abilities they can learn, with most characters having two or three different job classes to choose from, allowing for tons of customization in the way you do combat.
Graphics - The graphics are quite nice, and they don't strain your computer at all! They're very cutesy and cartoony, so if you're into that, this might just be the game for you!
Multiplayer - Any game with multiplayer makes me happy! The servers are well and good, and you very very very rarely encounter lag!

Combat - The combat system, where do I begin? Honestly, the combat sucks. There are a buch of different combos you can do, and that's the first thing people argue about when it comes to this games combat "gimmick" The combos are unecessary and pointless if you ask me, not only that, but the combat system is clunky and feels very awkward to control, it really is hard to explain, so bear with me. The moves don't exactly execute on time, making it hard to pull off the combo you want to pull off, which usually results in just using the basic attack to fight. I've been able to clear certain levels just by holding down right, and mashing the basic attack. (give or take some backtracking)
Characters - This is more of a personal nit-pick then a problem persay, the characters don't feel very...character-y...I find it hard to actually feel like I AM that character, like other MMOs There is no character customization system, and instead you are given a set of characters to choose from. I like making connections and feeling like I am my character in games, and I just can't do that when there are another thousand Ravens in the same town as me, I don't feel like I AM that character, I feel like I'm CONTROLLING that character, and I just don't like that.
Story - I don't really have much to say about the story, because I skipped most of it, and that's what I want to point out. I'm a lazy guy, and I'm sure at least some of you will agree with me when I say I don't want to sit there and read text boxes for an hour. Two words. Voice. Acting. That's all I have to say regarding that.
Gameplay - So, continuing on with the me and my friends story, I was getting bored fast, and they promised me that good parts were to come. Now, I'm sure that there would be good parts! But if your player gets bored, or frustrated before they get to the good parts, that is bad game design. What if in Legend Of Zelda, they made you fight Gohma over and over and over, promising that "You'll get to the next boss eventually, and it'll be fun!" See my point? You need to get something to grab the player, and pull them in, entice them, keep them coming back to play your game! Another thing that I will add is that I didn't notice any difference between the levels albeit a different boss and layout. It was just, "Do dungeon, go back to field, do a quest that usually involved beating up a few special enemies, do another dungeon" rinse and repeat to the max.
Music - I don't have much to say about this, but the soundtrack was lackluster at best.

Overall, Elsword is a slightly-worse-than-mediocre-game, it has its perks, but there is really nothing to make it stand out from anything else IMO. If i had to rate it on a scale of 1-10, I would give it a 3.5/10. Thanks for listening, and have a nice day :)

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