Following the success of the RPG, or role-playing game, another form of gameplay decided to take things to the next level: the MMORPG, or massively multiplayer online role-playing game, which allows groups of users to meet together in a virtual world and collaborate on missions, trade and barter, or just goof around for awhile.
Some of the more popular MMORPGs today include Second Life, Star Wars: The Old Republic and City of Heroes. However, the king of the crop is the fantasy-based mind suck otherwise known as World of Warcraft. Unfortunately, any rumors of bringing WoW to the mobile platform are just that, rumors. At this point, it may be at least one or two years before WoW is introduced to the iPad.
Order & Chaos Online looks to be, at first glance, a mobile rip-off of WoW. There are similar environments, characters and quests that seem to mirror those of its computer-based counterpart. Upon playing the game, I discovered it really can be quite the WoW copycat. However, I don’t consider this a bad thing.
After all, Order & Chaos Online exists for a reason: to fill the gap caused by WoW’s hesitation to join the mobile market. In that regard, I consider Order & Chaos Online to be a great success, because it delivers.
At this point, Order & Chaos Online is the WoW of mobile gaming.
First thing to note is Order & Chaos online is a subscription-based game. It originally comes with three months of free gameplay, but it does cost more down the road. It’s not expensive, though. The user can play for $0.99 per month, $1.99 for three months or $2.99 for six months. It was well worth it to pay $2.99 for six months after the trial expires: I simply cut out one cup of coffee and I had half a year of unlimited gameplay.
One of the first things I loved about the game was its character customization. Much like many other MMORPGs, Order & Chaos Online has options for race (human, elf, orc or undead), class, gender, appearance and other characteristics that help define who the user wants to be online.
The controls are a little tricky to grasp at first, but they’re actually very user friendly. Touching anywhere on the left side of the screen brings up a joystick the player uses to get around. Changing angles and perspectives is done with the right thumb.
On the bottom-right corner of the screen are the player’s spells or specialties, depending on class. Using a spell or specialty is as easy as pushing its corresponding button. The player can have numerous spells or specialties at hand, which are accessible by swiping.
The world the game creates is pretty darn impressive. There are four different regions to explore, each with their own subregions and villages inside those subregions. This provides the player with a lot of diverse experiences, keeping gameplay a rewarding endeavor long after the initial thrill subsides. Combat is effective with a variety of enemies, including wolves, poisonous bugs, bandits and short stumpy goblins.
The gameplay does has its problems, which may either be caused by the still-developing technological capabilities of the iPad, or simply by the game itself. Enemies sometimes bug or freeze in place, and watching other players move around tends to look like they’re floating above the ground from time to time.
Much like WoW, the user will run into other players fulfilling their own quests right alongside. Users can form parties to go out on missions, which only helps out a bit early on but tends to get more and more important later on down the road. And much like WoW, there are chat channels to stay in touch with them.
This is where I get a little upset: Trolling, foul language and blatant insults were a common fare while I was playing, which made it hard to want to team up with anyone for a good questing. The above picture is a very G-rated sarcastic example of some of the verbal spew players were dishing out at one another.
In addition, I found it annoying that the player was provided with so little backpack space. I could hardly quest without having to return to a salesperson to hawk my goods. Purchasing additional backpack space costs one gold coin, which as a lower level I was nowhere near earning. However, the player can buy a piece of gold for $0.99 each, which I did — and wasn’t happy that I felt I needed to in order to continue the game without losing my mind.
Otherwise, this game is great. As long as WoW hasn’t brought itself into the mobile market, Order & Chaos Online is a fantastic substitute. I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to give MMORPGs a try, especially those who don’t want to shelf out the $10 monthly fee plus four to six hours of time per day to a game that requires too much of its players.
Until WoW comes to try and take the crown, I predict Order & Chaos Online will remain the iPad’s ruling MMORPG.
Stay tuned for more RPG game reviews during the next few weeks.
Here’s an App Store link for Order & Chaos Online; it’s currently priced at $6.99.
Disclosure: Order & Chaos Online was independently purchased by the post author in the iPad App Store. For further information regarding our site’s review policies, please see the “About” page.