Anarchy Online

september 1, 2001

Welp, my free month of Anarchy Online is just about to end and I'm going to let it... I had high hopes for Anarchy Online because it was a Massively Multiplayer Online Game that was set in a sci-fi world. Why is this so big a deal? Because most of the MMPOG games are set in a fantasy world and I don't like that kinda stuff. I don't like casting spells and swing swords and doing dungeon crawls. That's just not my thing. So, you can see how excited I was to hear that there was going to be a MMPOG that is set in a sci-fi world where I could use technology and guns and everything else associated with sci-fi worlds. Lets just say that I was highly disappointed with the game.

First, the part that isn't related to the setting of the game: game stability and playability. This game is by far even close to being a release quality game. I had to download 15MB of patches before I was even able to start playing the game. Although I didn't have any of the crash problems that people have been complaining about, I did have all sorts of performance problems, especially when there are people around in a large city. Man, did the game stop to a crawl when I was in a city with people -- and for a game where interaction with other people is the highlight, having this crippling performance while around people just doesn't help it.

Second, although they claim the world is a sci-fi world, everything in it happens in a fantasy style. There are swords and spells. They just have different names. They don't call spells "spells" but give it some sci-fi mumbo-jumbo name -- but in the game it still is a lot of hand-waving and lights and special effects. And the end result is still a spell. There are still swords and hand-to-hand weapons. And there are still dungeon crawls -- they just call them missions. And although there are guns in the game, they are implemented in such a silly fashion that the guns might as well just be swords -- when you get into a gun fight with a monster, the monster and you are toe to toe. You shoot point blank at the monster, it bites you, etc. What in the hell kind of gun fighting is this? I'm sure that there can't be Quake 3 style fun fighting, but the way that it is implemented in AO is just silly. Oh and in the future it seems that cars are so damn expensive that no one really can buy one, instead most people in this highly futurist world rely on running miles and miles to get somewhere, how ridiculous!

So, is there anything to like about the game? Sure, it has some pretty graphics and some good sound effects -- but this sure isn't worth the $13/mo that FunCom is charging to play the game. I guess there are going to be a lot of people who will love this game, I'm just not one of them. I'm still kind of fuming that AO is nothing more than a fantasy game with shiny armour. Bah.

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