If you haven’t heard of Everquest for the PC, all I can think of is, where have you been? Everquest was initially released in 1999, and EQ has evolved into one of the most popular MMORPG games out on the market. The PS2’s online adapter has been out for over six months now and now it now has its first online only title, which is Everquest Online Adventures, an extremely deep Online RPG.
To start this review I am just going to go over exactly what this game is all about. Having played the PC version for over six months, I have found that Everquest can be more of a social get together then a MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online RPG). You will very rarely actually want to fight the evil rats and bats by yourself but instead group together with similarly leveled characters and gain group experience points.
If you haven’t heard there is a monthly subscription fee of $9.99. Now if you want my personal opinion on the "pay for play" portion of EQOA, I will keep it quite simple in that this fee can seem a bit steep but your also getting one of the largest and most complex games around, and SOE was smart enough to allow you to have a free thirty month subscription to make sure you like it.
So once you have entered all the necessary information to sign up for the game, you are on your way to choose your character. Now this is a very crucial portion of your journey because depending on which character you choose, will decide what type of quests and abilities you are going to be able to do, but before you do this you are going to have to choose a server, and it appears as though SOE is listening to our demands, and is adding more and more servers, which is always a really nice thing!
In the races you will have the ability to choose from are as follows: Barbarian, Dark Elf, Dwarf, Elf, Erudite, Gnome, Halfling, Human Eastern, Human Western, and a Troll. So as you can see you really have a great selection to choose from, and then from there you will have the ability to pick what type of skills your person is, like a warrior or a wizard. I did start out with a Barbarian Warrior, and I can honestly say that this is a good choice for a first timer. I would mostly just recommend a warrior to start with because they are the easiest to control.
So you have chosen your character and now you’re off into a huge world of hundreds of others all trying to complete the same goal, of leveling your character. This task is a time consuming process that may take longer to do then you might think. In some games leveling is a simple task but in EQOA this task can take quite sometime. As you gain levels it will take longer and longer.
Leveling itself is done in a different fashion then in the Everquest of the PC. In the PC version you were less likely to start off by doing quests and more likely fighting rats and spiders. But in EQOA it seems more likely that you will start off by completing quests and then find yourself hunting to gain experience points to level up.
The combat in EQOA is not as complex as the PC version of Everquest, but it still remains pretty much the same. It is considered a "turn based" battle system but in real time, which I enjoy quite a bit. It does get kind of tricky when trying to use spells and such but overall the fighting system works pretty darn well.
The controls of Everquest are a bit tricky and they are what may turn off a lot of players in the game. You can use the Dual Shock 2 controller to control your character but you can also use a keyboard, and although it is not required to use a keyboard I would highly recommend getting one. You are going to need to communicate with other players and it just takes to long to type with the controller. Either way you look at it the controls of Everquest are going to take a while to learn, a long, long time.
The sound of EQOA is not anything that is going to win awards or even impress people. In fact the sound in Everquest is pretty non existent, besides the few sound effects when fighting you won’t notice much of anything but a little background noise.
When Everquest released in 1999 for the PC the graphics weren’t all that bad, and for the time they were in fact pretty dang good, so we would expect some nice upgrades in the graphical departments of EQOA. Well in fact what is keeping Everquest Online Adventures from being a top scoring title was in fact the graphics were just so lethargic.
Ok so we have got it out in the open that the game doesn’t look overly impressive but for what it’s worth they aren’t horrific. The servers of Everquest can hold up to 3000 people at one time, which means at some points you could see quite a few people in one particular place. So in that way the game performs quite nicely and there is very little slow down if any (besides internet lag).
One of the best parts I felt about Everquest on the PC was the ability to explore the expansive environments. It was always interesting to see what was coming up and traveling around was quite a blast. Well in EQOA the graphics haven’t improved at all and in some aspects are a lot worse then the PC counterpart. The environments are pretty bland and boring, and don’t have much detail to them.
The characters look pretty good, and there is a lot of customization to be had before you get into the actual game. Each character has unique looks to them so you should be able to tell the different races apart from each other. Overall the graphics are not anything spectacular, but aren’t anything your going to cry about.
This is a very tough section for me to give EQOA a rating on. I think it will be best if I describe my feelings on the game from when I started to this point in time when I have gotten some higher level characters. I will admit I had to really work hard to get into the game and enjoy it, and for the first few hours or so I really disliked the game, but after I had completed a few quests, got the controls down and started to level quite consistently I found that this game is as addicting as the PC version was, and it a lot of fun once you get into it. Like I mentioned earlier this is like a big get together where you get to group up with fellow gamers and fight big rats, bats, and spiders (no that’s not all the enemies but that’s all you will be fighting for the first few weeks).
Now the million dollar question is, Is Everquest Online Adventures worth the $9.99 a month? Well I believe the answer is quite simple actually, if you enjoy MMORPG games, and you don’t mind getting wrapped up in one game for more then just a month or so, then this is definitely a good title for you. Because in Everquest you are going to need to have the commitment to play a lot and level up your character and if you do that, then you will be rewarded with some cool abilities, and a high level character.
The owner and editor-in-chief of Darkstation.com. I've been apart of the website since 2002 and purchased the website in 2010. Owning and running Darkstation is a dream come true. I love video games and I love writing and talking about them even more.