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Robots aren’t everything…

Contrary to popular opinion, robots aren’t enough to save anything. Robots are, of course, inherently cool – but they need to be put in context.

I’m talking about RF Online. I saw the game at a local store, went home and looked it up, discovered that it had recently been made free-as-in-beer. I downloaded the client (laughing inwardly at anyone who ever bought it), got myself a free account (laughing outwardly at anyone who ever payed for their accounts), and gleefully started playing. The game impressed me at first by being beautiful. Absolutely stunning. Think Phantasy Star but not as cheesy. And with way cooler robots. Very nice. and didn’t seem to demand much in terms of system resources, either. Very nice. and it has robots, which are very cool. Did I mention the robots?

Anyways, I created my character (three playable races, one of which is a race of robots, so it wasn’t much of a choice) and begain playing. Pretty nice controls. A not-too-bad combat system and the experience system, in which you become better at the stuff you actually do, is nice… Erh, OK, quests come automatically as you level up… And they don’t seem to be connected, or have any sort of plot… And this is my twentieth mission in a row that’s just “kill 20 of X”… Waiiiitaminute, this was made by koreans, wasn’t it?

And there it was. Inescapable, unavaidable. A korean MMO. I tried playing for a while, but ultimately, koreans just can’t make good MMO’s. OK, they got loads of stuff to kill and a couple of cool abilities, but koreans are, judging from the kind of games they produce, very fond of mindless hacking of identical enemies, lack of plot, and not playing socially.

So – Robots aside, RF Online is crap. The robots are still very cool, but they’d need to be in a game that didn’t suck ass. Too bad, this game actually looked good, played well etc. If it had only hade some more social gaming/role-playing elements and perhaps, i dunno, a plot or fifteen, it might’ve been good.

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