Aurora Blade Overview
Aurora Blade is the first browser based MMORPG released by IGG. Set in a medieval fantasy world, Aurora Blade is quite advanced for a browser game. Players start their adventures in the Aurora Seaport where a short tutorial and a series of quests introduce them to the game’s basics. During character creation players have four classes to chose from and they are:
Warrior - Masters of melee attacks, Warriors are proficient in various melee weapons. Warriors wear heavy armor and can absorb a great deal of physical damage.
Mage - Practitioners of the arcane arts, Mages use spells from a safe distance to inflict heavy blows. Mages only wear the lightest of armor to ensure they can freely channel their magic.
Knight - Well rounded fighters who use ranged and melee attacks. Most similar to Archers in other games, Knights make cunning foes.
Priest - The supportive spellcasters of Aurora Blade, Priests possess healing and buffing spells to aid their allies. Experienced Priests can even resurrect the dead!
Aurora Blade Screenshots
Aurora Blade Feature Video
Aurora Blade Full Review
By, Erhan Altay
First announced in late 2008 and released to open beta several months later, Aurora Blade is the first browser based MMORPG by the online games portal IGG. Best known for bringing anime inspired MMORPGs like Tales of Pirates to the North American audience, IGG is making a big push into the browser based gaming market. How well does IGG’s first browser game hold up? Read on to find out!
Rare among browser games, Aurora Blade plays much like a traditional MMORPG. The character creation process is very similar to what you would expect from a client based game. There are two game serves, each named after a planet; Mercury and Venus. Players each have five character slots per server which is more than enough since there are only four classes. Players can chose what gender and race their character will be but oddly there is only one race choice — human. My guess is IGG plans to add additional races eventually since there wouldn’t be a point in mentioning race otherwise. There is no appearance customization beyond gender selection which is forgivable since the avatars are quite detailed and even show a bit of animation.
Welcome to Port
Before actually getting started, players are prompted to set individual passwords for their characters which I found to be a hassle. Once this is done, players finally enter the game world and find themselves on ‘Adventurer Ferry.’ A small tooltip prompt appears on the right side of the screen to explain the game’s basic navigation. It can be skipped but is worth running through at least once. Most of the interface should be self explanatory to veteran gamers. The mouse alone handles all movement. The game word is broken down into a series of locations each with a name bar that appears next to it on the main game area. Players can instantly move from one location to another with the click of the mouse. Interestingly, Aurora Blade allows players to set their desired resolution but the default 1024×768 should suffice. It becomes very obvious from the beginning that Aurora Blade is a quest heavy game. I found this to be very helpful since it helps give the game a sense of direction and makes it ‘feel’ more like a traditional RPG.
Hunting in the Forest
Like any good fantasy RPG, new players are first tasked with a series of talking quests followed by requests to hunt down the local wildlife. Combat is fast paced and works like the system in many turb based games like Myth Wars 2 Online. Combatants will exchange blows based on individual timers and can set special instructions as they wait. To demonstrate, my Knight automatically fires an arrow every few seconds against my target but at any time I can click my skill icon on the toolbar to queue that skill as the next attack. Unfortunately the first few levels are rather bland since players have limited skill and item options during battles but things quickly pick up. The game provides new players with three Adventurer’s Boxes which can be opened at levels 5, 10, and 15 respectively. Each contains pieces of equipment, consumables like potions, and even cash shop items like temporary damage and experience boosts. I went ahead and used my items as fast I could but those of you planning for the end-game may wish to preserve the premium items until higher levels.
The Battle Never Ends
Botting has always been a major issue in MMORPGs and the problem is only magnified with browser games due to the fact that it is much easier to find programs to automate actions when you don’t need to deal with a full screen client game running. IGG seems to have taken the same approach in Aurora Blade as they did in GodsWar Online and that is to give players built in botting features. Players can click on a monsters name and click [AutoFight] to start a battle against a never ending stream of that particular enemy. There may be ways to automate the use of skills and potions as well but I haven’t experimented with them, I simply set my character to autofight a weak monster and went web surfing. If players escape from an AutoFight, there is a 10 minute cool down before they can use it again though death doesn’t seem to trigger this wait time. This feature may take much of the interaction out of the game but at the very least it evens the playing field. If this system were not built in, many players would use third party programs to achieve the same results and have an unfair advantage over other players.
Long Term Commitments?
Ease of access is the main attraction of most browser based games and Aurora Blade is no exception. This is a game that can be played on one tab while surfing the web or getting work done on another. There are several features available to try and give the game deeper, more lasting appeal but they are not very unique. A simple marriage system is in place which rewards players various titles depending on how long they’ve been together. Each class has an extensive skill tree which allows multiple paths of specialization. PvP functions are optional and allow players to challenge one another to duels. An arena is available in cities which matches players together for PvP bouts without the need for one player to manually challenge the other to a fight. Finally, Aurora Blade has an old time cheesy MMORPG feature to extend the life time of the game. When players reach the max level of 60 they can do a rebirth quest which resets their level and allows them to grow more powerful than before and use special gear.
Final Verdict: Good
Aurora Blade is a fun 2D game that manages to emulate the style of a MMORPG on the browser. The combat and interface are similar to old school RPGs which give game a retro feel. There is a large world for players to explore though poor chat functions, a small population & built in automation features make it feel like a lonely place.