UPDATE: This game has been shutdown and is no longer available
Fortune Online Overview
California-based studio Gazillion Entertainment, also known for Super Hero Squad Online, launches the Fortune Online beta. This time around, Gazillion seeks to attract the Diablo crowd through intense loot gathering and character progression, while maintaining a measure of accessibility and simplicity that will appeal to casual gamers. Players embody rising heroes out to save the world of Alaros from the onslaught of Mir’Goth and his legions of the underworld. Fight alone or in a group of up to 4 through a variety of instanced zones and dungeons, while being able to control your difficulty level, ranging from easy all the way to nightmare. Each of the two classes has a skill tree of its own through which skills are unlocked and upgraded, along with points to divide between four main stats.
Warrior – Battle tanks and damage dealers, the warrior class is encouraged to stay in the thick of the action through the use of Fury, a sort of energy built through battle that allows for a variety of special moves.
Guardian – Healers and mages, guardians wield the elements of nature, ice and light to heal, protect or destroy. They combine runes in order to unlock boons, special spells with the capacity of easily turning a battle around.
Fortune Online Screenshots
Fortune Online Featured Video
Fortune Online Full Review
Did you enjoy Diablo while disliking the community that felt a bit too hardcore for your tastes? Then Fortune Online might be for you. Simplicity and casualness is the name of the game here. Developed by the studio NetDevil (also known for Jumpgate and the ill-fated Auto Assault), it is under the recent direction of Gazillion Entertainment that they thus take their first venture into the free-to-play model to craft a dark adventure rich in explosions, loot and giant winged lizards. But in a time where free-to-play games pop up like grass in a field, does it make the cut and manage to stand out above the rest?
Of Birds & Pumpkins
The first thing you might notice about Fortune Online is a strange feeling of familiarity. After the character creation screen where you choose your color, your focus and your weapon, you are dropped into a (fittingly enough) graveyard where you and your grandfather have been attacked by skeletons, with him lying in a state of near-death. Immediately, you might recognize the Diablo-like décor which includes tombstones, gnarled trees, a generally dark color palette punctuated by the occasional hole in the ground leading straight to hell. The tutorial consists of a 5 tabs explanation of the very basics, how to walk, attack, and generally interact with the world. It doesn’t take more than that, a few clicks away and you’re already smashing skeletons across the face with your weapon of choice. The action is satisfying; you get to use a variety of abilities, each of which can be used depending on your tactical needs. For an example, you might have to choose between using a personal shield or an area-of-effect attack, or choosing between healing your allies and dropping a group-wide buff. The system is arguably made to privilege these strategic decisions, as Fury takes a while to build, and Guardian elemental runes force you to alternate between elements. The classes are quite different and interesting to see interact in a group.
Characters progress through a class-specific skill tree and four stats through which points must be spread, consisting of power, agility, body and mind, each of which control things such as health, armor or damage. It’s worth noting at this point that there is no such thing as a mana bar in this game, everything is entirely regulated by cooldowns. The talent trees, not unlike that in World of Warcraft, are used to acquire new skills and upgrade your existing ones.
Once you get to town, you encounter your first merchants which sell the plethora of items you would expect, including potions, weapons and armor. Towns in this case serve as central player hubs, where you meet others, form groups and acquire quests. This is where you notice one of the game’s flaws, that is, the absolute lack of character customization. Everyone is nearly identical. In this game, your appearance is not controlled by what collection of items you wear, but rather by a single item called a gem. You equip a gem, and suddenly, your entire armor changes into something drastically different. Added to the fact that each class is restricted to a single sex makes the character customization look starved, at best. You might see a similar pattern with other character models. Old people, namely. You’ll encounter them both as town figures (where a crippling majority of people seem to be above 60), and as enemies in the wild (with slight differences).
At this point, you’ll also inevitably encounter the energy mechanic. How this works is as follow; you start your adventure with about 1000 points of energy located at the middle of your interface bar, and every quest, dungeon and area you enter will cost you a certain amount of it, including mundane quests which simply have you run from point A to point B. While you are given one potion early on to regenerate a part of this bar, the only way to acquire more of these is to buy them from the store using real currency. This leads to a two-pronged issue, for one that it restricts your play time and forces you into casualness, and secondly, that it significantly affects the amount of players online at the same time. Energy eventually regenerates naturally at a rate of about 40 points per hour while logged out.
I believe it’s worth mentioning at this point that the player community for this game is very small (though very helpful nonetheless), and that you most likely should bring your friends if you intend to have some company. If you are willing to put a little bit of effort into it however, a steady research through town at peak time should eventually bring you some adventurers to quest with. And like most Diablo types, the fun is literally multiplied by grouping up, also allowing you to ramp up the difficulty for a more challenging experience. As of the writing of this, there is no player-versus-player content, though the developers have been reaching out to the community probing for opinions on the subject. Therefore you do not need to worry about getting ganked just outside the town gates!
The art style is a hit or miss, depending on your tastes. Some will utterly love the dark, gritty graphics, and others will simply find it bland. It is very much a design choice however, and the music is made to match. While neither of those two specifically stand out, they are acceptable in quality for a browser game. Likewise, the music is nothing exceptional, but serves its purpose nicely. I have stumbled across a few difficulties on the technical side, namely for the resolution. If you run this windowed rather than full screen, you will miss a few edges of the screen, and there is a distinct lack of options menu (other than for sound), however nothing that one could consider significantly game crippling.
Final Verdict: Fair
Fortune Online is a very easy to pick up MMORPG that requires no installation, and little experience in the genre. Progress your character through Alaros’ varied environments, collecting treasures and experience alike. However it caters mainly to the casual player, and dedicated gamers might feel something is lacking. Thus, this is an excellent game to simply pick up and play in-between classes, or on your lunch break. It’s light hearted fun, and while it doesn’t do anything especially splendidly, it doesn’t fail at anything either. Still young, Fortune Online has potential, and if you’re looking for some casual dungeon crawling fun, don’t hesitate to give this one a try!