Gates of Andaron
Gates of Andaron is a 3D Fantasy MMORPG with cartoony graphics. With a look and feel very similar to World of Warcraft, Andaron boasts two warring factions; Craxion and DeFugel. Each faction contains the same three races and six classes. Gates of Andaron is heavily quest driven and has a clean user interface.
Graphics: High Quality
EXP Rate: Low
Pros: +Large game world. +Varied classes and races. +Tons of quests available, all easily tracked and managed. +Realm vs Realm PvP.
Cons: -Tragically inept translations. -Slower paced than other free MMORPGs. -Not the most original game out there.
Gates of Andaron Overview
It seems World of Warcraft’s success has not gone unnoticed. Though many MMORPGs borrow features from one another, some games take it a step further. Gates of Andaron is such a game. For anyone who’s seen or played WoW, the graphic and interface in Gates of Andaron will look familiar. The graphic style may be cartoony but the bright colors work well and make Gates of Andaron an attractive game. The user interface is also clean and easy to use thanks to the source material. Both factions have the same three race and six class choices listed below:
Races: Fairy, Human, Werebeast
Classes: Archer, Wizard, Priest, Summoner, Warrior, Assassin.
Gates of Andaron Screenshots
Gates of Andaron Featured Video
Gates of Andaron Full Review
By Cody ‘Neramaar’ Hargreaves
When you spend as much time surfing the Internet as I do, you tend to learn a few things. For example, there are a group of activists out there that still believe the world is flat. I mean, seriously, we can see it from space now guys – we’re pretty certain it’s a sphere. I also learned that there are people out there that don’t believe in WoW clones, believing instead that these MMORPGs that look, play, and feel like World of Warcraft are original in both concept and design. These guys haven’t devised a name as creative as ‘The Flatworlders’ just yet, but they seem to share the same sense of denial.
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE
I mention this now in preparation for the flames of war that will no doubt follow my labeling of Gates of Andaron as a clone of World of Warcraft. Gates of Andaron does little to deviate from the standard WoW formula, so much so that at certain points throughout the game it can be difficult to tell the two apart. Just take a look at the pictures; graphically they’re basically the same thing.
Of course, there is a considerable amount of missing polish between the two, and this shows throughout the entirety of the game. Like WoW, you begin with the choosing of a faction between the Craxion (the good guys) and the DeFugal (the baddies). Unlike WoW, the race and class choices that follow are exactly the same. Players are given the choice between three races, Human, Werebeast, and Fairy – and six classes – Warrior, Assassin, Priest, Summoner, Wizard and Archer.
The lack of character customization offered in Gates of Andaron is almost unforgivable, and while you are at least allowed to choose your gender (I’m looking at you, Last Chaos), only the color and style of your hair can be further customized. The tutorial following character selection is one that appears to have been designed to leave players with a wide mix of various emotions. I was pained to learn that everyone started in the same town for each faction, I was confused to find that I received a replica sword to the one I began with as a quest reward, I was frustrated at having to speak to almost every NPC in the town in order, I was happy to learn that it only lasted ten minutes, and I laughed at the various attempts at voice acting and translation.
TAKEN WITH A GRAIN OF SALT
One such situation I’ll never forget was when the blacksmith greeted me with “You’ve got to be man enough to be black”, and continued on to inform me that “You’ve just got to suck everything.” Text really doesn’t do it justice; you need to hear him say it to get the full effect. Finding that one of my skills, Blow of Silence, read “Silently approach the opponent and deliver a blow for no reason whatsoever” was another moment of both absolute confusion, and laugh out loud hysterics. In a nutshell, both the translations and various displays of voice acting in Gates of Andaron are abysmal, yet when taken with a grain of salt, are actually quite funny.
The tutorial continued down the same repetitive path before leading me out of town and into combat training – a series of (dare I say it) WoW styled ‘fed-ex’ quests requiring me to slay ‘X’ amount of this, and collect ‘X’ amount of that, and just like WoW, the remainder of the game was very much the same. Gates of Andaron does, however, back itself up quite well, offering a plethora of weapons, items, armor, quests and features that are sure to keep players entertained for months.
Aside from the awkward system of looting, whereby players must press F, click the desired item, then close the window manually – there is little else that deviates from the standard WoW design. Players have access to skill tress when they increase in level allowing them to style their character to their liking. The interface (everything from the mini-map to the long experience bar at the bottom of the screen) is basically identical. Players will find that they can teleport back to their pre-designated town at any point, once an hour (Hearthstone…). Upon death, players become a ghost and must find their corpse to resume playing.
FOR THE HORDE… ERR… DEFUGAL!
Hell, even the PvP system, whereby players can attack other players of the opposing faction at whim, is nothing short of exactly the same as that found in WoW. The guild PvP system however, takes a slightly different path. This is one of the few innovations offered in Gates of Andaron that actually improved on WoW, and one that I’m very glad was included. Every day guild members are given the opportunity to fight opposing guild members in RvR (Realm vs Realm) combat, and by winning earn points. At the end of the week the guild that has attained the most points will have the opportunity to siege their server’s guild castle, and if successful, may take it for their own. This Guild PvP system is paramount in keeping end-game players busy, as there is little else to do in the higher levels of the game.
There are a few lesser features that have been thrown in to spice up the mix, like the R.S.C.S battle system that allows party leaders to quickly shout commands to their group, or the soul mate system allowing you to designate another player in the game that you can help level faster. But really, none of these stand well enough next to the many features ripped from WoW to consider it a stand-alone title. Even the cash shop, that allows players to purchase mounts, XP pots, teleport scrolls, and name changes for a small ‘real-money’ fee adds little to its individuality. However, it is a great MMO experience once you forgive it for relying so heavily on another developer’s design.
Final Verdict: Good
Once you forgive Gates of Andaron for relying on WoW so heavily you’ll realize that it’s actually a great free MMO. It’s a shame the developers didn’t put a little more work into the translation and polish – things that keep it from being a must-play title.
Gates of Andaron Videos
Gates of Andaron Boss Battle Video
Gates of Andaron Class Previews
Gates of Andaron Gameplay Footage
Gates of Andaron Official Trailer
Gates of Andaron Gameplay Trailer
Gates of Andaron Links
Gates of Andaron System Requirements
OS: Windows 2000/XP
CPU: Pentium4 1.6GHz
Graphics Card: Geforce FX5700 128MB
OS: Windows 2000/XP
CPU: Pentium4 2.0GHz or better
RAM: 1024MB or more
HDD: 3 GB free
Graphics Card: GeForce FX6600 256MB or better
DirectX: 9.0c or better