Call of Gods Review
CALL OF GODS
Upon signing up for Call of Gods the first NPC I met was called Victoria, she was wearing very little. A beautiful woman dressed with gold decorations, basically there to cover her chest. Like many of the other men to log into the servers for Call of Gods, I imagine my first thought was “I’m going to like this MMO.”
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I'm going to like this MMO
Victoria explains how to go about acquiring and completing quests and leads you to your very first battle. The second thing you’ll notice (after the rather large amount of skin generally on show) is just how good Call of Gods looks. I’ll be the first to admit that it isn’t exactly going to be the most noteworthy game visually, but once you get over the fact that your character moves like an action man doll across a map that could be out of Romance of the Three Kingdoms.
And I think that’s the nicest thing about the graphics on Call of Gods, they don’t exactly pop out but they’re suitable for the game. There’s a very fantasy-like vibe to them which conjures up images of retro RPGs.
Level of detail is impressive
The level of detail to things like stone and foliage is impressive, especially for a web-based game.
The very first battle is with a weak soldier who walks slowly towards you while you fill him with arrows; it definitely gets harder. The battle system is entirely automatic, relying entirely on your stats vs the stats of your enemies. You have no control over which of the enemies are attacked and any sense of tactical advantage is entirely lost at the commencement of each fight.
Like most MMOs, Call of Gods has you performing quests for the various NPCs the populate the virtual world. Most involve going somewhere and killing something, sometimes a certain number of somethings, sometimes to claim an item which will be granted to you upon killing something. Sometimes you simply have to deliver a message between two NPCs, although usually the experience given for a quest like that is next to useless.
Leveling up is addictive
Levelling up is easy and addictive. Completing quests, beating enemies and generally being awesome will give both you and your characters the chance to level up. As you level up, the amount of available quests and locations increases, offering new, harder monsters and giving you more incentive to continue to level up. It’s a vicious cycle.
Even in the early hours of the game, there’s one major problem that happens time and time again and it’s incredibly annoying. The spelling and grammar in this game can be atrocious. At one point, an NPC tells me coolly that “I am here waiting for you for a long time,” meaning that she will wait for me when I go on further quests and kill further more difficult monsters.
While it is far better than what my girlfriend offered to do this afternoon (“Get off that PC, I don’t care if you’ve almost levelled up”), I can’t help but think that the gentleman who wrote that particular NPC may have been watching far too much TV.
Not without problems but they are negligible
It’s also not unusual to be told what you have received after the “attle”, rather than after the battle. Little problems like these are fairly easy to slip under the carpet. So long as you understand the gist of the sentence, you’re not going to worry too much; it does show an overarching lack of professionalism though and, after a while, can become quite annoying.
It's your castle, enjoy it
When you’re not watching your little action man-like soldiers being slaughtered by a variety of nasty creatures, you can take a walk through your very own castle. Given to you by the king at the beginning of the game for being able to do things like click and watch intently, the castle is the hub of your character’s power.
It is at the castle that you can recruit new soldiers, adding both better quality and higher quantity as your time (and funds/resources increase). Adding new buildings to your castle, such as the Quarry or the Barracks, can increase your resources or add new soldiers. New soldiers are obviously required for battle and the each soldier represents a single hit point. Lose all your soldiers and you’ll be in a pretty tough position.
And that tough position is not fun, I can tell you. Playing a lot of the game in a single block, like I’ve done for the purposes of this review, can mean you rapidly get ahead of yourself. Suddenly finding you don’t have enough soldiers or that the soldiers you have filled your team with aren’t of a high enough quality is incredibly annoying, and the only cure for such a situation is a long wait.
Buildings within the castle are built in various amounts of time as well and some of the things I’ve tried to build have had me waiting as long as 10 minutes. I can only imagine that that will keep increasing as I get further through the game, although I can’t actually back that up.
Golden rule: "Build a powerful castle."
Having a powerful castle is perhaps the most important part of the game. This is explained quite well in the first portions of the game, as some of the quests are entirely about the successful running of your castle. Other parts of the tutorial are less successful. You’re shown how to get quests, the basics of battle and then you’re thrown into the world. I started as a human and I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve died - not because there are too many to count, just because it is highly embarrassing.
The MMO element of Call of Gods is subtle to begin with, in the shape of a constantly updating chat box to the left of your HUD. From this you can gleam a glance at the things to come: PvP battles, dungeons and, at what I can only presume is the level cap, an inability to use vowels.
And, as you level up, you do get access to a wider range of activities, the most annoying/fun being access to the “Wild”, an area in which you can attack the castles of other users. Now I know what you’re thinking, finally an explanation as to why the King gives away real estate at every opportunity - he’ll struggle to sell land in anywhere called the Wild. And it’s a fair name, because you will be attacked repeatedly and the only remedy to that is to make sure you’re attacking other people as well.
Upon choosing who to attack you must wait for 90 seconds while they are alerted to the upcoming siege and told to prepare. If you win, you steal some of their resources, a nice way of increasing your stock in a pinch.
Team up against the stronger
Of course, you can also team up with other players against stronger foes. Some battles take part with multiple groups of foes and so it only makes sense that the developers allow you to bring along some friends. If you don’t have friends, the Call of Gods community is fantastic. Every time I’ve been struggling with a fight or quest, all I’ve had to do is ask and I get multiple offers of help.
There are a lot of people who are very dedicated to this game and they have a lot of patience for a struggling newbie.
Call of Gods is an addictive, free-to-play MMORTS that I struggle to believe anybody could be truly disappointed in.
During my time with the game I’ve seen enough people come into chat and ask just what the hell they should be doing that I strongly believe they should remake the tutorial, although it may just need a change of avatar so that you aren’t forced to look at a semi-naked woman while you’re supposed to be learning how to play the game.
Other than that, I believe Call of Gods is at a point where it needs polish and expansion. What I’ve seen of the game, admittedly not a huge amount considering how much is there, is very, very good. But it’s the small things that annoy; the repetition of the quests and, in the early parts of the game, lack of player interaction.
Personally, I can see hours and hours more gameplay ahead of me but I can tell from the conversation in the chat area that at about level 50-60, the game starts to wrap up and you’re left to rerun dungeons, struggle up to the level 100 cap and sit around waiting for hopeless newbies (Usually with a name like matgrowcott) to need help.
But that’s not going to be a huge issue for the vast majority of people. Getting even level 60 will take hours and a level of dedication that I can’t imagine is the norm. So while Call of Gods may come with an expiration date for the majority, it’s a hell of an expiration date.
"In my eyes, it’s a total hit."
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