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Rode Online review


RODE Online review

R.O.D.E Rise of Dragonian Era

Developer: MGame

Released: Q1 2012 

Rode Online review
RODE Online "Overall, RODE Online is an enjoyable game that manages to capture a definite mood very, very well."" reviewed by Mat Growcott, Written on Rating: 4 stars


RODE : Rise of Dragonian Era

I have had quite a game getting Rise of Dragonian Empire (RODE, because it sounds slightly less silly than Rise of Dragonian Empire) to work this weekend. I don’t mean this as some huge criticism, but it’s important to establish from the get-go. This game launched a few days ago and as of now there are a few quite annoying bugs that have pretty much prevented me from getting as far into the game as I’d have liked.

Don't rush your decision

If you’re in no rush to play it, give it a couple of weeks until everything is fixed, the server activity has died down and the wounds I’ve given myself in frustration have somewhat healed. It could be the best game ever and I’d still suggest waiting and getting in on it after everything has settled down. Which is a shame; from the moment I heard about this game I loved how it sounded.

Rode Online Rise of Dragonian Era review Rode Online fantasy MMORPG


Pretty graphics and music

RODE Online offers cut-scenes, dragons (which you can fly AND fight), pretty graphics and nice music. It made not being able to get in for huge stretches of time even more frustrating and I’ll touch on what the problem was and what you can do at some point later in the review. For now, let me just say that RODE is a pretty decent fantasy MMORPG and offers unique features you won’t see anywhere else. If that alone isn’t enough to make it deserving of your time, I’m not sure what is.

The game opens with a beautiful cut scene that really displays how much effort the developers have put into making their game a little different. Giant dragons fight one another above glorious, colourful mountains and, for an MMO, I’ve never felt my chin drop to the floor faster. I’ve seen opening cut scenes in MMOs before and they tend to be a little dull, a little bit “we had to put this here.” The opening to RODE doesn’t feel forced or “necessary,” but natural. Picking a force will show another cut scene, filling you in on your motives. From there, you get to create a character and it’s not as limited as it first seems.


Rode Online Rise of Dragonian character creation Rode Online missions

Unique characters

The first menu gives you access to three races, two genders, there classes and a couple of face types. It doesn’t give you much to play with and the different classes aren’t a million miles apart. It’s disappointing, really, until you click “next” and are offered options to change everything from eye shape to nose length. It’s surprisingly in-depth and something that you don’t see enough in a lot of MMOs today. By the time I’d finished, I felt I had a character that was at least relatively unique to me. It's nice to start off in a position where you already don’t look identical to everybody else, it’s an important thing that’s often missed.

In a staggeringly bright forest

The game starts in a staggeringly bright forest. If there’s one thing I can say for RODE, it’s that they’ve got the graphics down perfectly. It’s not going to be the prettiest thing you ever see, but the range of colours on display is worth noting. There are flowers, interesting fauna, ancient trees and a whole manner of things to look around. Interaction is minimal and entirely dependent on which quests you choose to engage in, but it doesn’t make that initial exploration as less invigorating. It’s nice to see so much effort put into things that some people may never actually see, especially if you come across something you weren’t necessarily expecting.

Conversations with NPCs tend to be a little hit and miss, although I’m putting it down to it being so soon after release. The first line is usually read out aloud and the rest you’re left to read on your own, but as you can see from one of the pictures it’s not always that easy. Formatting sometimes goes a little bit mad and words can be cut in two. It doesn’t make it look entirely unreadable (not unless the separation of yo and u in “you” is confusing), but I’ve seen it more than once and it’s something that desperately needs fixing. Besides that, dialogue is a little wooden any way and you’re not going to manage to read every bit of dialogue in the game.

Missions are same old missions

Missions, as you might have expected, are exactly what you’ll be used to. Speak with a computer character, find items or kill enemies and then rake in the rewards. Usually this takes the guise of experience and better items which prepare you to do further quests and receive further rewards. It’s the cycle that is meant to keep you playing, to give you something to be constantly doing, but by now it’s a rather tired formula and RODE doesn’t really shake anything up much. It’s not a problem, if you play MMOs you already know what to expect, but it’s not exactly a plus either.


In-game music is beautiful

If you enjoy listening to in-game music while playing an MMO, you won’t be disappointed when it comes to RODE. With a very definite Chinese-influence, something I very much have a soft spot for, there’s a haunting feel that’s very suitable for the world you have ahead of you. For the first time in quite a while, I found myself playing an MMO with the speakers on almost constantly and anybody who plays as many MMOs as I do will tell you that that can be quite a rare occurrence.

The big selling point for the game, the interaction with your very own pet dragon, isn’t something that I’ve had much chance to experiment with. At the beginning of the game you’re given an egg and, once hatched, you’ll have your very own little dragon pet. Given that we played this game so close to launch, there isn’t a huge amount of dragon-action going on, but it’s something that seems to have a lot of potential. I think as more people play it for longer amounts of time (and developers build further on the idea), it’ll become a very big deal and the selling point on this game, but for now it’s little more than a neat idea. Granted, we’re not a week past launch.

Large installation but Rode Online is worth it

As might be expected from the great music, the cut scenes, the voice acting and more-than-passable graphics, RODE Online Rise of Dragonian Era has a rather large installation. It has a five and a half gigabyte download and a ten gig installation and this is where my warning really has to come in before I could write this Rode Online review. My first installation went rather well: the download was quicker than expected but, according to the downloader (done in-browser via their website), everything was completed. I installed, which takes quite a while, and the first thing that happened was that the game crashed. This sort of thing has happened before and it’s not something that needs to be worried about. After creating a character and it crashing on trying to launch, I gave up after some hours playing.

Rode Online system requirements

Eventually I bit the bullet and did the whole download over again, re-installed and this time it seems to have worked. This is an issue I’ve seen reported a lot, so it seems like something that it’s worth being aware of if you plan to get into the game at all. You’ll also need a relatively high-spec machine to run, with a decent graphics card and at least 1 gig of ram, not a huge amount but a little more than some of the staple MMOs. If you want to run this baby at full speed, you’ll need three gigs of ram and a whopping 20 gigs of hard drive space, although uninstall (as I found during my constant troubleshooting) is quick and easy.

Rode Online review: Conclusion

Overall, RODE Online is an enjoyable game that manages to capture a definite mood very, very well. Those excited by the prospect of something new and original, certainly a vibe I got from initial looks, may be disappointed by how much “standard” you have to get through to get at that new and exciting, but for people just looking for a new game, that won’t matter much to you and you’ll enjoy the surprises along the way. The developers have put a lot of effort into making something that is, at the very least, solid, and without a doubt they’ve succeeded. How they plan to build upon the foundation - fixing glitches, adding content and polishing; that is what will make or break this game.

M. Growcott
© 2012


Anonymous Thu, 2012-03-22 05:35
Anonymous's picture

Still our feathered friends should turn out event prizes to those who won instead of disqualifying people for unobvious reasons that don't even apply to the event.

Anonymous Wed, 2012-03-21 20:40
Anonymous's picture

agreed. definitely worth your and addicting mmo :)

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