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Wakfu Review

Wakfu Review


Tactical MMORPG

Publisher: Ankama Games

Released: 2012

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Wakfu is a different sort of MMORPG, the ideal solution for somebody looking for a new game but not necessarily something like they’ve played before. The best comparison, I suppose, would be something like Final Fantasy Tactics or Tactics Ogre, but if you’re strictly talking MMOs, I can safely say I’ve never seen anything that’s quite like it. Published by Square Enix in North American territories, the compulsion to compare it to those earlier games becomes almost impossible to resist, not only because of similarities in gameplay but also because of the level of quality and attention to detail that is put into each and every fragment of the game.

Is it enough that you should drop whatever you’re currently playing and jump in? Read on and find out.

Wakfu Gameplay Video Review


Wakfu Review - Positives

Strategy MMORPGFinal Fantasy Tactics has two things going for it: both its deep battle system and its attention to role playing elements and I’d expect an MMO inspired by that genre to at least attempt to cover both bases. The truth of the matter is, the Wakfu developers could easily have just focussed on the battle system and the game would have been different enough to warrant checking out, but they’ve managed to have nice RPG elements as well.

Graphics – Like something out of Bastion, "Wakfu is an absolutely stunning looking game". The colour is rich and varied, the world vibrant and active. I was actually surprised by how pretty it was and that doesn’t happen very often. It’s very stylized, so I suppose it wouldn’t be to everybody’s tastes, but personally it hit all my spots and made the game that much more enjoyable as a result.

Wakfu Screenshot 1

Lineage – When you get into the world of Wakfu, you’re getting into a brand that didn’t just pop up overnight, by a developer with a background. Wakfu is a sequel to Dofus and has had its own animated series. It’s nice to start playing a game not released by a major publisher but with some reassurance that it isn’t just going to disappear overnight.

ControlsWakfu is basically point and click, and it works all the better for it.  Exploring the world is as easy as breathing in and out, and the battle system makes it easy to move and fight. It feels like such a simple extension into the Wakfu world that you sometimes hardly feel you’re putting any effort in at all.

The Battle System – "MMORPG style abilities meet tactical RPG battle in Wakfu", -and it’s a marriage that’ll last a long, long time. Entering a battle causes a series of grid spaces to appear on the floor and you and your enemies take up position for a fight. From there you use various abilities and spells to knock their health down before yours disappears. Battle is turn-based and thinking tactically (with the help of basic math) can mean the difference between domination and death.

Wakfu Screenshot 1

Pets – Although they’re not technically pets, Wakfu does allow you to capture and use the monsters you come across in future battles. You summon them and they can aid you in battle. I can imagine that for some, Wakfu is just a great big Pokemon MMO, and to be quite honest I can see why they’d draw that conclusion.

Wakfu Review - Neutrals

The Music – The music for Wakfu is incredibly pleasant at first, quite relaxing and seriously suited to the title and the world. Then you realize it’s on a loop. Let me say – just so that I can say it without any chance of misinterpretation – looped music – especially when said music is on for longer than a few minutes – is always a bad thing. And it manages to be that way in Wakfu as well.

Pacing Problems – This might seem counter to what I say earlier, but the battle system and the way you explore has a negative side. Fighting little kitten or rabbit monsters, in a different MMO, would take seconds. You could bash away at them unashamedly and count the experience points almost before the animation has finished playing. Not so in Wakfu, where any given battle can take a couple of minutes at best. It’s not decidedly a bad thing, but at the same time it doesn’t feel like the sort of thing you can rush through either.

Wakfu Screenshot 1


Conclusion - Wakfu Review

"Wakfu is an excellent game, it really is. "

It brings together so many elements and makes them work so successfully, that I’m thinking other developers should hire Ankama Games on a consultancy basis. On paper perhaps it sounds like a mismatch of different themes and ideas, but in actually playing it’s difficult to notice it blends so well. While there really aren’t any negatives to talk of, Wakfu won’t be for everybody and the slower gameplay will out and out annoy some. I still suggest everybody try it out, however, because I can’t help but think a lot of people will be surprised that such an MMO exists, and that it’s actually very good.

by M. Growcott
© 2012 -


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