Posted on 2008-05-20 by sirstarNo comments
I've played NeoSteam closed beta so I'll give you my overall review of the game based on a few criteria:
Overview: NeoSteam much like many standard mmos out there with a few defining features. You grind to gain levels, do quests that follow a rough storyline, and kill monsters for equipment. However the main defining feature is its focus on nation wars. Players are split into nations from lv1, and players from opposing nations cannot understand each other's language. At higher levels you receive quests to kill enemy military npcs, which require you to go to another nation. When you are there you are vulnerable to getting killed by that nation's players.
- Generally dull colored, 3d. However the world is large, and the poor graphics are probably better for realm wars due to the large number of people involved. When too many people are on screen they turn into crystals instead of displaying the graphic, which probably reduces the load on poor graphic cards.
- Skill graphics are equally unimpressive. Damage and effects are also applied when the skill is cast for most skills before the animation is completed.
- Some map features are purely graphic only and have no impact on movement. When taking the steam balloon you might notice yourself passing though many of these as if they weren't there. Some slopes that look transversable are actually not. There is no real water in the game. Water looks like mist at low level, and there are no beaches to the sea.
User interface is blocky and not curvy. The buttons look dull too, just like the rest of the game world.
- Characters do not look detailed or pretty compared to other mmos up close. However NeoSteam focused on making the game world huge compared to your avatar, so this might be unavoidable.
- Terrain generally looks realistic and believable and some places, like forests, look pretty grand. Deserts are almost featureless and the hell area is pretty dismal looking... but it is the hell area. There are several major terrain features like waterfalls and some buildings, but generally the world is divided into areas where the terrain changes abruptly when passing from one to another, and within an area, terrain is almost uniform, with the same plants, rocks, monsters etc.
- Largely mouse based. You can control your camera angle using the right mouse button, as well as your zoom using the mouse wheel. Skills can be used by right clicking their icon or using hotkey buttons 0-9 and shift 0-9. Movement is mouse based.
- There is also an auto target keyboard button, sit, quick reply and attack/loot.
- Quest system is relatively easy and straightforward.
- Lack of instruction regarding certain aspects of gameplay, like upgrading, crafting, job change, using machine skills, and siege weapons/machines.
- Unlike most mmos that have only 2 bars for you to be concerned about, NeoSteam has 5. This isn't really a good thing. Besides the HP/MP bars, there is a stamina bar, a NeoSteam bar, and a pet food bar. (which has to be checked occasionally using t button) Skills either use MP or Stamina. Pets consume food bar constantly when active and when they use some skills.
- 4 Races. Human, elf, some short dwarf guy, and a musclebrain. 4 jobs designed for each of these races. Rogue, mage, craftor and fighter respectively. Each job has 2 specializations which you get at lv10, (quite early) which result in having different skills. It is not known if there are any other job changes in future.
- NeoSteam focuses a lot on Nation wars. There are 3 nations, technique (machine), mystery (magic) and nature. (not their actual names) Each have their own nation bonuses as well as slightly different job skills. In closed beta only technique and mystery were playable. Killing a player from an opposing nation grants you soulstones as well as patriotism points, which currently do not seem to have any purpose.