After buying the Darkensang license from its original developer Radon Labs, Bigpoint came up with the genius idea of a hack’n slash online video game using the original game’s graphic engine (The Nebula 3 game engine). Darkensang Online entered a closed beta test phase on April 2011 before starting the Open Beta the next summer. The first players then discovered an impressive free and without subscription, RPG game that only requires a web browser. Today, the online platform can be proud of luring more than 2 million members over the past two years.
At the very beginning, Darkensang Online, revealed in the Gamescon 2010, gives you the choice between four distinct classes of characters. Each one of them has its particular skills. The game allows you to explore, alone or in groups, monster-infested areas and also engage in PvP (Player versus Player) fights in arenas or in some servers dedicated to that purpose. What is really amazing about this game is its ease of access. You don’t need to download software or anything else, and the result is quite impressive. The 3D visual rendering represents a major technical achievement for a browser-based game. Besides, the fights are very dynamic, even though there is a lack of skills that can be used by the characters, especially when the player is outnumbered by the monsters, and it happens very often, to the player’s dismay.
Darkensang Online is part of a myriad of online RPG games. Hopefully, it managed to match the quality of its opponents, if not exceed it. Its main opponent is Runescape, which has been around for quite a while and whose age does show a bit in its graphics. Nevertheless, it still holds the top spot on the most played browser-based RPG games. There’s also A Mystical Land which takes a different direction than the previous games and offers slight tweaks on the traditional gameplay. For instance, each action may have an associated skill which can be used to level up your character. But unlike its opponents, Darkensang Online has visually stunning 3D graphics and outstanding character development.
All in all, Darkensang Online is an action-packed world that has an interesting gameplay reminiscent of a few PC classics. It seems to be a great alternative to successful games like Diablo. Still, the downside to this game is that it pretends to be 100% free while it is not. In fact, the use of cash shop is nothing scandalous in itself in a free-to-play, but the prohibitive tariffs are, especially as they apply to vital resources, that unlock powerful items, enhancers, chests, allows you to travel through portals, to resurrect and to have access to dungeons for groups. But if you’re fond of hack’n slash games, don’t hesitate to give this one a try!
Drakensang online is published and developed by the German game developer Bigpoint (In 2010, the company bought Radon labs, the original developer of the game after it had filed for bankruptcy). Founded in 2002, the company develops stand-alone browser-based games as well as social network games. In addition to its headquarters in Hamburg, Germany, Bigpoint maintains offices in Berlin, San Francisco, Malta and Sao Paulo. Some of the company's games include: Battlestar Galactica Online, Farmerama, DarkOrbit and Seafight. In fact, the company has over 200 million registered users and over 800 employees (announced in June 2011).
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