If you’re using a Nokia Lumia, you may be thankful to be able to use it even with gloves on. Order & Chaos proves that gloves can come in handy not only when it’s blistering cold outside. This game will heat your device so much so that you could easily make fried eggs on it. There’s no need to worry about your device taking much damage, though. The battery will deplete so fast that your phone will shut down long before it reaches any critical state. I’m serious. I’ve been playing the game plugged in, and the battery still depleted faster than the charger was able to compensate.
These two points pretty much summed up all negative things one could say about Order & Chaos, besides the fact that it is highly addictive. If you have ever fallen for World of Warcraft as I did a couple of years ago, you will know what I’m talking about.
“Wait, did he reference WoW here? He’s talking about a mobile game, right?” Yes indeed. Order & Chaos is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) very heavily inspired by the aforementioned bestseller by Blizzard. I could call it a blatant rip-off, which would be definitely true. But the game sets such high standards in mobile gaming that it would just feel unfair to consider it that way. In all honesty, I believe copying what made WoW the famous game it has become is certainly better than trying to come up with its own mechanics and failing terribly, which is something most MMORPGs had to face sooner or later.
Graphics and Sound
As a former long-time WoW player, I already recognized the familiarity upon creating a character. So even before I entered the game itself. Humans, Elves, Orcs, and Undead look very much like they do in their role models. It doesn’t stop there. Cities, forests, animals, and whatnot, pretty much everything, show where O&C’s developers and designers took their inspiration. That’s a good thing, though, as it made me kind of feel at home. The graphics are presented in comic style and look really impressive, considering that it’s an open world with heaps of NPCs, enemies, animals, and other players moving around. With this in mind, it’s close to a little miracle that the game runs very smoothly with no noticeable lag at all.
The UI is played out rather nicely. On the top left, you see your character’s portrait with his health points and mana (or other energies depending on the class you play) and experience points beneath it. In the fight, a portrait of your enemy pops up right next to yours, providing the same information besides experience, that is. The top right shows a tiny but still helpful map, and along the bottom, you find access to chat and your selected skills. Unlike WoW, there aren’t endless buttons or icons, but 3 simple buttons on the bottom right of the screen, giving you quick access to whatever you decide to place there. Be it potions, spells/attacks, or even special abilities like crafting weapons or armor. Swiping quickly over these buttons made them rotate and revealed another 3 buttons for you to use.
The soundtrack has an epic feel to it. And yes, even that one is obviously inspired by WoW. It’s actually that great that I don’t turn it off like I used to do in most other games. Sound effects are very well done, too, with a couple of voice interactions whenever you tap an NPC, weapon, and ambient sounds.
Gameplay / Controls
What am I supposed to say? It’s all about completing quests, grinding, and overall improving your character’s stats and equipment—the two major things making WoW – and now Order & Chaos – as addictive as they are. Being an MMORPG, a couple of you guys will certainly be excited to hear that the game even offers PvP. Unfortunately, there’s only Arena PvP, so no open-world battles or at least battlegrounds. Nevertheless, it gives you the opportunity and ability to kick some serious butt!
Moving along the world is fairly easy. Your thumb on the left controls a floating virtual d-pad, whereas your right thumb is used to perform different actions: you can move the camera around, activate your skills, and jump. Interaction with NPCs or enemies is explained in a tutorial as you play. It would’ve been good if the game showed you how to interact with other players as well, but it’s not rocket science, so you’ll get the hang of it rather quickly.
Because O&C is a mobile game, you can’t expect the complexity of MMORPGs you would play on a computer. Thus you do not have a huge variety of races and classes or even skills. The latter does, of course, make sense, as you have only 6 slots where you can put skills. The races you can choose from are Humans and Elves (Order), Orcs and Undead (Chaos), and Mendels (neutral), each offering certain special abilities or boosts.
Having only 4 classes, namely Warriors, Monks, Mages, and Rangers, was kind of a letdown for me first. Until I came to realize that Gameloft actually used the talent trees of their classes to bring more variety into play, the Ranger, for example, can be played as the bow-carrying hunter or as the sneaky, attacking from behind rogue kind of guy. Monks are healers or – much to my surprise – badass melee abilities. You can, of course, combine both available talent trees to come up with a unique mix of both worlds. You will miss the high talent skills then, though.
Motivation / Price
Chaos & Order has this “just this last quest.. Only that last few XP needed to level up.” feel to it. It is certainly hard to put down. Gameloft has really made this a must-have game for everyone who likes to engage in RPGs. Even if you’re not interested in playing online with others, there’s enough to discover all on your own. You will be missing dungeons and certain quests requiring a group, but that aside, it’s perfect for playing solo.
For $6.99, the game is certainly not cheap. Still, keeping in mind that it’s an online-only game that requires no additional fees and offers hours and hours of gameplay, it’s improbable that you will find many other games offering so much for your money, especially on a mobile device.
If you like(d) World of Warcraft: don’t wait. Go and get it! If you’re not much of a fan of WoW but still like a solid and good RPG: download the test version, which lets you play up to level 8 for free and see if you like it or not. I, for one, am sold.
This article is long enough now. I gotta get back to playing Order & Chaos now. My kickass melee monk is waiting for me. ;)