Lineage 2: Revolution has been out in South Korea since the end of the last year, and it's already one of the biggest games in the country. It's showing no signs of slowing down either.
Now that it's finally made its way out West, it's easy to see why it's been such a big hit – though it might not be best suited for a broader audience.
It's a best-in-class MMORPG that combines magnificent visuals with easy-to-follow menus and instructions, but it relies a lot on auto-play and very basic mission structures that wrestle most of the action away from the player.
Talkin' 'bout a revolution
Lineage 2: Revolution follows many of the traditional MMO tropes - you create a character from one of four classes, get thrown into a beginner's area, and start killing monsters to earn your keep.
Or to be more exact, you're almost instantly told to hit the "auto-quest" button and watch as your character runs from NPC to NPC, occasionally slaughtering enemies between conversations.
You can directly control your character if you so wish, but there's no incentive to. The analogue stick is a little fiddly, and the computer is much better at fighting than you, so you might as well just let the game play itself.
To stop this from getting too dull, the fights themselves look magnificent. Your character animations are ridiculously over-the-top, and every area is littered with enemies to kill, allowing you to grind out missions in mere seconds.
Where's the revolution?
You never feel too overwhelmed by the action either. There's an isometric view to prevent you seeing too much of the world and freaking out, and character systems are slowly opened up to you as you progress, so you don't end up lost in menus straight away.
It's also very generous with its early-game rewards, allowing you to rapidly grow to a point at which you're destroying hordes of enemies without the usual beginning grind.
There are some issues - the servers are already getting full, so it can take a while to log on, and you'll probably be hit by some stuttering gameplay even with your graphics setting on low.
And if you're not accustomed to auto-play, you might find yourself becoming a little bored of simply watching the action happen without much input.
Round and round
There's no mistaking that Lineage 2: Revolution is a wonderful game. It's a great first entry for newcomers to the MMORPG genre, and it promises plenty of content for hardcore fans to sink hundreds of hours into.
Auto-play could be the main sticking point for most people -either you'll appreciate not having to perform repetitive actions to grind levels, or you'll be bored by a lack of control over the game.
If you're the former, then this is an essential game to add to your collection. For people in the latter camp, it's still worth checking out just to see how good an MMORPG really can be.
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