Free Realms Beta Review

April 24, 2009

Free Realms is a beginner’s MMO that may very well do for free-to-play games what World of Warcraft did for the MMO gaming world in 2004.  I haven’t been able to spend a lot of time in-game, but the little I have played has been pretty positive.

I loved:

  • The world is wonderfully designed and drawn.
  • Color is in abundance and beautifully displayed.
  • The UI set-up is simple to understand and it doesn’t try to take over the screen.
  • The screen is bright, but not annoyingly so.
  • I loved listening to the music while playing, and even found myself tapping my foot along to it.
  • Great usage of the mouse and keyboard controls, I really found myself moving and interacting without much worry of which key did what.
  • The quest lines are wonderful and I found myself genuinely worried for so-and-so’s package that was stolen by hooligans.
  • The skill leveling is an interesting concept and can really make for interesting grouping.

I didn’t like so much:

  • I had a lot of trouble losing the lag on my DSL line (which could be on the fix list already)
  • The instancing for every quest started to bother me, especially with the lagginess, but I can deal with it.
  • Voice-overs need to read the quests too, not just the tutorial parts. I think a lot of the younger kids who play this will be turned off when they see all the quest text for them to read. Plus it would make the story come to life for their imaginative minds.
  • The skill leveling can be confusing especially to a first time MMO player who wants their one toon to max everything.

Overall, I love the game and the ideas it has. I won’t be leaving my other MMOs for it, but I will definitely put it on my list to check out more than once a week.