Video game review: Tree of Savior picks up Steam this weekend
The internet is constantly generating fancy new abbreviations and memes. Most gamers are aware that MMORPG stands for Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game but old geezers from my generation aren’t always with it when it comes to the internet.
These days video games hold your hand and coddle you. Players are rewarded every 10 seconds for the smallest achievements and aren’t punished for their mistakes. In today’s RPGs everyone is super-powerful and godly within the first hour of game time and attention spans are getting shorter than a Planck constant.
Back in my day, if you didn’t save your game you lost everything when you died. If you put points into the wrong stats, too bad — you just lived with it or started over. Warriors got mowed down by spells, healers died with one or two chops by a sword and rogues picked locks and hid in the shadows. Back in my hay-day magical items were epic and legendary items didn’t yet exist.
So here in 2016, Tree of Savior by IMC games is like a breath of fresh air for video game veterans like me. Imagine if you could take Legend of Zelda and Final Fantasy from Nintendo, mix them together, update the graphics and make it available to enjoy online with your friends. Well now you can — and for FREE.
Starting out in the character creation screen you can choose to start as a Swordsman, Cleric, Archer, or Wizard. Typical RPG fare — but as you gain class levels you can advance to different circles of specialization to really customize your character.
There are so many classes I can’t even list them all, but here are some: Ranger, Priest, Highlander, Pyromancer, Hunter, Paladin, Barbarian, Rogue, Monk, Sorcerer, Druid, Alchemist, Canoneer, Templar, Shinobi and more.
Tree of Savior will be launched
April 30 May 10th for the PC on the Steam network and will have 80 classes available to choose from as you progress through the hundreds of character levels.
It should be mentioned that the graphics and artwork for this game are very detailed and inspired. It’s like the perfect mix of League of Legends and Final Fantasy Tactics. It may not be a graphical achievement the way Call of Duty or Crysis 3 is, but it still pushes the limits in a different way.
Although it was released in Beta format, development is on-going and the game isn’t perfectly optimized. Even on my beast-mode PC I still experienced frame rate problems during graphically intense moments or in the heavily populated cities.
Another interesting aspect of this game is the robust exploration and collection systems that exist. You are heavily rewarded for full clears of the map and for killing all of the enemies in these zones. It makes you want to explore each and every area, even ones that are below your level that you may have missed.
I recommend that you connect an XBOX or PlayStation controller to your computer through a program called DS4 Windows. This plug and play app uses Bluetooth to seamlessly integrate the controller and Tree of Savior was designed to use this technology. It’s easy, fun and makes the game much more enjoyable.
All of these aside, there are a few drawbacks to Tree of Savior. Although this is a free-to-play release, you can upgrade to a premium experience that gives you increased benefits for $10 per month. Premium users receive 30 per cent more XP, move faster, have more trading ability and can enter more dungeons per day. It’s almost pay-to-win, which is a bad thing.
Personally, I didn’t appreciate the objectification and over-sexualization of female characters but the online forums are telling me to relax because it’s a culturally accepted style of artwork called anime. The game is rated Teen, but parents should be warned.
Another criticism is the drastic amount of time that it takes to reach high levels in Tree of Savior and some are calling this game a “Korean grind-fest.” It takes a lot of dedication and commitment to reach the end-game plateaus. If you enjoy the combat and exploration, Tree of Savior becomes more about the journey and not the destination.
Graphics and Visuals: 8.5/10
Gameplay and Controls: 8/10
Music and Sound: 7/10
Replay Value: 10/10
OS: Windows XP
Processor: Intel Pentium Core 2 (or AMD Athlon X2)
Memory: 4 GB RAM
Graphics: Nvidia Geforce 8600 (or ATI/AMD Radeon HD 4650)
Network: Broadband Internet connection