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Lineage 2

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  Reviewed by Torrick Ward
June 29, 2004
NC Soft
NC Soft
Massively Multiplayer Online games are notoriously difficult to review. The game you get at launch will be vastly different two or three updates down the line. Plus the time commitment doesn't allow a reviewer to really get into the game past the surface.

If this suggests to you that my opinion of Lineage 2 is less that glowing, you're right. Lineage 2 is a solid, pretty entry into the fantasy massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG) genre, but it offers nothing that other games don't and additionally it has problems on its own.

First, the good stuff. Lineage 2 is a gorgeous game. With a machine that meets the recommended specs, you get solid framerates and smooth animation at reasonable resolutions. The character models are beautiful, especially the women. The sound and music are appropriate although, there doesn't appear to be an abundance of different music.

Now on to the problems. Lineage 2 is pretty; it's also has little diversity in either the appearance or abilities of your character. There are only five races and your choice of race has a great effect on the abilities your character will receive. Each race has a male and female model and some small customization options. However, you will still see plenty of other player who look just like your character running around.

Each character can only choose to be a fighter of a mage, however as time goes on, you can specialize in various other jobs that take on the healer or mage roles for example. However, your ability to specialize is again limited by your race, leaving some races with only 2-3 options.

Questing is of the same type as every other MMORPG. Search and destroy, fed ex missions, etc. Lineage 2 doesn't appear to do it any better or worse than any other game. The controls are awful. A mouse makes a fine targeting tool and tool to go through menus. A mouse is one of the WORST movement controls in my opinion. The game does give you the ability to use the keyboard to move, but you still need to use the mouse and the keyboard controls are clunky and poorly laid out.

Worse is that you can't customize your commands so that they are more comfortable to your play style. I sincerely hope that this is changed in a future update as it is a serious liability to the playability of Lineage 2.

Lineage 2 is a decent multiplayer online game. However, with the competition, here now (like NCSoft's fantastic City of Heroes), and coming later (Everquest II and World of Warcraft) there are just better ways for a gamer to spend his time.

(Click to Enlarge)

Minimum Requirements...
Windows 98/ME/2000/XP (Windows 95 and NT are not supported); 800 Mhz Intel Pentium III or equivalent; 256 MB RAM; 4X CD-ROM; 2.2 GB hard drive space free; Geoforce 2 (or higher) video card with 32 MB VRAM; DirectX 8.1 compatible sound card; 56 K internet connection.


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