Published by Sega Entertainment
Developed by Three Rings Design
Spiral Knights is a fun little MMO that brings back memories of Phantasy Star Online. Phantasy Star was a great online RPG that was a lot like good old Dungeon Crawlers, but more as an action RPG. Spiral Knights is much like it, and shouldn’t be surprising as both games where presented by Sega.
The game starts out just getting out of a crash site from which their people survived a crash landing on a planet called Cradle. You make your way to a base camp for recruits and then go through a small dungeon that gets you ready for the main game which is building up a new society for the little Knights and that means dungeon crawls and beating the crap outta lots of enemies.
This is an action RPG so you’re moving about and attacking in real time, now hitting a number key for a different skill. You have attack, defend, swap weapons and use stocked item. That’s it. You don’t even really get items from town, they’re all gained in dungeons and they disappear as you leave the dungeon. Now while that might seem kind of lame, its actually not. You don’t have this stringent management of items in your inventory or have to worry about running out of ammo of guns since those are infinite. You just have different rates of fire. But you also can’t equip anything in a dungeon either, only in certain waypoints at which you can also decide to go back to town from can you equip anything.
Now, this also being a multiplayer game, its best played with multiple people, to a max of 4 players at a time. Having a full party means you’ll last longer and it also means that you’ll get better loot. But the game is also gonna be harder on you, especially for rooms and hallways that can only be accessed by four players and requires you all to be there. So you have a lot to think about in terms of survivability.
This is a free to play MMO meaning that you don’t have to pay for anything in the game, but you can pay for one of the games resources called ‘Energy’. Energy is used for many things, like accessing doors, levels in the dungeons and for reviving yourself if you die in combat. Which just pops you right back in the game where you left off instantly arcade style. The problem is that reviving yourself costs more Energy and the only way to get it back, is to wait. Just wait. And you’ll wait a while. I can understand having something that recharges that’s important to a game, but how long you have to wait before your Energy recharges is way to f***ing long. The only other way to get more or to make your cap higher, is to buy it with micro transactions. Its a one time thing, so when you run out of the energy you’ve bought its gone. This is one that’s a potential money sink if you want to gorge on it, and that’s actually brilliant from a marketing standpoint. You can also buy materials for crafting and actually Crystal Energy which is used more for crafting that your regular Energy is.
My real only gripe about the game is the long time in which Energy replenishes and the fact of it running out during play is too jarring. Its definitely worth it since its free to play, and now that they have Player-versus-Player in the game its even more interesting than before. Just gotta work on that Energy issue.