Let’s start at the beginning, with the storyline. You wake up aboard a ship. It soon becomes apparant that you almost drowned. Aboard of the vessel you are taught the basics of the game. The ship drops you off on Refuge Island, where you stay a while until you decide which faction you want to join. You can choose between Freeport (evil) and Qeynos (good). After you’ve been dropped off you continue your own way in this wonderful and adventurous world. Norrath is devided into various areas, inhabited by numerous creatures and NPC’s. Your goal is to solve quests and gain experience while you’re at it. You can choose between a wide choice of races among which are the High Elves, Humans, Dwarves and Kerra (cat-like creatures). Further on you have to choose between a few classes, for example, you can become a mage, a scout or a fighter, whatever suits you best. After a while you will be given a choice between subclasses. Some of the available subclasses are: Wizard, Brawler or Paladin.
Not only is the world of Norrath very extensive, it is also beautifully translated to your screen. The graphics in Everquest 2 are more than equal to those in Blizzard’s World of Warcraft. The characters and creatures are highly detailed and nicely animated. The watersurface wrinkles like something I’ve never seen before in any game. However as always the best is saved for last. The highlevel spells (and the spells in general) are extremly colorful. Regretfully, all this beauty comes with a pricetag. You will need an extremely up-to-date computer to play Everquest 2 in High Detail, otherwise I can garantuee you’ll experience lag, especially during battles.
On to the gameplay than. Sony Online really outdid themselves in this aspect of the game. The game might seem hard for those players who have not yet played this type of game, but even they will soon get the hang of it, especially with the help of the very extensive and helpful community. This communityfeeling is also present in the groups that you form throughout the game and it’s these groups that create a tremendous atmosphere troughout the game. A slight disadvantage here is the friendlist. You need to use the console to check who in your friendlist is online and furthermore you will also need it to send them messages using the ‘/tell’ command.
The soundeffects are very good concidering the type of game. But most of you will be used to better sounds. A plus is the huge amount of voiceacting that’s put into this game. NPC’s greet you in their own language, which is sometimes quite funny to hear. Another great aspect is the superb backgroundmusic. Each zone is outfitted with its own music that truly adds a finishing touch to the whole experience
Well then, aren’t there any downsides to this game at all? Well, as is for every other MMORPG currently available, there are still some bugs in the system. For instance, sometimes key npc’s won’t spawn, which means you can’t complete a specific part of a quest. Another bug consisted of not being able to log in to the game. However, SOE is working hard on getting all bugs out of the game and releases patches on a regular basis.
Conclusion: Everquest 2 is a highly addicting game for both the newbieplayer as for the experienced RPG-player. If you have a computer that can meet up to the requirements, then this game is without a doubt a right choice. You will, of course, have to take into account the monthly fee of 15$. Whether this game can compete with Blizzard’s World of Warcraft? Only time will tell.