the writings of a mind

Title: EverQuest: The Ruins Of Kunark
Big Word: 
Strap: Proverbs 32: 1-4 Can a lizard and a land make a whole world new?

Orcs. Goblins. Dwarves. Elves. And indeed Kobolds. Yes, we know, and you know, so let’s all get over it, and move on. This game is a year old now (Happy Birthday To You), which is plenty of time for everyone to have come to terms with the pure fantasy-ness of this title, and either shunned or accepted on this evidence. But now that it is back, is it time to reassess?

For those who haven’t come across Verant’s baby, EverQuest is a "massively multi-player" online RPG, that allows you to adopt a character, and plunge them into a huge fantasy world populated by over one thousand other Actual Real Life People. With your new persona you start at the very bottom of your race – a level 1 in everything – and then… well, just attempt to exist for as long as possible.

Those who are familiar with the whole caboodle (which is the word my search engine suggests when typing "Kobold") will want to know what’s changed. And the answer is not a simple one. The most obvious differences are the inclusion of a new race (the lizard-like Iksar) and a completely new continent, Kunark (Located south of Faydwer, if you want the geography). Plus, and probably most importantly, the upper difficulty levels have increased, meaning that you can now venture further into the game. Other changes won’t really impress the long-term player. There are graphical tweaks, some slightly tidier interfaces, and a few new monsters, but these are really things that should be, and have been, added in the regular free patches since the original release.

It’s a confusing release really. Those who already own EverQuest will be given the opportunity to upgrade at a discount, but those buying for the first time are paying a year old price for what is really just an update of an old game, which does seem a bit of a cheek.

While the pros and cons between this and Ultima Online are still pretty-much balanced, it is a shame that some more radical adaptations couldn’t have been included. The ability to buy and own your own houses is still annoying absent, plus some of UO’s extraordinarily unnecessary-but-fun details wouldn’t have gone amiss.

It appears to be the same game it was a year ago, which is probably the best MMP RPG game available – but unfortunately still at last years prices.

 Verdict: Still huge. Still smooth. Still engrossing. Still thirty quid.


Tech Specs:

Publisher: Ubi Soft
Developer: Verant
Price: £30