Swords of Legends Online has a great traversal system and a beautiful world, but other than that there isn’t much to separate it from other MMORPGs.
While Wangyuan Shentang Entertainment’s Swords of Legends Online has been out in China for quite a while, the MMORPG is just now gearing up for launch in western countries. Screen Rant was given the opportunity to spend a little bit of time with the game’s alpha and get a feel for it before the full release this summer. In the limited offerings of the alpha there isn’t anything that threatens to shake up the genre much, but there should be plenty of fun things to keep fans of MMORPGs satisfied.
Swords of Legends Online is set in a world based on Chinese mythology and includes story beats centered around powerful ancient swords, an assortment of gods, and a fight between good and evil. It’s all pretty standard fantasy fare, but due to some rough translations and a large amount of characters it’s difficult to keep track of what’s actually going on at any point in time in the storyline. This will hopefully be fixed as the launch date gets closer, but the story borders on nonsensical at the moment in its worst instances of this issue, which could be a turn-off for potential players if it goes unaddressed.
Swords of Legends Online plays a lot like other popular MMOs, and the majority of the quests amount to tasks like “go here and kill these enemies” or “go here and pick up X number of this item.” These are quest types like World of Warcraft or Elder Scrolls Online, so there are no surprises here. Since the story is so difficult to follow, these quests do feel a little more disjointed than they would in another game. There usually isn’t much direction on why a task needs to be completed.
Combat in Swords of Legends Online also feels generic. When fighting, the player will need to approach enemies and then press the left or right mouse button to attack them. Each button is assigned to a different skill that will deal a specific type of damage to the enemy. With this early build there didn’t seem to be much in the way of unique attack types to choose from or ways to combine attacks in interesting ways. This means that combat boils down to just walking up to an enemy and clicking the mouse until they are dead. The player will unlock other attacks that can be assigned to other keys, but the only real difference was the amount of damage that these attacks dealt, rather than a much-needed diversification in combat approach.
By far the most fun aspect of Swords of Legends Online is its traversal method. Moving through the environment feels incredible as the player can sprint and glide around however they wish, even acquiring mounts that allow them to fly around the world. It is easy to forget whatever task the game has just requested for completion and instead get lost in the clouds while riding on a flying sword. The closest comparison to this traversal method is the similar amounts of fun and freedom in Spider-Man’s web-swinging.
Swords of Legends Online is also an absolutely gorgeous game. The world around the player is bright and colorful, but it does feel a little claustrophobic at times. At first glance it seems to be a large open world, but it’s actually much smaller and going back and forth between the main hub area and new locations wears thin quicker than expected. This may open up as time goes on, but during the Alpha it seems to be a fairly constrained environment.
A first look at Swords of Legends Online reveals little that sets it apart from the many other MMORPGs that currently populate the market. Its hard-to-follow story doesn’t help it in this department either, but being able to explore its beautiful world in such an exhilarating way does make things a little more interesting. Players will have to wait and see how Swords of Legends Online evolves when it releases later this year, but if nothing else, its aesthetic and modes of transportation mean it’s worth keeping an eye on to see how it develops over the next several months.
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Swords of Legends Online will release on PC during the Summer of 2021. Screen Rant played the Alpha using a PC code provided by the developer.
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