Swords of Legends Online Review – pretty Asia Story MMORPG in Test

In the new Chinese MMORPG Swords of Legends Online, we become immortal to take up the fight against demons and ancient evil dragons

Swords Of Legends Online Review
pretty Asia Story MMORPG in Test
Swords Of Legends Online Review
pretty Asia Story MMORPG in Test

In this Swords of Legends Online Review (PC Gameplay) you get all the info about the new theme park MMORPG from Gameforge, which has a release date in summer 2021 & looks really nice. All details about the combat system, character creation, classes, skills, crafting, housing, quests, story, item store, Pay2Win, translation, and much more.


German Version:

This article is available here as text, but also as a YouTube video (German voice-over, many subtitles). This way you can choose how you would like to enjoy it most.

Swords of Legends Online Review Video

German Voice-Over, many subtitles

Swords of Legends Online Review – Intro

Hi there, it’s the Zap. In this Swords of Legends Online review, you get a little insight into the new story MMORPG from the Far East. I’ll tell you how it is played, what’s in it and at the end, there is a rating by me. But most of all I want to give you all the info, so you can decide for yourself if the game could be fun for you.

The game is developed by Wangyuan Shengtang Entertainment and published by Gameforge. I received a free trial key, my thanks for that. However, this should not affect my review, as I always test all games with the thought in the back of my mind, how would I feel if I had paid full price.

Swords of Legends Online – Background

Swords Of Legends Online Review
Background
Swords Of Legends Online Review
Background

Swords of Legends Online is a Chinese MMORPG. It is published in Europe and North America by Gameforge. You can currently find the game in their launcher, but it is also already on pre-sale through Steam.

In MMORPGs, it is common to use abbreviations of the game title, like just WoW instead of World of Warcraft or ESO instead of Elder Scrolls Online. In Swords of Legends Online, this is also done, but ironically this results in “SOLO”. So a massively multiplayer online game that is abbreviated as SOLO, quite a bit strange.

The German publisher Gameforge is a specialist in online games since 2003. They are known for OGame, Metin2, Runes of Magic, Tera, Wizard101, and also for Aion that they took over from NCSoft. However, most of these titles are getting a bit long in the tooth, so Gameforge is probably in desperate need of new titles. With Swords of Legends Online, the company from Karlsruhe is now launching a new major MMORPG, we’ll see if this can be interesting for Western fans.

Asia MMORPG – Translation, Autoplay, Grind?

Swords Of Legends Online Test 
Asia MMORPG - Translation, Autoplay, Grind
Swords Of Legends Online Test
Asia MMORPG – Translation, Autoplay, Grind

Online games differ greatly depending on their global orientation, here the origin of the developers is often a crucial point. The approaches in Europe or America compared to games from the Far East are absolutely opposite here.

There are some games that try to combine both worlds, sometimes Asia online games are completely reworked especially for the Western market, sometimes successful, often not so much. So let’s ask ourselves first, where do Swords of Legends stand with this?”

When it comes to the success of Asia Games in the Western market, an important influencing factor is always how good the translation is and, more importantly, how completely it has been executed. There are a lot of bad examples here, where games looked nice at first sight, but when you take a closer look you end up in front of Chinese text or item tooltips and then the fun quickly goes out the window when you don’t understand anything.

In SOLO, the on-screen texts are already mostly available in German and English, so here I can already turn the first warning light to green and give the all-clear. All skills, all equipment, all quest texts, books, scrolls, and whatever else there is to read are already provided in German and English. And the translation is not always perfect, but almost always well understandable, and far better than Google translator level.

The voice-over was in the beta but still in Chinese. But it should come to the release in English. Where I still have some doubts, because almost all dialogs in the game are completely dubbed. And because of that, there is this incredible amount of language in the game, and that will certainly mean a lot of work.

And since this part isn’t even in the game yet, it seems that work on it hasn’t progressed very far. Otherwise, it would have been at least partially built into the game already. So this second warning light is on orange so far.

Another important factor for me when it comes to Asian MMORPGs is always whether the game is infested with so-called autoplay features. Or you are playing yourself and not just watching. If you can’t do anything with the term autoplay now, a short explanation about it. In some MMORPGs, there are options, through which, for example, you no longer have to run, ride, fly to the next quest goal yourself, but you just click on a link in the quest text, and then the character runs off to the quest goal by itself. It is sometimes perhaps quite convenient, but in the long run extremely boring.

The issue is in some cases further escalated by auto-combat, so that the character automatically seeks out opponents, attacks, loots, and starts all over again. In western games, this is called botting, and it would be a reason for a ban, in some Asia MMOs this is now a game feature. There you’re more of a spectator as a result, pressing “continue” every now and then and that keeps your character busy for another 10 minutes.

And here, as well, I can then give the thumbs-up. Swords of Legends Online has neither auto travel nor auto-combat features. This game is more western in this regard and requires actions by the player in order for the character to move. There are fast travel systems and very fast mounts that can also fly, which cuts down on long journeys. But that all require human input. So this warning light is on dark green, all is fine in this area.

One question still remains, how grind-heavy is SOLO? Do you level up your character only by masses of kills or are there proper quests, story and more complex progression systems? Again, I can report positives, at least for fans of good stories and multi-layered role-playing systems. SOLO has an enormous abundance of quests, most of which are played in a rather linear sequence. At the same time, in many cases, a story is told that is not completely flat and boring. On the contrary, here it even gets really complex in parts.

There are convoluted stories, many characters that appear several times, and sometimes longer conversations and cutscenes are built into the quests. There are open-world tasks but also instanced missions, and sometimes the game switches between these two options in the middle of a quest.

If you are more of a hack & slay fan, the amount of story could even possibly be too much for you. I had a few friends join me in the beta test, and due to the amount of dialogue, two of them soon quit because it was too much questing and not enough action for their liking.

However, the still unfinished voice acting certainly plays a role in this. You can click through all the texts, but some quests are a bit more complex and if you haven’t read what was asked for, it could sometimes be more difficult to solve the tasks.

Gameplay – Game Type

Swords Of Legends Online (Deutsch) Review - Superschickes Asia MMORPG im Test [German,many subtitles 03 Game Type - Spieltyp
Swords Of Legends Gameplay
Game Type

So, I’ve already listed some basics in the previous section, so here are a few more quick details on how to play SOLO.

There are a total of six different character classes, here we go from sword and staff melee fighters over battle mages to summoners, who can also be healers. Details on the classes will follow in the next section.

This is a map-based game. So there is no completely continuous open world. But there are individual maps, which are connected with teleports and where you then have to wait for a short loading sequence.

The first maps in the game are rather tubular, but as they also lead you through the tutorial, this is rather intentional, so that you don’t get lost so easily. In some of the later areas, however, it gets so big that it almost feels like an open world.

In addition to the currently probably 9 large main maps and the capital that connects everything, there are then character class-based maps. Here, special class tutorials are woven in to explain how to get started with the class specifics but also background stories that get you even deeper into the character.

Swords of Legends Online Gameplay Screenshots (Part 1)

Click or tap into the image for a larger view.
In the enlarged view, you can scroll right and left on the edges

Swords of Legends Online – Combat Systems and Controls

Swords Of Legends Online (Deutsch) Review - Superschickes Asia MMORPG im Test [German,many subtitles 04 Combat Systems and Controls - Kampfsysteme und Steuerung
Swords Of Legends Online Review
Combat Systems and Controls

Basically, SOLO uses an action combat system, this means it largely avoids the classic locking in on targets with the tab key. Skills are automatically directed in front of the character, to where you are looking.

However, you don’t just have the option to zoom in and out to get a better overview or to be closer to the action. You can, somewhat like in Skyrim or similar games, also scroll directly into the character and thus switch to the first-person perspective. Then the fights become a bit more confusing, but you are absolutely in the middle of the action.

In addition, you can use the CTRL key to toggle the mouse cursor on and off, and thus choose whether you want direct camera control, or rather prefer control similar to a real-time strategy game. And in this mouse mode, you can then click and target enemies directly again, but this requires nimble mouse fingers in the sometimes bustling mess of combat.

Through these variations, there should actually be one of his favorite control options for almost every player. And who likes it, can also always switch back and forth, depending on what just fits the situation better. This variety actually surprised me in a very positive way and made the gameplay very enjoyable.

Gameplay – Characters

Swords Of Legends Online (Deutsch) Review - Superschickes Asia MMORPG im Test [German,many subtitles 05 Characters - Charaktere
Swords Of Legends Online Review
Characters

SOLO offers six character classes at the moment. Of these, all are playable in both genders and with any appearance. So there are no restrictions that you could only play certain classes in female or only in male, or that you would need a certain race or faction to do so. However, there are no different races in the game anyway, and you don’t have a choice of factions at the beginning. This can be seen as an advantage or disadvantage, it didn’t bother me here.

The character creation is relatively extensive and allows a wide range of different looks. Short, tall, thin, strong, handsome, frightening, bearded, or cute, here you have a lot of options. At the beginning of the game, the selection of hairstyles, tattoos, etc. here is still mediocre, but you get offered more choice in the game and also in the item store later then, and can further customize and visually refine your character.

The six character classes are roughly divided into three categories. There are the melee fighters first, with the Spearmaster and the Berserker. These are followed by the ranged mage classes with the Swordmage and Bard, and then the Summoner classes Reaper and Summoner. All classes then have group support abilities. So the magic classes can heal, while the Berserker builds protective walls for his party and the Spearmaster sets up combat apparatuses.

Each class then additionally has two different paths each, between which you can switch at any time outside of combat. In each path, you can also still switch several passive skills to achieve different effects on some abilities. This ranges from light passive buffs to different pets on the summoner. Here Swords of Legends Online offers some opportunities to customize the character according to your wishes somewhat in one or the other direction.

Crafting, Gathering, Housing

Swords Of Legends Online (Deutsch) Review - Superschickes Asia MMORPG im Test [German,many subtitles 06 Crafting, Gathering, Housing - Craften, Sammeln, eigenes Haus
Swords Of Legends Gameplay
Crafting, Gathering, Housing

Unfortunately, I could only see the crafting in the first stages until now, because it comes, just like the plant collecting relatively late into the game and is only available from about Lvl 20+. Also, I haven’t found any ores until level 25 yet, but I’m almost sure there will be some.

In any case, alchemy for potions and salves is also on offer. These can heal and give buffs, cooking food is also included. You can build armor and weapons, but again the requirements are a bit higher, so these game features can only be used more actively after level 25-30. How strong self-made equipment will be compared to collected boss drops from instances, I can not judge yet.

Housing in Swords of Legends is available at Max level on your own island in the clouds. These cloud islands are technically divided into regions. Each region is a collection of 20, so you can also live with guild members as neighbors. I couldn’t test it yet, but I assume that on the one hand there will be furniture and decoration for the house to find in the game, but also crafting and store items will certainly play a role here.

Housing offers a fancy place and the opportunity to let express yourself while decorating. To what extent this will then have an impact on the actual game, I can’t be sure at this point. Herb cultivation for buffs and healing potions, or even special blacksmithing would be conceivable here

Gameplay – Story

Swords Of Legends Online (Deutsch) Review - Superschickes Asia MMORPG im Test [German,many subtitles 07 Story - Geschichte
Swords Of Legends Online Game
Story

The game’s story is based on the 2014 Chinese fantasy television series Swords of Legends, which in turn is based on a 2010 PC role-playing game. What all three Swords of Legends pieces have in common is that they mix a lot of Chinese and Buddhist history and storytelling with fantasy elements.

This goes from magical swords in which immortal souls reside, to demigods just walking around, to animal-human creatures, dragons, magic, and many more fantasy features.

Right from the tutorial, our character enters into a kind of symbiosis with the soul of an ancient, sacred, and particularly powerful sword. Through this, we become an immortal, but there are plenty of them in the world. And besides the many immortals, saints and deities also walk around in the world, so it’s “nothing special.”

Our allied sword-soul is already many centuries old and has fought in many wars. However, it was shattered in the last “engagement”. So our character has only one of these many splinters at the beginning. The soul has been extremely weakened by this and has forgotten most of its experience as a result. The bond gets a little tighter very slowly, and as the game progresses we can find more shards of the Sword Soul.

There are a few more holy swords and probably some unholy ones as well. And for some of the swords, there are whole cults and factions that follow the bearer of the sword soul and fight for the particular sword. There’s a centuries-old war smoldering here that just seems to be breaking out anew, and of course, we’re right in the middle of the action.

Swords of Legends – PvE, PvP, and Endgame

Swords Of Legends Online (Deutsch) Review - Superschickes Asia MMORPG im Test [German,many subtitles 08 PvE, PvP & Endgame
Swords Of Legends Test
PvE, PvP & Endgame

In the alpha and beta tests so far, I have leveled my largest character to level 30. Thus, I can only make limited statements about the end game. However, it is already known that there will possibly be raid dungeons in addition to numerous dungeons.

Normal parties are 4 player groups and in the five dungeons currently in the game, you can select one of five difficulty levels when you start. At least in the easiest beginner level, these dungeons are then also doable for solo players. On top of that, you get AI-controlled companions in the course of the game, which you can also level up and use for dungeons to replace the group if necessary.

Player versus player combat or PvP is also emphasized in Swords of Legends. However, in addition to the normal duel system, there is just instanced PvP. This has the advantage that players who only feel like playing PvE do not run the risk of becoming hunting game. Update: Unfortunately, it came out later, that there IS open world PvP, and you can get attacked, even if you don’t want to. It is dependent on a certain skill. If you have the skill, other people with that skill can attack you without warning.

So for true PvP players who care about competing with others in a fair way, there will be offerings like duels, arenas, and battlegrounds. Just ambushing others unexpectedly from behind in the open world is not offered in Swords of Legends.

For long-term motivation, the game offers numerous maps full of quests and stories, as well as versatile ways to build up your character and fine-tune skills, equipment, and your house.

In addition, there are extensive factions with corresponding reputation gatherings and reputation stores. In addition, there are different difficulty levels in the instances and a wide range of daily and weekly quests, as well as other repeatable content.

To what extent this can provide lasting fun after a few weeks, however, or whether boredom is nevertheless announced after the end of the quest, I can unfortunately not yet fully judge at the moment. But it looks so far already very promising.

Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, Sfx, Gfx, Translation

Swords Of Legends Online (Deutsch) Review - Superschickes Asia MMORPG im Test [German,many subtitles 09 Tech, Graphics, Sound - Technik, Grafik, Sound, Engine, Sfx, Gfx, Translation
Swords Of Legends
Tech, Graphics, Sound, Engine, Sfx, Gfx, Translation

Swords of Legends is built using Unreal Engine 4, and this serves the game tremendously well, as the graphics are truly outstanding. Its characters, animations, world, and cities are all very detailed and spiffy overall.

So we can expect extremely good graphics here, relatively for an MMO, even if the China setting may put some off. All textures are high-resolution, there are a lot of graphic effects and yet it runs smoothly even on mid-range computers.

On top of that, SOLO offers an enormously extensive options menu, in which you can turn down the game graphically from hardware demanding until it should run even on very old computers. The minimum requirements are correspondingly low with a GTX760 or Radeon HD 7870 graphics card, an AMD FX or Intel I3 CPU, and 8 gigabytes of RAM. For the higher settings, however, you should have a reasonably up-to-date PC.

The music is Chinese and subtle in the background. It almost always fits the ambiance well, going from softly relaxing in the landscape to dramatically whipping in exciting cutscenes or battles.

A special feature is the almost continuous voice output, even if this is sadly, sadly currently still completely in Chinese. For the release, as I said, English is announced, German will not be available. But all subtitles and on-screen texts are already available in a usable state in German and English.

Chinese residual texts are absolutely rare and did not occur in important places. At least this is true in the first 25-30 hours of gameplay. I think it’s possible that it does happen more in the endgame.

All in all, it remains to say that the game ran very stable. For example, in more than 25 hours of testing with me or my fellow players, there was almost no quest that did not work, with the exception of 1-2 crafting tasks. These quests were somewhat poorly explained and then there was an item missing.

So it’s safe to assume that SOLO will also give a reasonable technical performance at release. Release disasters and bug-infested first weeks you do not need to fear here.

Release Date, Consoles, Monetization, Itemshop

Swords Of Legends Online (Deutsch) Review - Superschickes Asia MMORPG im Test [German,many subtitles 10 Release Date, Consoles, Monetization, Itemshop - Release Termin, Konsolen, Monetarisierung, Itemshop
SOLO (Deutsch) Review
Release Date, Consoles, Monetization, Itemshop

A release date for Swords of Legends Online is not exactly known at the moment. It is stated that the release date is for summer 2021 still. There is another beta from June 1 to June 8, so I suspect the actual release could be late June or in July.

The game will be available in the Gameforge Launcher, but it is also already available for pre-order in the Steam store. I can’t say at the moment if there will be other versions.

At present, there are no announcements for console variants for Playstation PS4, PS5 or Xbox One, Series X, or Series S. However, I can imagine that if the game gets reasonably accepted on PC, that could still be realized later.

Now shortly before release, there are already pre-order versions for the variants, which will then probably continue to be available afterward. So the game comes in three different versions. The standard edition for €39.90, the deluxe variant for €59.90, and for €99 you get a Collectors Edition. The bigger the package, the more costumes, housing items, and mounts are included.

There is an additional item store, in which, at least for now, only purely cosmetic items, mounts, and stuff for housing can be found. I’ve been looking around very carefully, but so far I can detect absolutely no Pay2Win in the game.

So it will probably also be like that at release. However, of course, something like this can always be patched into the game later. I hope Gameforge doesn’t make this mistake, but they wouldn’t be the first company to do something like this post-release.

Swords of Legends Online InGame Screenshots from the Beta (Part 2)

Click or tap into the image for a larger view.
In the enlarged view, you can scroll right and left on the edges

Swords of Legends Online Review – Opinion and Conclusion

Swords Of Legends Online (Deutsch) Review - Superschickes Asia MMORPG im Test [German,many subtitles 11 Opinion and Conclusion - Meinung und Fazit
Swords Of Legends Online Review
Opinion and Conclusion

In the beginning, SOLO was a bit confusing to me, because on the one hand the game is already quite complex, and on the other hand the current Chinese voice output is a bit difficult for ears that are not used to it. But after 1-2 hours this was no longer a problem for me. I turned the voice output down a bit and read more, then the game was wonderful and super enjoyable.

The entry point overall is so somewhat difficult. But if you get involved in the game and get into the enormously extensive features somehow, it unfolds more fun and pulls you to make just 2-3 more quests. Here you have quite often moments where you would just like to find out how the story around NPC XYZ continues.

An important point is that SOLO is absolutely a quest- and story-based MMORPG. If you’re more into pure action games and fast-quick rushing through content, you’ll have a lot of content to click through here. You can probably skip a lot of quests and level with grinding, but you’ll miss out on quite a bit.

But for fans of interesting stories who would rather quest and explore, enjoy history and simply immerse themselves in a special world, Swords of Legends Online offers a wonderful playground. And with the unusual Asia-Buddhism sword-gods premise, even if you’re a more experienced MMORPG player, you can expect plenty of stories that don’t conform to the usual standard pap of “fetch 10 wolf paws” and “kill 20 skeletons.”

The first maps are a bit of a tubular experience, but it becomes much more open later on. In the beginning, the game still seems like it has little fantasy besides the immortal swords. Because at first you only fight against small animals and human opponents.

But after some time this changes and there are many more variants and so from level 20+, there are then also fantastical animal opponents like wolf men or giant tiger men. You travel to the realm of the dead, fight demons, and it gradually becomes more and more imaginative.

After a somewhat difficult start, I had more and more fun in the game. And the complexity of the many features should keep it engaging for quite a long time.

Swords of Legends Online Review – Wertung

Swords Of Legends Online (Deutsch) Review - Superschickes Asia MMORPG im Test [German,many subtitles 12 Rating and Scoring - Wertung und Bewertung
Swords Of Legends Online Test
Rating and Scoring

When I look at the entry price of €39.99 or roughly $50, you definitely get at least 50-100 hours of entertainment and game content here for your money. That’s a good start. Many more expensive games offer far less.

Summarizing all this, I would like to give Swords of Legends Online a basic rating of 73%. In the event that the publisher can at least get the English voice acting right for the release, I might add another 5% on top of that.

Many important points are still unclear at the moment, e.g. how it will look with the endgame and permanent motivation, how persistently the item store will contain only cosmetics, how well the content updates will flow, etc… That’s why I want to be cautious with this, but if this all turns out positive, I would say that the game could then gain another 5% with reservations.

So in the current version, this lands us at least 73%, with English voice acting it could get to 78% and if the game delivers on its promises, 83% or even more is a possibility for Swords of Legends Online.

Swords Of Legends Online (Deutsch) Review - Superschickes Asia MMORPG im Test [German,many subtitles 12b Rating and Scoring with numbers 73 percent - Wertung und Bewertung mit Zahlen 73 prozent
Swords Of Legends Online Review
Rating and Scoring with numbers 73 percent

Swords Of Legends Online

Zap from Zapzockt.de

quadratische Cover zu Swords Of Legends Online (Deutsch) Review - Superschickes Asia MMORPG im Test - dunkel gekleidete Kampfmagierin zaubert auf den Betrachter, Logo zum Spiel im Vordergrund
In the new Chinese MMORPG Swords of Legends Online, we become immortal to take up the fight against demons and ancient evil dragons.
In the Swords of Legends Online Review (PC Gameplay) you get all the info about the new theme park MMORPG from Gameforge, which has a release date in summer 2021 & looks really fancy. All details about the combat system, character creation, classes, skills, crafting, housing, quests, story, item store, Pay2Win, translation, and much more.
Quest-Design
Scope
Graphics
Sound, Music and Voice-Over
State of the Game
MMORPG Basics, Balancing, PvE, PvP, Endgame, etc.
Price-Fun-Ratio

Rating

When I look at the entry price of €39.99 or roughly $50, you definitely get at least 50-100 hours of entertainment and game content here for your money. That’s a good start. Many more expensive games offer far less.
Summarizing all this, I would like to give Swords of Legends Online a basic rating of 73%. In the event that the publisher can at least get the English voice acting right for the release, I might add another 5% on top of that.
Many important points are still unclear at the moment, e.g. how it will look with the endgame and permanent motivation, how persistently the item store will contain only cosmetics, how well the content updates will flow, etc… That’s why I want to be cautious with this, but if this all turns out positive, I would say that the game could then gain another 5% with reservations.
So in the current version, this lands us at least 73%, with English voice acting it could get to 78% and if the game delivers on its promises, 83% or even more is a possibility for Swords of Legends Online.

3.7

Outro

Do you like Asian fantasy and quest-based MMORPGs? Or are Chinese stories and more PvE-oriented MMOs not your style? Feel free to write me your opinion in the comments or in the community Discord.

More gaming news, game reviews and guides can be found on the YouTube channel or at https://zapzockt.de – thumbs click, subscribe and share with friends certainly can’t hurt and then I wish you a great day, ciao, ciao, your Zap

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Gameforge Twitter

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Zap

Dirk "Zap" von ZapZockt.de, 40+ Gamer, zockt seit 1980 vor allem Strategie Titel, MMOs und Rollenspiele. Schreibt Game Reviews, Gaming News und auch mal über Technik, Hardware und YouTube. Mehr Infos findest Du unter Mehr über Zap lesen ◄----------► Dirk "Zap" from ZapZockt.de, 40+ gamer, has been gaming since 1980, mainly strategy titles, MMOs and RPGs. Writes game reviews, gaming news and also sometimes about technology, hardware and YouTube. Click here, if you want to read more about Zap.

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