Forsaken World: Final Impressions and the Bottom Line on Whether You’ll Like It

You can’t really argue that Perfect World Entertainment has quite a share of the free-to-play MMO-market in the West. The company’s stable of titles includes the likes of the ever popular Perfect World, Jade Dynasty, Battle of the Immortals and even the upcoming online version of Torchlight. Pretty much all titles are quite rich in the content offered, but over time, players have noticed that most of the games tend to look and play very similar, despite some major differences.

Forsaken World is PWE’s biggest title to date, with the project being the most costly undertaking in terms of finance and time. The game certainly has some genre staples, but also teases us with some of its more unique features. Does Forsaken World do justice to the company’s effort or is it yet another all too familiar endeavor? You’ve seen all our coverage to date — now read on for the bottom line.

When starting your character, we are offered a choice of five races – Humans, Elves, Kindred, Stonemen and Dwarves. The choice to restrict class choices for different races seems like an odd one. Currently, players who like Dwarves can only be Marksmen, and Stonemen can only be Protectors. Maybe it’s just me, but I like freedom and having the option to play the game my way, rather than developers telling me how to do it.

Visually, Forsaken World is a bit of a mixed bag. At times, the game looks truly impressive with some cool spell effects and imaginative environments, and the new engine can display some nice landscapes and scenes. This, however, makes some of the graphical weaknesses stand out even more. Characters look like they were a product of an inferior engine, and the game could use some variation in the animations of starter skills. At least character customization is decent (for a free-to-play title), and pretty soon I found the look my new Elven Bard would go for. You should note that you can wear two types of equipment in Forsaken World – one for stats and one for fashion. The best thing about this system is that you get the choice what set will appear on your character and what will be counted towards your stats.

The game’s actual story seems pretty straight-forward, provided that you can make sense of the convoluted description on the game’s main web-site. It is much more interesting to gather the bits of lore through quests and numerous journal entries that you receive during your journey. Quests themselves are pretty standard fare, and you won’t find anything revolutionary in their approach. However, the questing process itself is very smooth, and the game does a great job of encouraging you to progress further. Quests are separated into different types, such as quests that develop the game’s story, quests that introduce you to key NPCs and locations, jobs that help you improve in your chosen profession and, finally, quests that activate during events. Some of them occasionally stand out, such as one of the social quests that requires two players of opposite sex to complete it. It involves perfume, actually, and not the stuff your dirty mind has just come up with.

There are numerous systems put in-place in order to make sure you always know where you are going and you will never feel a lack of direction or things to do. There are path guided systems everywhere, as well as a handy pop-up box that explains the available options and content for your current level. When it all comes down together, it makes for a pretty nice ‘flow’ of content that manages to keep you hooked and willing to see more. The game also makes use of a special journal that neatly organizes all the collectibles and achievements unlocked throughout your journey into one place. Not to mention the reward systems that do a fine job of encouraging you to keep logging in to the game.

For players who don’t like grinding, you’ll be happy to find out that your main path of leveling will be quests and instances. Mobs on their own just don’t generate the experience and loot that you can gain through doing various tasks given out by NPCs. A good example would be the daily quests from Henry (town NPC) that start at level 17 and are by far the easiest way to quickly get to 20. The initial instances are also a fun way to level, but they seem a bit uninspired in terms of game mechanics and the combat dynamic. This however, does not hold true for dungeons that become available later on.

The game makes use of more than 10 professions that serve as a secondary occupation next to your main class. Standard professions like an alchemist and a cook are, of course, included, but you get some interesting ones like an adventurer, a tamer (currently unavailable), and a socialite. One would expect them to be just variations on the form of grind, where you get to harvest/craft/ things, but they actually have quite a chunk of quests and content associated with them. This really adds some depth to the typically shallow experience seen in other games.

Combat is a pretty standard affair, although with some interesting twists. While exploring the world with the Bard class, I discovered that using skills in a certain order will have a side effect, such as a twenty second buff or slower enemy movement. This was definitely a nice touch to the old formula. It’s a shame it has been intentionally kept pretty simple, and even if the played sequence is not perfect (i.e. CDC, instead of CCD), the effect still kicks in. Hopefully, this aspect of combat gets more complex during the higher levels of the game.

At level 30, the gods deem you ready for some open world PvP action. The experience itself is quite fun, and maybe it was due to beta, but there seemed to be enough people running around willing to kick some ass and get served in turn. However, carebears out there shouldn’t worry, as three of the game’s six servers will be flagged for PvE. Forsaken World also makes use of the Talent System, which helps you specialize in certain areas of your class. Each class gets the option to choose skills and abilities that cost a certain amount of points. It seems like a fairly standard mechanic for players who want to customize their play-style.

Considering everything said above, my initial impression of the title still holds true.

If you go in expecting to get a standard mmo-dish, made from staple design-features and updated graphics, you will be right. To a certain degree. What you forget to consider is the fact that this dish has been created with your tastes in mind, quality ingredients were used to prepare it and the cook has added some spices you’ve never tried before. Whether this mixture is good enough to satisfy the tastes of gamers worldwide ultimately depends on the chef’s skill.

Only this time, I’d like to add that the chef has managed to create a good dish that will definitely fit right on the menu with the existing offers. If you’ve been a fan of PWE’s other games, you’ll really dig Forsaken World. If you are looking for your next free-to-play MMOG and are curious about the game, give it a go, it might suit your tastes. If you feel tired of the same old genre staples seen in other games and are looking for genuine innovation, you are probably better off staying away and waiting for another game. If, however, you like themepark MMORPGs in general, but bigger titles like RIFT failed to grab your attention, Forsaken World might be the one to keep you interested until the next big project comes along. And while you play, the game will do it’s best to get you hooked and coming back for more.


  1. I must admit, I went into this with a fair amount of trepidation.
    Most of my fears were allayed pretty early on though, all except the control method (not keen on click-n-go).
    One thnig that threw itself at me about an hour or so in, was the ability to toggle the graphics settings from the ones you set in the menu, to ones with everything turned down. By using ONE button you can solve any nasty framerate issues. No more slowdown in heavily populated areas, just click once, and all sorted, then when youre back out on your own, click again and all are reset to your own settings. GENIUS!

    Also, the race/class restrictions/combinations are, in my opinion, a good idea. A little sparse maybe, but still good.

    I definitley agree about the character models though, they definitley seem out of place and under-developed when looking at the rest of the game.

  2. I played this game for all of 10 minutes and am already bored of it. Brand new or not, it’s not even as exciting as WoW was when I first obtained cataclysm.

    The auto-routing function is great, makes it much easier to get around vs games that have you run all over creation just to find/kill something.

    The combat is bleh. It’s just like all other MMOs, you run over to a monster and mash a few buttons until it’s dead… then again, what do you expect from an F2P MMO? Still, a more dynamic combat system would have been nice.. I could be biased though…

    The music wasn’t very good at all, the controls (even using WASD like in WoW) seemed clunky and unrefined.

    The names of other players weren’t near as bad as I thought they’d be, even given the fact I was playing a Kindred. I expected to see a ton of dracula-esque references and was pleasantly surprised that they were lacking (at least in the immediate starting zone). Only one name made me cringe a little, and that’s only because I can’t believe that anyone would go and ruin such a badass character’s name… /end rant.. Sorry for the wall-o-text.

  3. To consolidate my previous post:

    My review for the MMO “Forsaken World” is a 2/10… and barely that…

  4. “Only one name made me cringe a little, and that’s only because I can’t believe that anyone would go and ruin such a badass character’s name… ”

    You have to tell us the name! By any chance, was it a variation of Alucard?

    I’d say its all about what you expect when you log in, Xianghua. I expected Forsaken World to be of the same variety as PWE’s other titles (read – very bland), and thought I’d be bored of it quickly. Then, I was pleasantly surprised.

    Maybe you just expected more from the game?

  5. “Only one name made me cringe a little, and that’s only because I can’t believe that anyone would go and ruin such a badass character’s name… ”You have to tell us the name! By any chance, was it a variation of Alucard?I’d say its all about what you expect when you log in, Xianghua. I expected Forsaken World to be of the same variety as PWE’s other titles (read – very bland), and thought I’d be bored of it quickly. Then, I was pleasantly surprised.Maybe you just expected more from the game?

    Yes, actually. It WAS the name Alucard.

    Having just come from the game Dragon Age 2, perhaps I am being too harsh with FW. But I did mean what I said, even if I am being overly critical for whatever reason. I may be overly critical at times, but I am usually honest when reviewing games.

  6. so far im loving the game. i went into expecting complete crap, but was happily suprised. so far ive tried all the classes up to at least lvl 10. And the Vampire class is by far my least favorite. The Mage and Warrior are hands down amazing. The only quam i have with the game is the control scheme, seems a little clunky. other than that id have to give the game a 8/10.

  7. Forsaken World is just Perfect World with a new-ish skin.
    Guild bases are nice but they’re pretty much required to progress your crafting past a certain point. Its a real PITA to keep up with the maintenance costs unless you happen to find 50+ other people willing to grind out daily ‘trade runs’ which is running around all over between different npcs buying/selling various items. God help ya if you play on a PvP server because you will get ganked, often, for any or no reason. It matters less as you level but it is a pain when you have no chance of fighting back (or you encounter a twink).

    The biggest issues I’ve had so far:

    -Movement and combat are utter crapola. Strafe-left and Strafe-right instead of keyboard turning? Why not copy the control-scheme from WoW? There’s also NO way to disable ‘click to move’ and the tab-targeting is something that works only half the time and only if they happen to be within melee range (which is bad if you’re a caster). Controls in general are very sluggish and half-baked. An example being that as a vampire, you have to pretty much spam the keybind for ‘Charmed Strike’ or else it doesn’t activate when you need it to do so, sometimes requiring 6+ keypresses for it to finally work. There’s no on-screen combat text for when certain abilities activate.

    -Poor-man’s WoW feel. A great deal of sound effects are wholesale-ripped straight from WoW. Certain all-female enemies near Freedom Harbor (FH) will die with the female Blood Elf death sound, certain other mobs die with the male Draenai death sound, certain Vampire spells use the sound effects of Warlock spells from WoW…tons more. One area southeast of FH has music directly ripped from Freelancer, it doesn’t fit the area and sounds more in place for the game it was made. Blatent copyright-infringement is something Perfect World Entertainment (PWE) doesn’t seem to care about.

    -Combat is crap. Much better MMOs have done stuff like chain-skills to keep us from having to keybind everything. No such system here. Combat boils down to spamming potions and abilities until whatever you want dead ends up dead. Due to the cash shop, the game is pretty much ‘pay to win’. Whoever spends the most has a significant advantage and it requires a horrid grind (and lots of luck) to manage to get up enough in-game tradeable gold to compete with that. There’s no health/mana regeneration of any note. I’ve gotten a buff from prayer as a Vampire with 400% regen and I got maybe one hp every 5 seconds, without having any racial passives that’s one hp and one mp regen every 20 seconds. Just…wow. While there are foods/drinks that grant hp5/mp5, they’re incredibly rare and expensive recipes out of the reach of the majority of players.

    -Cash Shop mentality. Many game mechanics are purposefully designed and implemented to encourage cash shopping and discourage fun. The lack of meaningful mp5/hp5 regen without special/rare foods/drinks, the ‘energy/vigor’ bars that limit how you play and aren’t able to adjust to certain classes that use much more mana than others. Star Crystals being given out to either those who are lucky enough to get during praying (like a free lottery pretty much) and those who use the cash shop. No real in-game way to get it other than cash shop or having a lot of tradeable gold to use with players, and prices reflect that.

    There’s a lot more I could gripe about. Time-limited items, ridiculously-tiny bag space to start and they ‘oh so generously’ give you some ‘upgrades’ that allow you to have what should be a standard amount of bag space. Items that take up more slots than they should because there’s no auto-combining of items into a single stack, everything’s done manually. Not even the ‘sort’ function does this! Oh, and having 3 types of ‘Dim Star Debris’ taking up 3 slots, one for regular non-bound, one for bound, one for time-limited, and then additional slots since they only stack up to 20 per stack.

    The main benefit I can see is that you can grind enough to earn enough in-game gold to buy anything, including cash shop items. However that grind is what kills the game for most people. Players barely have enough ‘soul gold’ to cover the cost of learning new skills, exp gains are much faster than soul coin gains, leading to eternally-poor heroes in barely more than rags who aren’t able to handle content because they can’t afford the potions mandatory to completing that content.

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