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Free Realms Review

May 8, 2009
Title pretty much says it all

Title pretty much says it all

Free Realms is the latest MMO by SOE (Sony Online Entertainment), the people behind Everquest & more than a handful of other MMOs.  Unlike most MMOs, Free Realms is looking to be a casual kid friendly hit.  While that may seem like a bad thing, Free Realms really surprised me.

First off, Free Realms is Free!!! Well mostly.  The basic game is free however players can pay $5 a month in order to get member benefits (More on that later)  There is no real overarching story in Free Realms, its just play, and man does it play well.  Free Realm’s main system is its job system.  While this is nothing new to MMOs, its the type of jobs you play as that make it unique.  Unlike most MMOs, jobs can be changed at will at anytime, well almost anytime and each job is mostly unique.

These jobs, for the mot part, are actually jobs, ranging from Chefs, to Miners to more convential MMO jobs like Ninjas and Warriors.  There are fourteen jobs in total, with nine available to everyone, and five just for members.

Jobs level up by performing & completing mini games.  There can be multiple mini games per job & they help the class in one way or another.  For example the Chef job has a bejweled esque mini game to collect ingredients for cooking, then there is a mini game to cook various recipes.  The various jobs fall into basically two categories, with a few exceptions, there are the gathers/crafters like the Chefs & miners, then the combat jobs such as Brawlers, Ninjas and the like.  The mini games for the gatherers are simple yet fun and addicting.  The combat games play like traditional MMOs, except with less depth. One of my favorite jobs is the card duelest, where you can relive your childhood and D-D-D-D-Duueelll!!!!!

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The game world is large and small at the same time.  The entire map doesn’t take too long to travel through, it is nowhere near World of Warcraft standards but its large enough to have a decent amount of time exploring.  To almost ensure that people will explore, the Adventurer Job levels up by completing collections.  Collections take the form of items & locations that can be found throughout the world and are key to leveling the Adventurer job.  Collecting, well collections is actually really fun and trying to complete them takes time but is rewarding.

The game isn’t the greatest looking game, running at just about WoW visual standards give or take.  The audio has a cheerful feeling, however how the game starts is a bit unorthodox.  Rather than using a .exe like, pretty much every other PC game ever, the game has you launching it from the Free Realms website.  While the game still runs from computer and not the browser, its still odd but there are no real problems with it.

Now I promised to talk about the membership so here we go, $5 a month, can have three characters, 4 more jobs, and exclusive quests.  That about sums it up.

At the end of the day Free Realms is pretty addicting.  It lacks the depth of traditional MMOs, however it is ot trying to be them.  It is doing its own thing and does it well.  Download Free Realms, play it, you’ll be hooked and won’t regret it..why? It’s Free!

*Note*  A Later Playstation 3 version is planned



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