By MMOHut's Erhan Altay
Cronous is a Korean MMORPG developed by Lizard Interactive and released in 2007. Despite this recent release date, Cronous looks like a much older game. Come to think of it, Cronous is as simple as an MMORPG can get. There are only four classes, no appearance customization, and gameplay boils down to click and wait. The only thing this game has going for it is that it looks like a throwback to the early PC action RPG era. So, for those looking for a simple action-oriented game reminiscent of games like Diablo, read on.
Prospective players have two routes to take as there are currently two English language versions of the game floating around. The first and older of the two is the Global version hosted from Korea. This version has two servers and a larger population, though fewer English speaking players. The second service is hosted by Aeria Games, the publishers of many other free-to-play MMORPGs. The Aeria version targets the North American market but only has a single server and is generally less populated. I’ve linked to the Aeria version since it is more targeted to MMOHut’s viewership. The two versions are nearly identical, though there are slight interface differences and the Aeria version is a few patches behind. Whichever publisher you go with, the character creation process is equally bland. Players choose one of the four classes (Fighter, Valkyrie, Magician, or Savage) and their gender. That’s it. The game even tricks you by showing the four classes in high level gear when you in fact start with nearly no equipment!
The City of Cronous
New players start their adventures in the aptly named Cronous City. Keen players will notice by now just how dated the game’s graphics appear. The game allows you to zoom in and out with the mouse wheel and rotate the camera by either moving the cursor to the edge of the screen or with the arrow keys, but does not allow you to tilt it in any other direction. It’s best to play zoomed out, that way you won’t see the pixelated character models as much. The controls and interface should be familiar to anyone with MMORPG experience – players can move with the mouse or with W,A,S,D, left-click to target a monster to auto-attack and assign skills, potions, and other consumables to the toolbar. New players start with a package which contains six items, the most useful being a +20% experience scroll and a ‘growth’ weapon that can’t be used until level 5. The best way to proceed with the game is to simply leave town and starting grinding levels off the goblins outside. Once you hit level 5, be sure to equip your growth weapon which gains experience and levels up with use. Its definitely an interesting concept. but the downside is that these growth weapons make all other weapons useless though monsters will still drop armor and accessories that players can use.
A Hunting We Will Go
From here on out the game becomes very repetitive. The fast experience rate keeps things exciting for a bit since you’ll level up every few minutes. Combat is a bit odd though, you’ll be able to defeat monsters much higher level than yourself. I easily killed a level 10 goblin at level 4 without even having to use any of the potions the game provides newbies with. Each level, players gain four stat points to distribute among four stats (Strength, Agility, Stamina, and Intelligence) and one skill point. All classes have three skill branches; basic, class and master. Basic skills include things like max hp, weight limit, and dodge rate and are common to all classes while ‘class’ skills are specific to each class. There aren’t a whole lot of skills and most have varying level requirements which means players won’t ever be too confused on where to allocate their skill points. Playing a Savage, I didn’t have much need for skills during the early levels, almost every monster I encountered could be defeated with a few hits. Challenge really takes a back seat in Cronous (at least in the PvE environment) but the game does provide an optional PvP outlet.
Let’s Do it Hardcore
When logging into Cronous, players are given the option of connecting to either the normal channel or to the Hardcore PvP channel. New players should stick to the normal one, but those looking to test their skill against real opponents do have that option. With a level cap of 125 and 21 maps currently available, there is enough content to keep fans interested, but the game just doesn’t have enough to appeal to a broad audience. There is a pet system available but it is very basic. There are two types of pets: a dragon and a pig. Both start in a primitive state and level up like the player to the point of eventually serving as mounts. The trouble is, these pets are only available through the cash shop. Another general complaint I had while playing the game was the repetitive environment and monster designs. I found myself fighting the same goblins with slightly different colors and names for the first 8-9 levels before moving on to weird tree monsters and giant Zerg-like creatures. Bottom line: Cronous offers little for players looking for a new free MMORPG world to immerse themselves in.
Final Verdict: Poor
Cronous is a simple game that’s easy to pick up and play but lacks both the depth and polish to compete in today’s environment. Since it is a relatively recent release date, Cronous has no excuse for its rough graphics and lack of gameplay options. Players who are looking for a game with an old-school feel or have weak computers may find something in Cronous, but the rest of us should look elsewhere.
Pros: +Classic action RPG feel. +Equipment that gains experience & grows. +Simple skill system & gameplay.
Cons: -Dated graphics. -No appearance customization. -Limited class selection. (4) -Repetitive, dull monster designs.