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The biggest, glaring issue is that at heart, Elsword is a grind. Now this may be a negative to some, and a positive to others, depending on each person's playstyle, but expect to be going to the same areas very frequently. It's also not super obvious at first where you should go, though obviously in a 2D MMO, you should be expected to just go right, right? Well that's fine, except that you also get access to a world map which seemingly takes you to any level, but if you're too far from that level's starting area, it won't let you access it. It's a strange design that can be easily overlooked when you actually realize you just need to advance to the next area by foot.
Elsword's Free-to-Play formula is fairly standard, although it might cause some people to quit. You can download the game and hop in immediately without even touching your wallet. In fact, you can go through a bulk of the game, and honestly not think twice about whipping your credit card out. Once you settle in on your class, and realize you want to stick to it, that's when you can opt to whip that shiny piece of plastic out.
The in-game store contains a myriad of items to outfit your character with. There is a plethora of costumes that will completely change the way your character looks, which is good considering the actual gear doesn't really change your character all that much. You can either buy a complete set of matching costume pieces or you can mix and match from the various costumes available to truly give your character a unique look, which in Elsword is fairly important since most of the time you find a lot of 'clones' running around. There are also stat boosting accessories, consumables, inventory expansions, pets and more.
The only problem I had with this is that it essentially becomes a pay-to-win situation, where players spending money will ultimately get them better stats faster. Another glaring issue, and one that is sure to turn some people off is the fact that resetting your invested skill points costs actual money. The in-game store allows you to buy a Skill Return Medal which returns a single point or a Complete Skill Reset Medal which returns all invested points; just be prepared to fork over some of your lunch money for it.
The game's graphics certainly won't push your processor to its limits, but the game certainly has charm, which is largely thanks to the beautiful cel-shading. Quirky anime characters permeate the game. You'll find friendly, talking dogs with eyepatches; traveling bards with badass hairstyles; stern-looking, short haired female warriors with oversized axes; and even cute shop owners dressed in maid outfits. It goes without saying that if you're a fan of anime and manga, you'll find a lot to like in Elsword's art style. Same goes for the sound design. Amidst battle, you'll hear your character shout and yell his or her attacks during every swing, punch and shot, which can get a little overbearing, but given the amount of action going on, it somewhat complements it.
The fact is, Elsword doesn't require any sort of commitment to have fun. It's a type of game you can simply jump in, complete a few quests and log off satisfied. If you don't ever feel like delving into your characters appearance or buying accessories, you don't have to; the in-game market is fully optional. If you are the type of player who enjoys PVP, however, then investing in your character might be something to look into down the line.
The game is constantly updated with new content, which is always a plus, not to mention a huge content update is coming very soon, with a completely new continent of Hamel. Chances are if you read this all the way through, you must be interested in trying Elsword, so with that in mind, here is a link to download the game right from our site. It's a hack 'n slashing good time.