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Asherons Call: Throne of Destiny – PC – Review

Asheron’s Call has been a
solid contender in the role-playing MMO genre for quite some time. It is no
surprise that the developers at Turbine have taken the opportunity to build upon
the classic game, bringing new content and several key upgrades to the game.
Their new expansion pack, Throne of Destiny, brings new areas to the world,
increases the level cap, and adds new enemies to face. The graphics upgrade will
help breathe new life into the game for experienced players and add some shine
for new players. Throne of Destiny will keep existing players of the game happy
for quite some time, but non-players should take a close look at the game before
picking up a copy.


Combat against the forces of
evil and chaos continue to be a big theme in Asheron’s Call: Throne of Destiny.
The world has become a more dangerous place with the introduction of the warlike
Viamontians. Under the rule of their cruel warrior king the Viamontians have
been preparing for a war with Isparians and their queen, Elyssa for a long time.
Now that they have broken through the magic barrier that kept them contained in
the land of Sanamar they are expanding their power and preparing to bring their
vicious crusade to the lands of the Isparians. The Viamontians aren’t just
content to rely on their own power. They have “tamed” a host of ravenous beasts
to lead the charge. By releasing these creatures into the lands of their enemies
they are beginning the conflict.

A compelling storyline has
long been the trademark of the Asheron’s Call series. The developers have woven
the history of the world into a tapestry of love, loss, life, and the ambitions
of the surviving Isparians. The results have been numerous quests that players
can run alone and in groups with their friends. New players will find a lot of
content to explore. Dungeons litter the landscape, many containing tantalizing
tidbits of forgotten lore. The new quests and content build off of this
impressive work and offer new horizons for the game as it continues to grow.


The graphics engine for
Asheron’s Call has become a bit dated. It’s a fate that waits for all games.
Throne of Destiny contains a graphics upgrade for the game and it is a welcome
feature. The graphics aren’t up to the high level of recent releases, but it
does bring Asheron’s Call closer to the leading edge. Turbine is making big
noise about the graphics upgrade and it is impressive considering how old the
original graphics engine is. They have taken the graphics to a new level and it
shows. Every piece of the game world has been given a fresh look along with the
upgrades. Experienced players will have another reason to revisit their old
hunting grounds. New players won’t find the graphics as impressive as more
experienced Asheron’s Call players. Newer players, unfortunately, won’t be as
impressed by the upgrade.


Throne of Destiny builds on
the solid interface and free-form character design that allows players to design
their own “classes.” This new expansion adds on more levels, more content, and
another small continent. There is plenty for the experienced player to enjoy,
but new players won’t need the expansion if they want to jump into the world of
Asheron’s Call. One of the upgrades to the original title included in Throne of
Destiny that new players will want to take advantage of is the new interface to
help guide players through character creation. The new system makes it easier to
create a avatar to explore the world with. The interface guides players through
the steps, choosing base stats, skills, and customizing their avatars.


Asheron’s Call still has a
fairly high learning curve. There is a lot that players can do, and designing a
class is definitely not for the weak of heart. New players should definitely
read up on the skills available and check the various fan sites for advice.
Nothing is worse than putting time into an avatar and discovering that you have
created a character that is weaker than the “average.” Fortunately there is a
wealth of information waiting to help new players break into the world. The
class templates included in the game are solid in themselves, so a new player
won’t have to worry about “gimping” themselves by accident as they create a
character. Still, there is something to be said for exploring all the skills
available. The system gives a short description of every skill to make things
easier for the new player, another nice touch held over from the original
system.

Throne of Destiny is a solid
expansion pack, bringing needed updates to the world of Asheron’s Call. The
graphics upgrade, increased level cap, and additional content will keep players
enthralled for hours. Existing fans will find this to be a blessing in many ways
and should definitely consider buying Throne of Destiny. New players might not
need the additional content right away, but should consider getting the graphics
upgrade. Asheron’s Call has been a steady contender in the MMO genre for a
number of years and it shows. Still, don’t let its age fool you. In the
fast-paced, competitive world of MMO design Asheron’s Call has withstood the
test of time. Its solid design and detailed world are still a good place to find
adventure if you can hear the Call.

Tips:
When in doubt check
the fansite forums for guides and advice. The experienced players of Asheron’s
Call are very, very good. Many have had years to hone their skills. They can be
very helpful and make things much easier for the new player.

If you
start a character on the PVP world of Darktide watch out. Many players view
low-level interlopers into their private battlefield to be fair game. It’s best
to head out into the hinterlands, operating out of the smaller outposts before
you try to make a run into the big cities.

A common
mistake in Asheron’s Call is strapping on heavy armor when you first get
started. Your strength score determines how much you can carry without becoming
overburdened. Mages and archers should avoid heavy armor until they build up
their strength scores. Warriors should also hunt for “drop” items that have the
same armor ratings and lower weights than store bought items.

The
world of Asheron’s Call is vast. Use this to your advantage if you are a mage or
archer type and you’ll go far. Building up your run skill so you can kite
monsters is always a plus, but it is wise to begin combat at extreme range so
you can take a few more shots before the enemies get too close.

Because
the game allows players to build their own classes it’s worth taking a look at
dabbling in Item, Creature, or Life magic. These skills will give you a fair
line of buffs that you can apply to yourself or your allies. You might never
have the awesome power of the mage-specialists, but it never hurts to have a
little extra power in your corner
.


Review Scoring Details for Asherons Call: Throne of
Destiny

Gameplay: 7.5
The original Asheron’s Call interface is still in place, as helpful as ever.
When the game was first released it was a marvelously intuitive system, leaps
and bounds beyond its competition. The interface is still good, but there are a
few places where it is a little clumsy.

Graphics: 7.0
Even with the upgrade the world of Asheron’s Call isn’t up to the graphically
stunning levels gamers expect these days. The upgrade is a marked improvement,
adding a lot of quality to the system, but newer players will be less impressed
than existing players.

Sound: 7.0
The sound system for Throne of Destiny is the same as the original system used
for Asheron’s Call. It does an adequate job and helps with the immersion, but
I’m not driven to listen to it just for the sake of the soundtrack.

Difficulty: Medium/High
While the gameplay is smooth and enjoyable, creating a character class that will
define your avatar on the fly can be a daunting task. New players might find
themselves re-rolling their first character to fix a “flaw” once or twice before
they settle down with something they can be content with.

Concept: 7.5
Asheron’s Call has needed some fresh blood for a while. The addition of a new
racial group, more content, and another continent for players to explore is a
welcome addition to the game world.

Multiplayer: 8.0
Throne of Destiny shines when you play it with your friends, just like the
original. The fan base is also extremely knowledgeable. Searching the fansites
and forums is a good way to learn a great deal from their experience.

Overall:
7.4

Throne of Destiny is
another expansion pack for an existing MMO. Current fans will enjoy the new
content and better graphics, but new players won’t be as impressed. The solid
gameplay of the original shines through, although it is a bit rusty in places
after a few years.

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