Aralon:Forge and Flame is an RPG released on all major mobile operating systems. The price of the game is 4,99 euro. The product has been developed by Crescent Moon Games. It doesn't offer any sort of co-op or excitement. If Order and Chaos 2 hadn’t been released before this new offering from Crescent Moon, I would have a very different take on the situation. Crescent Moon Games had made some interesting RPGs up to this point. After Exiles, my opinion about them as a company changed, and I am dissatisfied with Aralon too.
The best way to give you an objective review is to draw comparisons with Gameloft's hugely successful MMO. Most people want to know how far their mobile device can go in terms of graphical capabilities. Order and Chaos 2 didn’t push their graphics as the main idea behind their game was bringing a fully fledged MMO to mobile. They did an amazing job and the content for the game was huge. Alaron’s concept was much smaller so they could have definitely worked on the graphics – right now they're in a horrible state. 3D models are way too simple, and textures are even worse. Upon starting the game I could excuse the visual fidelity because things started with a cutscene. Perhaps they had to sacrifice visuals so an epic tale can be told through numerous cutscenes? Negative. After spending over 5 hours exploring the game I didn't encounter another cutscene. So why couldn't more time be invested in making the rest of the game look better?
When I entered the first village after playing the tutorial the buildings were all visually the same. Sometimes the sizes were different but the models used were identical, so were the textures. Even the villagers all look the same, placed at the exact same spot in their houses, holding the same pitchfork. I actually spent a couple of minutes at each house to make sure they were not going to do anything different, and they didn’t. This alone could make you regret buying the game.
AI behavior: Intentional or a fluke?
Let’s look into the AI behavior for a second. Since this game is an RPG, I wanted to test out just how much you can do and how complete the experience was. I took upon myself to kill one of the villagers to take loot from him. He died quickly but after I went outside his house, the guards started chasing me and wanted to execute me. I did a quick test to see if they would go back to their regular activities after a couple of minutes, but they didn't. What is more surprising is that after I left the town and the guards in front of it continued the chase,they wouldn’t quit at all.They didn’t stop even when I encountered enemies. There there was no clash between the town guards and the wolves waiting outside – they all chased me! I believe the enemies didn't give up because it was never coded into their behavior. It does make you want to save more often to be sure you won't need to face the often bizarre consequences of your actions.
I also have a gripe the loot you can acquire, especially early on. I had gathered around 300 coins and decided to buy myself some better armor. I went into the shop to look for equipment, and everything required 17 strength or more. This would be great if you are playing a warrior class (because strength is what you focus on), but my character was a rogue. A ranged fighter using a bow, with has much less need for brute strength. Why was I forced to invest skill points into strength just to buy armor ? Maybe you can loot more appropriate gear in-game, but why shouldn't I have the option to buy it? It all seems tailored towards a warrior class, making me regret choosing to be a rogue.
Having to enter combat is quite boring:
What you will dislike the most is the fighting in the game. There is just nothing good to say about it. You find an enemy, decide you have to kill it and start pressing a single attack button. Sure, there are different spells that are supposed to make things more interesting (they don't), the problem is the way they are executed (poorly). Animations are by far the worst I have ever seen in a game. I remember first seeing this introduced in the previous Aralon game and it looked much better. I was using my bow in first person view earlier today, and half of the time I just saw an arrow flying without my hands performing the action. I ended up playing only in third person. On a positive note, a day and night cycle is in the game along with rain. To immerse yourself in the gaming experience a system like that is needed. It works perfectly although the rain is poor quality. The world of Aralon Forge and Flame is empty. There just isn't that much to see in it. There aren't even that many enemies – trees and other world objects are so few and far between that for the most part I felt like I was just wasting my time.
The use of touch screen is by far the worst in any game I have played thus far. Movement and attack controls work fine – but try picking up loot. It can get you to rage quit quickly. When I tried to collect some coins off a enemy I had killed at the beginning, I was forced to work with the camera angle for like a minute, then I had to touch over ten times in order for the game to pick up on my actions. This happens over and over again. Disappointingly, the open world isn't really that open. It might seem like you have a choice at first, but the more you play, the more you understand how linear things get. The developers have streamlined things so that there is no way for you to go very far without running into something to do. So are the quests at least interesting? I wish. Far from it. You either have to collect something from an enemy you have put down, kill a specific target or suffer the rambling off some of the bad NPC's. That is basically it.
Full RPG experience on mobile device
Visuals are bad
AI is horrible
Combat is boring
I would have never wanted to be exposed to Aralon:Forge and Flame. It lacks in all departments. From horrible graphics to a boring story and awful AI behavior,this game is headed to only one place- the recycle bin. It is worse than Ravensword: Shadowlands which says quite a lot. You have to definitely stay away from this product!