Fantasy MMOs aren’t an endangered species these days. So is developer NCsoft’s latest MMO, Aion: Tower of Eternity worth getting excited about? The game does feature rather stunning visuals with multi-tiered cities in the clouds, and the ability to take flight for short periods of time with wings early on.
We found the somewhat abstract construction of Aion’s world which consists of a top, middle, and bottom layer, fresh and ripe with the opportunity to explore what’s above and below with the game’s flight mechanic. Players will pick between two factions, the Asmodians who dwell on the world’s upper half, and the Elyos who live below.
Above: Aion’s multi-tiered cities look amazing, and seeing Elyos fly about made us want wings of our own
Mid-air combat in a world that was designed to be explored by land and air does sound intriguing. There will be combat skills exclusive to ground, air to air, and ground to air attacks. But despite this assortment of skills and Aion’s Skill Chain system - which features context sensitive attacks that require you to time your skills with dodges, misses, and critical strikes - combat still seems pretty typical, with the usual click-click gameplay and user interface we’ve seen before.
Also, with the mechanic of flight for transportation and exploration now common in both mainstream and free-to-play MMOs like World of Warcraft and Flyff, we’re forced to wonder if Aion’s flight system will take off and soar when it releases or float by silently.
Still, with no US release date in sight, Aion may still be a long ways away from its first flight. We’re curious to learn more about the Balaur, a dragon-like NPC-controlled faction that the Elyos and Asmodians will have to battle in what the developers are calling “PvPvE,” a mix between traditional Player vs Player and Player vs Environment gameplay. In the meantime, scroll down for a preview of the game’s “/dance” animated emotes and various armor and visit the Images and Movies tabs above to sneak a peak at this upcoming title.