Boasting hundreds of different beasts to collect (though not all content is available yet), Riders of Icarus offers plenty to do, completely for free. Downloadable through Steam, all you need is a Nexon account to begin taming mythical creatures to ride into battle or fight alongside you. While it may not be the perfect MMO, it certainly has a lot of wonderful things to offer. What’s more, it has plenty of room to grow.
The character creation is quite detailed. It offers a wide selection of preset options and allows for more detailed alteration of specific features, including height and weight. Hair colors are not restricted to a simple natural palette; an assortment of hues can be chosen and perfected with a slider that controls how dark or light you’d like them. As for race options, human is the only choice as of now. However, there are 5 class options to pick from: Berzerker, Guardian, Assassin, Priest, and Wizard. Berzerker serves as the high health high strength beat-things-until-they-die kind of character. Alternatively, wizard and priest are the ranged damage dealer and healer respectively. The guardian class is a sword and shield hero similar to other classes of the same name from other MMOs. Finally, the assassin is reminiscent of the archetypal stealth class dealing quick damage before dodging away.
I find myself particularly fond of the berzerker and assassin classes, as they excel at draining enemies’ health bars rather quickly. Their animations are delightful and their skills are fun to use.
Riders of Icarus feels a lot like other MMO’s, and has two basic input methods. There is the standard “point and click” option that lets you attack with hotkeys. If that isn’t your style, try the action option which lets you aim with the reticle and unleash your attacks with right and left mouse, as well as any hotkeys you have. Movement has an effect on an enemies ability to hit you, as if you dodge an attack it will miss, and the faster you go the harder you are to hit. Quests, crafting, and gathering are very similar to other MMO’s and feel rather accessible. The really spectacular aspect of gameplay has to be the mount system. Taming and using mounts is fun, addictive, and well executed. There is also just something oh so lovable about a game that lets you climb aboard giant wolves or fearsome dragons.
Visually, it is a bit lacking. Character design is creative, beasts and enemies alike are distinct and pleasing to look at. However, cut scenes reveal awkward speaking animation. Environments too, do not quite compare to more aesthetically pleasing MMO’s like Black Desert Online. Still, there are moments of stunning beauty achieved by Riders of Icarus. A pegasus’ wings catch the light of the low sun for a gorgeous moment of “Oh Wow I’m Really Flying Right Now.”
The music is quite pleasant. It is not too repetitive and feels appropriate in each situation, either providing the finishing touch on an environment, or upping the intensity in battle. The sound effects however… they leave a lot to be desired. From character call-outs to beasts’ sounds, they can be extremely repetitive and sometimes oddly out of place. When taming boars, they make the same short squeal over and over. Call-outs for spells and abilities can become quite stale as well in combat. This is particularly apparent in the tutorial when the character Crow fights just about anything. But, if you can look past that, the music really is quite lovely and most other sound effects have been chosen well.
If a dragon rodeo sounds like a good time to you, then good news: Riders of Icarus lets you climb atop (eventually) hundreds of wild beasts and tame them for your own purposes cowboy-style! Really though, almost every creature you encounter will be available to tame. Taming monsters allows you to keep your favorites as mounts or pets. Mounts, as the name suggests, are available for you ride in and out of battle. Pets, however, will fight alongside you. There is a staggering variety of familiars to obtain, from wolves to turtles to unicorns to fire-breathing dragons. Mounts for the sky and mounts for the ground, whatever you like, it’s probably out there somewhere.
The flying mounts really make Riders of Icarus stand out, and are directly related to some of the game’s best features both visually and mechanically speaking. This ability is available for the players’ experience from the beginning. Though you won’t start the game with a flying mount, there are plenty of opportunities to stretch creatures’ wings through solo missions. Furthermore, the familiar system is delightful fun that feels just a bit like other monster collecting games (cough, cough- Pokemon- cough).
- Gameplay – 80%
- Graphics – 70%
- Sound – 68%
- Character Creation – 90%