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Asheron's Call 2: Legions

Score: 72%
ESRB: Mature
Publisher: Turbine Games
Developer: Turbine Games
Media: CD/4
Players: 1000s

Graphics & Sound:

Players of Asheron’s Call 2: Fallen Kings have been waiting nearly 3 years for the game’s first expansion, and it’s finally come. Asheron’s Call 2: Legions introduces new lands, races, and stories for the game’s loyal players.

Unfortunately, we must begin on a sour note. The graphics of Asheron’s Call 2: Legions are a good example of what’s wrong with a lot of MMORPGs. While the visuals are technically impressive, boasting high polygon counts and high-resolution textures, the game’s art lacks any good, unifying style leading the game to look generic and uninteresting. The animations in the game are also consistently choppy and unattractive, even if you lower the game’s settings quite a bit.

The music in the game is even less impressive, consisting mainly of ambient, moody melodies that, like the graphics, lack any sort of interesting or unique style leading them to sound terribly generic and uninteresting. The sound effects are less of a culprit, but also suffer some from a lack of style, leading it all to sound like things that don’t necessarily link to the world of Dereth, but could have come from anywhere.


It’s never a good thing when this category is one of your weakest areas, but sadly, Asheron’s Call 2: Legions suffers from some very generic and typical MMORPG gameplay that offers very little new to the genre. While the game certainly offers some unique things to do, like its interesting vault system of story-telling, as a whole the game falls firmly in the category of “there’s not much else to do but go out and kill things”.

The towns are filled mainly with scant NPCs that offer simple quests like “kill X number of enemies” or “bring this item to that place”. There is little attempt to dress these up with flavor or background/story information; most of the quests come “as is”. The game is also a bit of a ghost-town much of the time. The world may be big, but there are not nearly enough people to fill it. As a new character, I never saw another living soul in the game. I could hear many of their conversations over the world-wide chat channels, but I never saw another player character walking around.

One thing that does make Asheron’s Call 2: Legions stand out is its lack of a class/job system. While most other MMORPG’s offer the typical level-based advancement system where you pick your job at the beginning and gain skills based on that, AC2: Legions keeps the leveling system, but ditches the confining class idea for a purely skill-tree based system. As you gain in levels, you are allocated skill points you can use to advance any number of different skill trees. In this way, it is similar to the advancement system in Diablo 2 and World of Warcraft, but without the class selection at the beginning.

Turbine also presents a commendable attempt at presenting a story in the game. As you collect rare runes from monsters you kill, you can use these to get into vaults, specialized dungeons that present you with story information at the end. Unfortunately Asheron’s Call 2 falls into the same trap most other MMORPG’s do. The story information consists of nothing but still images with voice over, talking almost exclusively about events that happened in the past. There is no attempt to involve the player actively in the story, or to SHOW events occurring in an active way.


Asheron’s Call 2 at least in the early going, mirrors most MMORPGs. You’ll solo through the first few levels fairly quickly, but as you get higher in levels, you will have to find other players to team up with to continue gaining levels at a reasonable pace. Unfortunately, I can’t say much about the higher end encounters as it would simply take far too much time to level up that high for the purposes of this review.

Game Mechanics:

In addition to the brutish Lugians, the animalistic Tumeroks, and the obligatory humans, Asheron's Call 2: Legions also reintroduces the magical Empyreans and even allows players to play as the evil Drudges after completing a quest.

The user interface in AC2: Legions seems pretty typical for MMORPGs: you have your chat window, hotkey bars, compass, map and HP/MP gauges. The interface isn’t as customizable as other games, such as Everquest 2 and World of Warcraft. In fact, some of the windows are downright impossible to move around, which proves to be very irritating.

AC2: Legions does contain a very dynamic quest log, allowing you to keep track of many quests at once. The log is organized into many categories, and even allows you to review the story scenes for any story-based quests you’ve completed.

No MMORPG is complete without a crafting system of some sort. Unfortunately while newer games are boasting more dynamic crafting systems that mimic unique types of combat, AC2: Legions retains the older system of dragging ingredients into boxes and clicking “craft”.

As with the original Asheron’s Call, AC2: Legions provides unique systems to set up special relationships between player. A system of monarchs, patrons and vassals exists that allows more experienced players extra experience as their vassals gain their own personal experience points. There are also fellowships, a rough equivalent to guilds in most game. Players can also join one of the three pre-existing Kingdoms in the game to get extra perks.

Taken on its own, Asheron’s Call 2: Legions is a satisfactory expansion to a decent game that has aged well. Unfortunately, with more unique and exciting options available like World of Warcraft, Everquest 2, and Final Fantasy XI it is difficult to recommend AC2: Legions to anyone but the most devoted Asheron’s Call fans.

-Alucard, GameVortex Communications
AKA Stephen Triche

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 98SE/2000/ME/XP, 733 MHz processor, 256 MB RAM, 3GB hard drive space, 32 MB DirectX 9.0 compliant video card with hardware T&L

Test System:

Windows XP, 2.8 GHz Pentium IV, 1024 MB RAM, Radeon 9800 Pro with 256 MB memory, Sound Blaster Audigy 2

Microsoft Xbox Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas Windows Battlefield 2

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated