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Everquest: Prophecy of Ro

Score: 75%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Developer: Sony Online Entertainment
Media: CD/1
Players: 1000s
Genre: MMORPG

Graphics & Sound:

Itís pretty amazing when you realize that EverQuest probably has a longer active history that any other game in history thus far. Despite being nearly seven years old, the game still releases one or two expansion packs a year. This latest expansion is called Prophecy of Ro.

Any seven year old game is going to have some failings in the graphics department. The last three expansions have all taken place on the largest of the original continents, Antonica. Their release has also seen the graphical revamping of several classic zones. Prophecy of Ro is easily the largest of these revamps yet with no fewer than six zones getting a face lift.

As far as the style and technical aspects of the graphics, anyone considering this expansion is already well familiar with the game and its graphics at this point. So Iíll only go into specific examples. Freeport is new and looks totally different with a brand new layout. The three zones that comprise the Desert of Ro have been consolidated into one zone. While the graphics are revamped, the layout is basically the same weíve all been familiar with for years. The ruins of Takish Hiz are, well, ruin-like. The zones that comprise the Plane of Magic are extremely impressive and nail the necessarily ethereal and jewel-like quality dead on. As for The Theater of Blood, it basically looks like Hell if Hell was an EverQuest zone.

Thereís far less to say on the facets of music and sound. All of the old midi based music cues from Freeport and Ro are gone, switched with reasonably good replacement music. The new zones lack any music whatsoever, again, the area that typically receives the largest amount of neglect.


Gameplay:

At the end of the last expansion, Depths of Darkhollow, players were reintroduced to a very old character who had not been seen since the early days of the game, Mayong Mistmoore. It seems this vampire lord fancied making himself a god. Unfortunately, when players succeeded in killing Mistmoore, it served as the final step to ensure his godhood. Having inadvertently worshipped and martyred him through his death, Mayong Mistmoore is now apparently the demigod of blood. It would appear he is now causing quite a ruckus in the greater planes of power. Druzzil Ro, the goddess of magic, has apparently taken two steps in an attempt to seek mortal assistance. She has opened up a portal to her plane of magic in the Academy of Arcane Science in Freeport, and has also created a gateway to the Takish Hiz of the past, the first city of the original elves.

Iíll spare you the overview of EverQuest gameplay. If youíre reading this, chances are pretty darn good you are familiar with them already. Itís the same old shtick with some new twists such as player traps, destructible terrain, and Spheres of Influence. The spheres are by far the most interesting of the new additions. Players are now able to place special spheres of influence in places in the game world. When the appropriate category of player enters these spheres, they receive special benefits, such as buffs.


Difficulty:

As with any new EverQuest expansion these days, the vast majority of the content is intended for fairly high level players, high 50ís or above. The encounters in Prophecy of Ro are pretty much in line with the last two expansions. Nothing is exceptionally more difficult or easy for level appropriate players.

Game Mechanics:

Itís time for our favorite part of the expansion checklist, the new features. In addition to the aforementioned traps, spheres, and terrain, Prophecy of Ro brings us the ability to filter buffs and eight new bank slots. Of course we get new missions, creatures, spells, and tradeskill recipes. But that almost goes without saying, doesnít it?

Few people are likely to spend any sleepless nights wondering if they should buy Prophecy of Ro. If you play the game and have the money, youíll buy it - otherwise you wonít. This expansion isnít likely to bring in huge new crowds, and to the few players that are borderline, I can say Prophecy of Ro looks quite a bit more exciting to this gamer's eyes than the last few expansions.


-Alucard, GameVortex Communications
AKA Stephen Triche

Minimum System Requirements:



Windows 98SE/2000/ME/XP, Pentium III 400 or greater, 256 MB RAM, ATI Radeon 7500/NVidia GeForce 1 equivalent or greater,
 

Test System:



Windows XP Professional, 2.8 Ghz Pentium IV, 1.5 GB RAM, ATI Radeon 9800 Pro with 256 MB RAM

Sony PlayStation 2 MS Saga: A New Dawn Macintosh Solavant

 
Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated