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Everquest Trilogy

Score: 70%
ESRB: Teen
Publisher: Sony Online Entertainment
Developer: Verant Interactive
Media: CD/2
Players: Multiplayer

Graphics & Sound:

Playing Everquest took me on a trip down memory lane. Not because it reminded me of the classics I used to play during my childhood, but because the graphics looked so dated that I couldn't help but to have an uncomfortable flashback. The low polygon count of, well, just about everything, made the game a bit of an eye sore. Recognizing a character from a distance is almost impossible, save for the larger ones like giants and ogres. Up close is a different story. The inhabitants of Everquest seem to have suffered some disease that rendered them ugly. I hate to make a reference to Picasso here, but there is a remarkable resemblance between his Dora Maar and some of the people I saw walking around.

The game's sound and music reside on the same underdeveloped plane as the graphics. Walking through the forest will bless you with the sweet sound of silence, and town market places don't come alive with the quiet hustle and bustle of the silent townsfolk. What little sound you do hear is too quiet, and you can forget about hearing anything when the music comes on. As you run through town, expect to hear bits and pieces of different tunes that will come on one second and be gone the next. Though the music isn't great, it is tolerable, but it would have been nice to hear a whole track all the way through.


New comers to MMORPG's might find the world of Everquest a bit strange. Online communities aren't as easy to integrate into as some might think. Plan on plenty of solid hours of gameplay before you can even leave your starting town's region. Exploring the entire world of Everquest could take some a lifetime, and with the addition of the islands Kunark and Velios, the vastness of it all is now twice as big.

As with most RPG's, starting out requires the choosing of a race and class. There are 13 races and 14 classes to choose from, giving a huge variety of paths to take. Upon customizing your character with a name and whatever face you pick from the assortment they give, you have to pick your character's deity. Probably the most overlooked and most important decision you can make for your character, the choice you make on a deity will affect how other groups look at you. Depending on your deity, you may not be welcome in some towns, making travel very dangerous in some places, not only from NPC's, but also from other players.

Once you decide on a starting city, you're thrown into this brave new world with a few items to help you on your way. The first is a letter to report to your guild headquarters, where you will meet your guild leader. Guilds are a newbie's best friend. Run by NPC's, your guild is where you can easily get quests and money, meet other members of your guild, and receive the much needed training that will increase your skills. Much of the beginning of the game will be spent carrying out tasks bestowed upon you by people in and around your guild.

Another starting item for every character is a Tome of Order and Discord. Taking this book to a Priest of Discord will give you the status of Player Killer. This enables you to fight other player killers whenever you want. This is only recommended for very experienced players, though. If you want to fight other players without sacrificing your status forever, you can initiate a duel, which is much safer and more common than player killing.

Apart from being the occasional errand boy for some people, gaining experience comes from killing enemies. At this point, the game hits a wall. Hours upon hours of killing weak monsters are in store for the new player, and this mind numbing experience will drive off all but the most hardcore of RPG fans. Newbies are forced to spend too much effort for not enough gain. The term 'Rat Killer 3D' has been used more than a few times to describe the beginning part of the game.

Magic users will find an even longer beginning than non-magic users, due to the overall power of the magical community. However, the rewards will be much greater than that of mere mortals, and the spells look oh so cool. But becoming learned in the field of magic is not recommended for just the sweet eye candy. Parties always like to have a magic user in their group to cast those helpful spells in times of trouble.

The other most common way to gain experience is by joining a party. Parties are player-formed groups that share experience when killing monsters. Later in the game, this is about the only efficient way to gain experience. The only problem is, the people in Everqueat usually don't let inexperienced people join them, which leaves only one option: slaughtering hundreds of rats and snakes. The community can be fun and rewarding, but only if you're good enough.


Everquest isn't as hard as it can be boring. The beginning of the game is long and drawn out, with not much to show for it right away. Depending on the character and class you pick will ultimately decide how hard the game will be. Playing as a human warrior isn't going to be as difficult as trying to become a High Elf magician. Creating multiple characters will vary the difficulty of the game, and also enable you to see more of the world.

The tutorial that comes with the game isn't just for show. Playing through it will give you a basic idea for the game, but only a basic idea. Fully understanding everything will require you to interact with other players, including NPC's, skimming through the instruction book, and when all else fails, to just try things out, even when it might get you killed.

Game Mechanics:

It would be wrong to say that the control in Everquest is bad, but not that wrong. Why they used the arrow keys for movement instead of the usual WASD control scheme, we may never know. The control isn't screwed up enough to the point where you can't customize your own controls and get used to it, but it is screwed up enough to make you angry at times.

The additions of Kunark and Velios add a lot more space to Everquest, and with more space comes more monsters. A few cities and landmarks occupy the new islands, but aside from that it's really only a new place for old players to go to keep the game fresh.

Everquest is a game that looks better on paper than it does on screen. It succeeds in generating a giant community where role players can get together and play out their fantasies in 3D. But this is the only thing it is really good at. Playing in groups is the only way this game can be fun, or should I say bearable. Later in the game, parties are the only way you can further your character. So if you have anti-social tendencies, don't bother playing it. Otherwise, it's a good way to meet some fellow role players, see the inhabitants of Everquest, and kill them.

-Snow Chainz, GameVortex Communications
AKA Andrew Horwitz

Minimum System Requirements:

Windows 95/98/2k, Pentium 200MHz, 64MB RAM, Direct3D or Glide compliant accelerator card with 8MB video of RAM, DirectX compatible sound card, 28.8K+ Internet connection, 2X CD-ROM, 600 MB hard drive space

Test System:

Windows 98, 1.4GHz AMD Athlon, GeForce 2 mx 32MB video card, 40 gig hard drive, 56x CD-ROM, 256MB DDR Ram, Sound Blaster Live! sound card, T1 Internet connection

Windows EVE Online Windows F/A-18 Hornet Precision Strike Fighter

Game Vortex :: PSIllustrated