Drakensang Online is a free to play browser-based action RPG from Bigpoint. The game is played from an isometric, or top down, viewpoint and features many of the same gameplay elements as games like Diablo or Torchlight.
The game can be played in your browser and also offers are very small client download which allows you to play in a window without Java plugins.
If you’re familiar with action RPG’s then Drakensang Online should feel very familiar to you. Viewing the action from above, you will be mouse clicking your way to victory over wave upon wave of enemies, all the while collecting new gear and leveling up to improve your character.
Drakensang Online currently features three classes, the Dragonknight, the Spellweaver, and the Ranger. Each class has a progression path which will unlock a fairly wide variety of abilities, but each class will remain true to its original purpose. The Dragonknight is melee damage or tank, the Spellweaver is a ranged caster, and the Ranger is a ranged physical damage dealer.
Players make their way through the world smashing buttons to kills dozens of enemies at a time and players can choose to quest, run dungeons, or just mob grind to their heart’s content.
To run dungeons players will need to purchase a seal fragment from the cash shop using Andermant, the game’s cash shop currency. Andermant can be earned by playing the game, but at a pretty slow pace, so if you are a hardcore dungeon runner, you will probably need to spend a few dollars.
The price isn’t too terrible however, with each seal fragment running 400 andermant. You can purchase 1500 andermant for $2.49 from the shop, and higher purchase amounts do grant bonus andermant with your purchase.
Even though the price for running the dungeons seems reasonable, the dungeons themselves seem very lacking, perhaps destroying that perceived value. A seal fragment is provided as a quest reward at the entrance of the first locked dungeon players come across, and this should have been Drakensang Online’s opportunity to hook players with a really great dungeon experience. Sadly this was not the case as the dungeon was very short, showcased nothing spectacular as far as terrain or enemy mobs, and dropped no special loot to warrant multiple dungeon runs. I simply saw nothing that would ever make me want to spend any amount of money to run a dungeon in the game.
Other than the lackluster pay-to-enter dungeons, I have to say that my gameplay time in Drakensang Online is always positive. Both the browser and desktop clients perform very well with minimal lag and no noticeable bugs. The visuals in the game are not groundbreaking by any stretch, but for a browser game Drakensang Online does look rather nice. Character model textures can be fuzzy at times, but the world itself is very well rendered and quite nice.
If you are a fan of action RPGs then you will likely enjoy playing Drakensang Online, especially if your machine has trouble with some of the more graphically intense games that have come out recently.
The cash shop for Drakensang Online contains many of the items you would expect to find there, such as armor dyes and XP boosts, but also offers power items such as gems to equip in your gear, and essences which you can equip and are consumed each time you attack to do increased damage. The highest tier essence does 300% bonus damage to monsters and 30% bonus damage to players in PvP.
Other than the seal fragments required to enter dungeons, the other money sync in the game is the Crystal of Truth. These serve the same purpose as Scrolls of Identify in other games, requiring you to consume them to “identify” certain loot in order to equip and use it. The reason I call the Crystal of Truth a money sync is that the higher tier the item, the more Crystals of Truth you will need to identify it. You can acquire Crystals of Truth through mob drops, but once you get your first epic gear drop it will be pretty clear that you are supposed to make your way to the cash shop in order to buy enough Crystals to identify the item. I’ve been trying to get enough Crystals through mob drops to identify my first epic drop, and it honestly looks like the item will be useless to me by the time I collect enough.
If you are OK with buying power, the items in the cash shop probably will not bother you. If you absolutely hate cash shops containing any sort of power items, you might find yourself a little perturbed at the cash shop offerings in Drakensang Online.
When you play games that you enjoy, you tend to lose track of time. Perhaps the highest compliment I can pay Drakensang Online is that when I play it, I do lose track of time. You feel like you’ve only played a few minutes, and you look up and realize it’s been an hour. Not every game can do that, but this is one of the ones that can.
If you want a brand new cutting edge AAA action-RPG experience, Drakensang Online probably isn’t what you’re looking for. But if you are looking for a fun free to play ARPG that’s easy on the ol’ graphics card, Drakensang could be fun, and it’s definitely worth checking out.