ArcheAge Begins Review: A Shallow Gacha Experience
- Name: ArcheAge Begins
- Developer(s): XLGAMES, Gamevil
- Genre: RPG
- Price: Free, with IAPs
- Installed size: 744 mb
- Best played in medium sessions
- Minor bugs experienced
- Playable Offline: No
What is ArcheAge Begins?
ArcheAge Begins is a mobile RPG that takes elements from the PC ArcheAge MMORPG and applies them to the typical gacha game formula. As with most gacha games, players will need to collect and power up heroes as they take on increasingly powerful enemies in the game’s story mode. Combat is what one would expect from the most generic gacha games. Players have no control over their heroes beyond choosing when to use their active skills and who those skills should target.
Outside of story mode is where things get a little more interesting. Aside from the previously mentioned hero collection, ArcheAge has a fair amount of content. Heroes can be powered up in a number of ways beyond just leveling up. Their equipment can be upgraded, they can learn new talents from their talent trees, and they can equip runes that give them stat boosts. Beyond the story mode, heroes can also be used in raids where 4 players each control one hero, this time allowing players to control hero movement.
Players can also take advantage of the game’s farming, fishing, and logging options. All 3 allow players to get a bit of extra loot and are mostly hands-off experiences. Heroes are also need for the game’s trade and plunder missions. Trade missions involve players sending out their heroes for hours at a time in exchange for gold, while plunder missions consist of players trying to attack others as they attempt trade missions. ArcheAge has plenty of features beyond what was discussed here, including guilds and a tower to ascend.
ArcheAge Begins is a mostly generic gacha game that spends a lot of time pushing players toward spending money. Combat is uninspired, and feels only slightly more interactive than games like Heroes Charge. The graphics are fine on higher end devices, but will likely disappoint anyone on an older phone or tablet. The voice-overs and story dialogue are quite awful. When it comes to mobile games, bad voice acting isn’t just an audio issue, all of those voice-overs are also eating up precious memory.
Outside of combat, there is a lot of stuff to do and upgrade, but none of it is very compelling. Farming, fishing and logging all have little to no player input beyond beginning the activity. The same can be said for trading. Even the in game marketplace runs on a third currency that can only be obtained by selling items on the marketplace and through in app purchases.
Calling out a game for being pay to win is always difficult because it’s important to recognize that games need to make money, and free users are being subsidized by the IAPs they often hate. ArcheAge Begins crossed the line into hard pay to win territory when it decided it was acceptable to have a VIP system (ArcheLife) that gave one’s heroes a permanent stat boost (3-4% per stat) at the highest level. Though it is possible to level up your VIP level without spending money (daily login bonuses), that will take an extremely long time.
If you are passionate about the ArcheAge brand, give this game a try. People will often enjoy gacha games based on properties they love despite a game’s shortcomings. If you are not already a fan of ArcheAge, there is not much of a reason for you to play ArcheAge Begins. It has shallow combat, no compelling content, and more pay to win elements than the average gacha game.
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