Anarchy Online is Funcom's venture into the growing massively multiplayer market. Though it's marred by some problems, the game takes the MMORPG into new territory.
By - Caryn "Hellchick" Law
Having been an EverQuest player for the last couple of years, it is nearly impossible to review Anarchy Online without incessantly comparing the two. However, this isn't inherently bad; the audience that Verant has managed to capture (some say slavishly) will almost certainly be at home in Anarchy Online. And while the game is not without flaws that are hard to overlook, it does bring some new things to the massively multiplayer table that are more enjoyable than the current crop of MMORPGs.
Born on Rubi-Ka
An element of both Blade Runner and Neuromancer runs through the story line of Anarchy Online. Set on the desert planet of Rubi-Ka, the plot centers on two factions: the powerful corporate entity Omni-Tek and the Clans, a group of rebels set on exposing Omni-Tek as the evil, faceless corporation they believe it to be. The theme of the game is designed to push both sides toward a full-scale war for domination of the planet. When creating a character, players can choose to align themselves with either Omni-Tek or the Clans, or they can choose to remain neutral.
Like any role-playing game, players are able to choose a particular race and class to play. Anarchy Online has four races to choose from. While the number of races might seem limited compared to other MMORPGs, AO offers a lot of customization in their look. The player has many faces to choose from, and you can choose to make your character taller or shorter and fatter or thinner.
You're then able to choose from one of twelve professions. Some of the professions bear an uncanny resemblance to EverQuest counterparts. The Agent, the class I chose to play, is very similar to the Rogue or Thief class. The Martial Artist resembles the monk. And the Engineer is AO's answer to the Necromancer with its use of a pet -- in AO's case, a robot instead of the undead.
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