[Note: this review was written by reader Sinkhan, a connoisseur of freeware and open source programs- The Freewaregenius]
Knight Online is a free fantasy MMORG backed by a compelling story with a 10 million and growing member base.
Players can fight a variety of monsters with different weapons, trade and sell collected spoils, face others from across the globe online in player vs player combat, and do much more.
After playing this game for a few days, Knight Online to me seemed heavily reminiscent to ArenaNet’s Guild Wars and even a bit to the wildly popular World of Warcraft. Some of the main features of the game are:
- Players can choose between the two main races: El-Morad, which are humans and orcs, or the Karus. From there, a player can decide to be a warrior, rogue, mage, or priest. More refined professions can be chosen once a player reaches level 10. For example, a rogue may choose to be specifically an archer or an assassin.
- The game includes a well conceived combat system. A player with a sword, if close enough to a monster, may do a single downward slash – or, if lucky, a downward then upward slash in succession, adding a sense of random outcome in combat.
- Each class has its own set of skills and abilities that can be activated using keyboard shortcuts. These may range from extra-powerful attacks, healing, faster running, etc. These skills broaden the number of possibilities and strategies to be employed in combat and general gameplay.
- A wide assortment of weapons are available, from large two-handed broad swords to enchanted poison daggers. Weapons may also be upgraded at a magic “anvil” with the use of magical scrolls.
Players also may go on quests given out by NPCs throughout the game. These are usually to kill a certain number of monsters or collect certain monster drops. Rewards of experience points, noah (the in-game potato like currency), or items may be given upon completion.
- Clans and combat groups called parties can be formed for fighting particularly challenging monsters or fighting other clans in competitions and special events. In fact, one of the Knight Online’s unique features is that there are certain events, such as Castle siege, which involves hundreds of players facing each other at a time, a scale very rarely seen in MMO’s.
- The game’s graphics are quite well done, especially considering that it is free. One of the elements of this game that I thought could use some work was the game’s overall support, be it gameplay or technical. The guides offered on the main website are very simple and do not explain a whole lot. To find most of the answers to my questions I found that I had to make an account on the website’s forums and find FAQs and guides there.
Differences between free and paid versions: While this game is free to play by everyone, there are premium packs available. Divided into the levels of bronze, silver, and gold, these in-game boosts are purchased with real world currency and give players extra noah, experience growth boosts as well as other benefits.
For all of those who would like to try a fantasy MMORPG like World of Warcraft or Guild Wars, but simply don’t want to spend money on purchasing or subscribing to a game, Knight Online is definitely worth at least trying. Note that new players must register for an account on the website before downloading the 400 meg client and playing the game.
Version tested: 1.453
Compatibility: Windows 98/2000/XP/ME; Celeron 300 or above; 128 MB+ memory; 16MB or above 3D Display Cards with DirectX 8.1 or Above.