Echo of Soul is a 3D fantasy themed traditional MMORPG game developed by Nvius. It originally came out of South Korea in 2013 and just recently, Aeria Games published it on North America and Europe.
Echo of Soul is heavily advertised on the internet, so it would not be a surprise if you did see some form of ads when browsing through sites about this game. Is EoS actually worth advertising, or better yet, how good is EoS?
Classes and Character Creation
In Echo of Soul, there are five classes to choose from, they are your typical classes on an MMORPG like Warrior, Rogue, Guardian, Sorceress, and Archer. They are very self-explanatory, the only problem here is that they are gender-locked. At this time and year, I never thought I would see something like this again, it is not that I hate it, but it is a turn off for some people for sure.
Anyway, moving on with the character creation of Echo of Soul, it is what you would actually expect on a free-to-play MMORPG, it is simple, limited and nothing new. Most of it is just presets and the things that you can only edit are the size of your head, height and body length. There is no actual uniqueness on your character which might make some players dejected from their own characters. After you created your character, you will now set foot the world of Echo of Soul.
Graphics, Animations & Optimization
The graphics for Echo of Soul is quite dated compared other MMORPGs that was recently released. Keep in mind that Echo of Soul first released in South Korea back in 2013, it was just recently released in English countries because of they completely translated the whole game. Even then, the Echo of Soul stills suffers from visuals that may be actually ‘good’ 4 years prior to its initial release. Anyway, it feels more alive, vibrant and overall better compared to the gothic MMORPG, Archlord 2 which I reviewed weeks ago. Enemy models look inspiring enough for the first few levels, but you will later see some rehashes on some of it, at least they still bring new enemies every now and then.
The animation is decent but can be clunky sometimes, though there are some skills that really look smooth in transition, especially when using them in order, there is a problem though. It feels like the whole environment is apart from the game models like the environment is just a huge green screen and edited out so your character has an environment to move upon, it is just a little detail that has bothered me throughout my hands-on of EoS.
Another problem of Echo of Soul is its optimization, well it really is playable on medium settings, but when you mix everything up, the lag is so obvious, considering my PC can handle all graphic-heavy based games, the only mastermind for this problem is the programming of the game itself.
World Map, Zones and Camera
The world map is huge, the picture above is only a sector of much larger map you can visit throughout your stay on Echo of Soul, and it really is a huge map. The only problem here is that they are zoned, meaning you have to go to a portal or warp to go to another area. Well, it is okay at first, but not until you realize that even small areas are zoned into parts which is frustrating as there is no reason why they have to do it. Fortunately enough, it does not take long for the loading to finish so hooray, yeah? Anyway, you got a free mount early in the game so do not worry about going back and forth to the area.
The camera panning is okay as it is really easy to do, but not when you use WASD movement, as the camera locks out when doing it, and it is hard to maneuver because of it. So stay away from WASD movement when you keep shifting the camera.
Gameplay, Quest System, Inventory Skills, Profession and Soul System
If you have played a traditional MMORPG which was really popular several years ago, the gameplay of Echo of Soul does not differ from it, in fact, Echo of soul feels like a bare bone of that concept. It can be boring to some, but it can be a ton of fun to others. It is very easy to learn as all you do is mark the target and wait until your character kills it, you can mix up some skills so it ends faster. Nothing special on it, like I said, it really is bare bone.
The pacing of quest on Echo of Soul is actually pretty fast and it really is easy to level up due to that fact. Sadly, the quest itself is absurdly repetitive and boring, there are like 2 types of quest to be done here, it is the usual kill or collect quest type that has been plaguing MMORPG until today, but Echo of Soul does not add anything new to that which makes it dull and uninspiring.
The inventory on Echo of Soul is small, and really cramp, especially if the quest items also take up space, you have to spend real money to get a larger bag, it is a huge rip-off as I think there is no other way to get a larger bag unless using a real money. Plus, all your equipment only cost 1 coin each so it does not really matter to pack up old equipment.
Once you reach level 10 on Echo of Soul, there are several features that open up for you. One is picking up your subclass, for each class, there is always 2 subclasses which is a tank and damage per second type. You will have to pick one of them and a new set of skills will be given out to you, you can unlock new ones every 2nd or 3rd level iteration.
There are also professions in the game which gives daily quest, though you can acquire a secondary profession or a hobby later in the game. All of the profession and hobby are helpful toward your journey in Echo of Soul as they specifically help you in certain areas of the game.
And probably the most unique feature of Echo of Soul is its Soul System, basically everytime you kill an enemy, they give you chaos soul which you have to purify, and after purifying you can now use your recharged souls. There are 4 types of soul, Hope, Courage, innocence and peace; they are essentially a temporary buff or boost to your stats and can only use in a limited time and has to cool down. It is pretty basic and much more of a gimmick of EoS, just to say that there is something new in it. Well, yeah, it is a unique concept, but they could have added more so it can be more useful as it really is forgettable one when you do not really pay attention to it.
Dungeon and Battleground
Dungeon also opens up once you reach level 10, and every 5th level iteration, a new one would open. A dungeon consists of very small zones and there are some mini quests here and there, and a boss battle at the end. Dungeons are actually challenging on solo, and fun when in a party, it is fun but you cannot repeat a dungeon you have already completed. Sad.
The battleground is also open once you reach level 10, and oh boy it is probably the most exciting part of Echo of Soul. The system gathers players from different servers fast and it is either 15 versus 15 or 5 versus 5. There are conquest, capture points as many as possible, or domination, kill enemies as many as possible, both are engaging and intense.
Probably, the main problem here is the level range is from level 10 to 59 which is ridiculously unfair. No, since the system gives lower levels free stats boost, and the only difference from you and the higher levels are the available skills on your arsenals and your hp.
Battleground also gives out the most experience when you frequently play it.
Music and Sound
The background music or soundtrack is decent, it suits really well for the game’s theme, nothing much to say here as it is decently made all throughout. It could be a lot better if NPC can actually speak though.
Before I end this hands-on review of Echo of Soul, let us recap the pros and cons
– Traditional MMORPG, easy to pick and does not have a high learning curve.
– Whole map is huge and a mount early in the game is much appreciated.
– Enemy models look inspiring, and cool sometimes. (rehashes here and there, it is normal for MMORPG anyway)
– The quest’s pacing is quick and it is relatively easy to level up.
– Soul System is a nice feature, but underutilized
– Dungeons are pretty challenging and fun, and it can be accessed at an early part of the game.
– Battleground can be played easily since there are a lot of active players from different servers. It is always intense and fun.
– The soundtrack fits in the game.
– Classes are gender-locked.
– Limited customization. This includes skills and character creation.
– Graphics look dated and animations are clunky sometimes.
– Gameplay is really repetitive, for instance, there are just two types of quests and combat can be boring after a while.
– Currency is almost useless, and the inventory is so small and cramp.
– Several parts of the maps are zoned, even the small areas.
– Battleground level range is from level 10-59, which is unbalanced even if given boost stats.
Overall, Echo of Soul is like a bare bone traditional MMORPG, it has everything in it, but nothing really stands out among other MMORPG, and some can actually do better than what EoS actually presented. It feels generic in all aspects of the game. If you are a casual gamer, this can be fun for you in a long time, but if you are someone who are looking to invest in the long term into an MMORPG game, you may waste your time here, but there are several MMORPG that offers a lot more.