Nexon Red's vision for a huge, 150-player fantasy war is an interesting one. The smartphone game looks and feels like a premium product, complete with top-of-the-line animations, a great combat system, and a dynamic interwoven series of mechanics that exemplify the MMO genre.
I found the game to be an excellent distraction for on-the-go gaming, particularly during long flights or in DMV waiting rooms. There's a true sense of a persistent, always-connected world waiting at your fingertips, and if you have a bunch of friends or a wider social circle, the game will take on an even bigger meaning.
But I also worry about the game's monetization and rather complicatedly layered structures being too hefty for Western audiences. These types of games typically do better overseas in Japan or China. It's interactive enough on the surface, what with the boss battles and co-op or PVP multiplayer, but it can absolutely play itself and has a lot of little hooks for microtransaction spending.
I personally think the game needs a bit more uncoupling and the hugely snarled webwork of UI menus, mechanics, and small grind mechanics needs smoothed out. Hopefully, the game does well because the developers have clearly put their all into this one, and the game shines with a strong dedication to a core vision.
AxE: Alliance vs Empire has so much to offer players and may prove to be a never-ending RPG that just keeps on serving up new content for years to come.
AxE is coming very soon to Android and iPhones in the West.
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