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Elsword Online

Elsword Online is a 2.5D side-scrolling anime-inspired fantasy MMORPG from KOG Games that features action-oriented combat. Elsword is a beat-em-up style game that features 50+ unique dungeons to explore with an excellent variety of playable classes.

Publisher: KOG Games
Playerbase: Medium
Type: MMORPG
PvP: Arena (1v1/2v2/3v3/4v4)
Release Date: March 23, 2011 (NA/EU)
Pros: +Good variety of playable characters and classes. +Fun combos/combat mechanics. +Great music.
Cons: -Cash shop dependent. -Balance issues. -Game nickle and dimes you.

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Overview

Elsword Online Overview

Elsword is a 2.5D anime-styled brawler MMORPG from KOG Studios. Jump into a world of wild adventure and child-like wonder as you beat the crap out of anyone who gets in your way. Explore dungeons with friends and strangers alike and test your skills in the arena in Elsword, a game that mixes cute with bruises in the best way possible!

There are nine characters in the game. Each character can choose between three class progressions at Level 15, and those classes will advance again at Level 35.

Elsword Key Features

  • Move Along side-scrolling anime-themed action MMORPG.
  • Various Playable Characters 9+ playable characters, which serve as classes. Each character has multiple job options and advancements.
  • Familiar Lines linear dungeon-based gameplay like Dungeon Fighter Online and Dragon Nest.
  • Instanced Dungeons – gameplay takes place in instanced dungeons.

Elsword Online Screenshots

Elsword Online Featured Video

Classes

Elsword Online Classes

  • Elsword – Elsword is an expert swordfighter who specializes in close-quarter combat.
    • Class Progression:
      • Sword Knight > Lord Knight
      • Magic Knight > Rune Slayer
      • Sheath Knight > Infinity Sword
  • Aisha – Aisha is a powerful spellcaster who can obliterate her enemies using her magic attacks.
    • Class Progression:
      • High Magician > Elemental Master
      • Dark Magician > Void Princess
      • Battle Magician > Dimension Witch
  • Rena – Rena is an elven marksman who can infuse her ranged attacks with magical energy.
    • Class Progression:
      • Combat Ranger > Wind Sneaker
      • Sniping Ranger > Grand Archer
      • Trapping Range > Night Watcher
  • Raven – Raven is a close-combat specialist who uses his Nasod arm to slice through enemies.
    • Class Progression:
      • Over Taker > Reckless Fist
      • Sword Taker > Blade Master
      • Weapon Taker > Veteran Commander
  • Eve – Eve uses her understanding of machinery to dominate the battlefield. Being the Queen of Nasods, she can summon them and use them into battle.
    • Class Progression:
      • Code: Exotic > Code: Nemesis
      • Code: Architecture > Code: Empress
      • Code: Electra > Code: Battle Seraph
  • Chung – Carrying the large cannon known as the Destroyer, and wearing the body armor known as Freiturnier, Chung is a force to be reckoned with, despite his youthful, delicate looks.
    • Class Progression:
      • Fury Guardian > Iron Paladin
      • Shooting Guardian > Deadly Chaser
      • Shelling Guardian > Tactical Trooper
  • Ara – Ara has mastered the spear as her martial arts weapon of choice, making her an extremely versatile character. She is usually able to attack fast, both up close up and at range.
    • Class Progression:
      • Little Hsien > Sakra Devanam
      • Little Devil > Yama Raja
      • Little Specter > Asura
  • Elesis – Agile, calculated, and wielding a massive claymore, Elesis is not someone you’d want to meet on the battlefield.
    • Class Progression:
      • Saber Knight > Grand Master
      • Pyro Knight > Blazing Heart
      • Dark Knight > Crimson Avenger
  • Add – With the help of Nasod Dynamo, Add can use mechanized weapons and electricity to deal with his foes.
    • Class Progression:
      • Psychic Tracer > Lunatic Psyker
      • Arc Tracer > Mastermind
      • Time Tracer > Diabolic Esper

Full Review

Elsword Online Review

By Toan Layne

Elsword Online (Elsword for short) is a 2.5D side-scrolling brawler MMORPG developed by KOG Studios and published by Nexon, Gamania, NHN Japan, KOG Games, Asiasoft, Netmarble, Level Up! Games, Gameforge, and Garena, in various regions around the world. For the NA and EU regions, the publishers are KOG Games and Gameforge, respectively. The game was released on December 27, 2007 in South Korea, on March 23, 2011 in NA, and on July 24, 2013 in EU. Similar games include KOG Studios’ previous title Grand Chase. Elsword is available through the official website and Steam (for NA players). Gameplay is actually very similar to that of Grand Chase, but with sharper graphics. Given that Elsword was originally designed as a reboot of Grand Chase, it's not surprising that the two games are similar in art style and gameplay.

Do you like anime?

Elsword has a distinctive anime art style, with gorgeous cel-shaded graphics that I personally enjoyed a lot. The game takes place in the mystical land of Elrios, which was brought to life by the powerful El Stone gem. However, when the El Stone is stolen, trouble abounds, and our hero Elsword and his friends go on a mission to recover the priceless gem.

There isn’t much to the character creator in Elsword. There also isn't much character customization. Players will choose a pre-made character to play, and they will get a choice between several outfits. These characters represent the classes in the game, and there is some variety to be had. You have Elsword, Aisha, Rena, Raven, Eve, Chung, Ara Haan, Elesis, and Add.

Once in the game, players will control their characters using the arrow keys to move, Z and X to attack, and A, S, D, C, Q, W, and E to cast abilities. It's pretty straightforward stuff, but the game becomes more complex when you add in the combos. You have regular “tap Z four times” combos, and you have more complex combos that involve the movement keys as well. This is one aspect that sets Elsword apart. The gameplay is completely skill-based and players have to tactically aim their attacks and chain combos to effectively defeat their opponents. Besides the control scheme and brawler-style gameplay, Elsword plays like any other MMORPG; with quests, inventory management, leveling, vendors, and so on.

As players level up, they gain SP, which can then be spent on powering up and unlocking new skills in the skill tree. Some skills have a higher SP cost than others, and sometimes unlocking one skill will block another. Players gain 4 SP from Levels 2 to 9, which then increases by 1 with each ten-level increment, up to Level 79. Elsword also has a branching class system with multiple job advancements. Initially the player character starts off as is, but at Level 15, players begin their first class advancement. There are three choices at Level 15, and they require the completion of a specific chain of quests, dungeons, and events in order to activate the class. There is also a second class progression at Level 35, but with one rule: players do not have a choice between multiple classes.

Dungeons and Raid Bosses

Elsword has a ton of dungeons and much of the gameplay takes place in these instanced zones. Each dungeon has three difficulty levels, and they can be tackled either solo or with a group. The higher difficulty levels definitely require players to group up. However, there is a powerful matchmaking system that will not keep you waiting for long. On the highest difficulty, players will tackle the dungeon in a group of four. At the end of each dungeon, there is a ranking system which scores a player’s performance and awards loot. Also, players are introduced to dungeons straight from the get-go. I found this system to be very enjoyable, the added challenge making the game much more worthwhile. There are also raid bosses in the game that will require a party of 12 players to be defeated.

PvP

There are two types of PvP in the game: Sparring and Arena. Sparring, as the name suggests, is a practice session, where players can duke it out without any gain or loss. The Arena, on the other hand, is a ranked solo, 2v2, 3v3, or 4v4 battle which awards AP, the PvP currency, and awards and subtracts RP, which are points used to determine a player’s ranking. Ranks are used to determine how much AP a player earns from victories and who they’re matched up against. Using AP, players can purchase gems for their item sockets and item enhancements.

Other Features

Elsword has a lot of small touches that make the game more enticing. First, there is the Monster Card System. By running dungeons, killing monsters, and defeating minibosses, players can find Monster Cards, which represent the monster or miniboss that dropped them. These cards can then be used in dungeons to summon said monster or miniboss to fight by your side. You also have the Random Mission System, which gives out randomized quests in order to keep dungeons interesting. These missions can add some extra spice to a dungeon, by challenging players to use a certain amount of MP by the end of the dungeon, or to use an ability a certain amount of times. Some other features you’ll find in Elsword include a Wedding System, item socketing/upgrading, a profession system, and pets and mounts.

Cash Shop

Many players have complained that the cash shop in Elsword is imbalanced. With powerful items, skill-tree extensions, and skill enhancements, I can see why. While players can grind the cash shop currency in-game, there have been complaints that it is not a feasible option, and that a F2P player cannot compete with a P2P player. This is the one area where the developers have dropped the ball, as the cash shop sells power, not convenience. Simply put, those who spend more money in the cash shop have a huge edge in PvP. Individual skills can be upgraded with skill notes and costumes can be purchased for anywhere between $14-$35, or more. These costumes aren't just cosmetic either; they boost stats. Cash shops should be pay-for-convenience, not pay-to-win.

Final Verdict - Good

I don’t think this review manages to capture the fun of Elsword. I felt very cozy playing it. I don’t know if it’s the art style, the music, or the fact that I’ve always wanted to be an anime girl… What? Anyway, it’s a very fun MMORPG that takes the classic formula and places it in a side-scrolling environment. Fans of Grand Chase and other brawler MMORPGs should definitely find something to like with Elsword. However, many players have complained about the imbalanced cash shop, which can give paying players a significant advantage, especially in PvP. Still, the game is fun and well worth a try.

Screenshots

Elsword Online Screenshots

Videos

Elsword Online Videos

System Requirements

Elsword Online System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Pentium 3 800 MHz
Video Card: GeForce MX 400 32MB or better
RAM: 256 MB
Hard Disk Space: 1,300 MB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: Windows XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Pentium 4 2.7 GHz
Video Card: GeForce FX5700 / ATI Radeon 9600 128MB or better
RAM: 512 MB
Hard Disk Space: 2 GB

Music

Elsword Online Music & Soundtrack


Additional Info

Elsword Online Additional Information

Developer: KOG Games
Closed Beta Date: March 22, 2011 - March 30, 2011
Open Beta Date: April 27, 2011
Steam Release Date: July 2, 2014

Foreign Release(s):

South Korea: December 27, 2007 (Nexon)
Japan: March 17, 2010 (NHN Japan)
Taiwan: October 23, 2009 (Gamania)
Hong Kong: November 9, 2009 (Gamania)
Indonesia: December 4, 2012
Thailand: October 11, 2012 (Asiasoft)
Brazil: July 10, 2013 (Level Up! Games)
EU: July 24, 2013 (GameForge)
Philippines: October 9, 2013 (Garena)

Several localized versions of Elsword Online are no longer available. KOG Games, the developer, self-publishes the U.S. version of the game.

Development History / Background:

Elsword Online was developed by South Korean game studio KOG Games, the same company best known for Grand Chase. Grand Chase was a huge success for KOG Games world-wide, which led to the development of a new and improved version of Grand Chase, called Elsword Online. The two games are remarkably similar and even share several character names. Elsword Online was built using a proprietary game engine by Kog Games, similar to the engine behind Grand Chase. The game reached over 50,000 concurrent users in South Korea alone and the game's success led to it being licensed in over half a dozen regions. The North American version is operated by the developer, KOG Games. The game also launched on Valve's steam service on July 2, 2014.