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Karos Returns

Karos Returns is a 3D fantasy themed MMORPG set in the world of Asmara and is a relaunch of the original Rosh Online.

Publisher: RedFox Games
Playerbase: Medium
Type: MMORPG
Release Date: April 3, 2015 (NA/EU)
PvP: Open World, Duels, and Siege
Pros: +Good variety of classes. +Fletta system allows for customization beyond just skill points. +Extensive PvP
Cons:  -Only 1 skill tree per class. -Clunky interface. -Cash shop imbalances. -Near zero character customization.

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Overview

Karos Returns Overview

Karos Returns is relaunch of the original Rosh Online game which shut down after failing to attract a large enough playerbase. Karos Returns is a generic fantasy MMORPG with a built-in bot, similar to the auto-battle system found in Conquer Online and Monkey King Online. Choose from one of seven playable classes, each with the ability to transcend into two further classes, refining their combat role. Level up by completing various quests, unlocking new skills to decimate enemies. Bring your new talents to the PvP arena and test your might against other players in open world combat, duels, and siege battles. Mechanics are simple to understand, and accessible to all MMORPG players.

Karos Returns Key Features:

  • Seven Classes choose from one seven classes with the opportunity to transcend into two new classes for each subclass at higher levels.
  • Karos Guide – built in bot called "Karos Guide" which uses potions and kills enemies automatically.
  • Fletta Points – aside from receiving skill points for leveling up, players gain Fletta points which can be used to boost stats,  enchant items, craft, and more.
  • Extensive PvP – varied PvP options with open world PKing, duels, and larger scale siege battles.
  • Simple Mechanics an easy to understand interface and thorough in-game guide elucidates every aspect of gameplay.

Karos Returns Screenshots

Karos Returns Featured Video

Classes

Karos Returns Classes

  • Gunner - powerful ranged damage dealers that specialize in the use of firearms. They can also craft various pieces of equipment or gadgets to deploy in battle. Gunners can specialize and become Sharpshooters (Masters of the rifle) or Creators (masters of crafting and installing combat devices).
  • Mystic - the typical magic user class that can specialize into Mages (Masters of elemental magic for maximum damage) or Clerics (Masters of healing and supportive magic).
  • Bowmistress - ranged damage dealers that specialize in the use of bows. Bowmistresses can specialize and become Archers (Masters of distraction and utility) or Rangers (for maximum ranged DPS).
  • Rogue - melee damage dealers with an emphasis on damage over durability. Rogues can specialize and become Assassins (damage focused) or Duelists (evasion and charms).
  • Sorceress - shadow magicians that use curses to weaken their foes. Sorceresses can specialize and become Banshees (specialize in curses to weaken their enemies) or Spellbinders (damage over time specialists).
  • Paladin - holy warriors with both offensive and defensive capabilities. Paladins can specialize and become Defenders (powerful tanks with an emphasis on defense and durability) or Holy Knights (tanks with supportive auras).
  • Blader - typical fighter class that can specialize and become Swordsman (2 handed sword users with powerful crowd control and AoE capabilities) or Spearman (2 handed spear users with AoE and knockbacks).
Full Review

Karos Returns Review

By Sean Sullivan

Karos Returns presents ancient tropes typical to MMORPG's and throws them in your face like they're something new. As I played, I felt inexorably nostalgic for Lineage 2. I’m pretty sure the developers wanted to re-excite their own fondness for Lineage. Launching Karos Returns, I was greeted by a friendly reminder: “Stretching your arms and legs every 20 minutes is good for your health.” This isn’t a Wii game is it? Or, is this foreshadowing how I’m going to feel after playing? Ignoring the warning, I proceeded to character creation.

Egalitarians Offended

Karos Returns offers seven classes to choose from, each of which is gender-locked. With the exception of Gunner, that appears to be race-locked as a rock solid dwarf whose run out of bubblegum. There’s no innovation in terms of offered classes. They fall into trope categories so that their purpose is easily inferred from their title. Rogues are dextrous DPS dual-wielders, Paladins are durable tanks bandaging their comrades, and Sorceresses serve curses and crowd control effects. Each of the seven initial classes can later transcend into one of two specialty classes, further refining their combat role.

Customization is sparse and gender-locked classes will turn away egalitarian players. You’re limited to choosing between a handful of face structures, hairstyles, and hair colors. It’s rudimentary at best, and Karos Return’s dated graphics don’t allow for in-depth distinction anyway. Longer hair styles bleed through clothing, defying the fundamentals of physics. Nonetheless I elected to become a female Mystic, with empurpled locks, eager to inflict mortal damage on every rabies-infected animal in sight.

Ancient Presentation

While Karos has just released on Steam, it’s graphics are about a decade old. While not offensive to the eyes, its roughness will require a level of forgiveness. Pea-soup landscapes stretch for as the far as the eye can see, but pockmarked vegetation is well-rendered with detailed blades of grass and leaves. Female character models are, of course, sexualized to the extreme with curves and bosoms that squash enemies by sheer size. Overall, character models look like clay dolls, eager for some four year old to play tea party. But again, they're smooth enough to make for endearing figures to the right kind of player.

While the game’s presentation is ported from the peak of previous generation games, it’s optimized like an Early Access title. I barely broke 30 FPS and fumbling through the settings, between medium and low, yielded no improvement. Choppy framerates made traversing the world a chore, and my interest waned almost immediately. Older presentations can hold their own when gameplay itself is fluid enough to compensate for blurrier textures. Unfortunately, Karos Returns fails to deliver.

Arthritic Ventriloquist Movement

Controlling my character felt clunky, like an arthritic ventriloquist was struggling to control his puppet. Moving with WASD is fine unless you choose to jump and alter the camera angle, resulting in a lagged directional change response. You can elect to move by left-clicking, while using right-click to control the camera, which is fine. But because both movement schemes are activated simultaneously, I often found myself moving unintentionally. Misclicking a target resulted in my character gallivanting next to the enemy, and trying to loot dropped items oftentimes sent my character skipping towards the other side of the map. It's a confused schema, and I don’t understand why it doesn't ask a preferred mode of movement, a question even Black Gold Online poses.

Is It Dead Yet

Karos Online isn’t innovating, as should be expected; it employs a tab-targeting combat system that anyone will understand. Click on enemy and use hot-barred skills to decimate them. In the game’s beginning, enemies die too quickly. One spell is enough to char a Prairie Dog, making it feel unfulfilling. You’ll spend more time listening to nonsensical quest-givers than you will grinding, especially since quests task you with slaying a minuscule number of rabid animals. I never felt fulfilled by combat, and my eyes were drawn to the black desktop of my second monitor as I played.

My bag quickly filled with pots to refresh my mana and HP, but they proved entirely useless as HP/mana auto-regens after each fight. And with such short fights there’s no reason to worry about either pool. Combat becomes incessantly boring, with no risk and the only reward being the satisfaction of checking off a completed quest. The combat sound effects are rather weak, particularly my character’s enthusiastic grunt then “OoOoO,” as if she’s surprised the spell even cast.  

Should Have Paid Attention In Russian

While the game isn’t dead, the community is a melting pot of largely Russian-speaking players, with English thrown in like an afterthought spice. Considering there are only two channels and one server to play on, it makes finding cooperative members to adventure with rather difficult, not that you need help considering the ease of gameplay. Billed as a PvP-focused game, Karos Returns features an Arena System and Guild Warfare. However, I did not personally experience either aspect. I can only posit that the game’s PvE mechanics carry over to PvP, making for a fast-paced slaughter that’s more dependent on the class you’ve chosen and whether or not you’ve mastered the game’s sloppy mechanics.  

WinRaRs Write History

When you search “Karos” on Steam you find two results: Karos Returns and Karos Online, both produced by the same developer—Galaxy Gate—but published by two separate companies. Karos Online is the Russian edition of the game, published by the Nikita Online, while Karos Returns is published by OnNet USA INC.

There is quite an odd history to Karos Returns and a reason why “Returns” is in the title. All of my complaints stem from the realization that Karo Returns was published in 2010 and subsequently closed but has since been passed around to numerous publishers like the village horse. As far as I can gather, Karos Online, Karos Returns, and Rosh Online: The Return of Karos are all the same game, repackaged by different publishers. And it becomes more confusing because all three are still up.

Cash Shop

What would a free-to-play title be without a cash shop? Not profitable. Regardless, Karos Return's cash store is composed of cosmetics, convenience items, and bonuses to experience accumulation. No singular item reeks of overpowered or indicates a pay-to-win strategy. Practical items can largely be earned in-game and are not necessary to proceed, though certainly helpful to those who want to avoid the drudgery of quest-grinding. The costumes are rather weak with more lingerie items than anything else, and none of them are particularly appealing. Better character models might have warranted a purchase for voyeuristic gamers if they resembled a level of detail such as in The Secret World.

Final Verdict - Fair

Karos Returns feels more like a rare artifact dug up by an Archaeologist than a 2015 release. Dated graphics, cliché combat, and unoptimized systems cannot contend in the saturated market of free-to-play MMORPG’s. There’s no real reason for Karos to return other than the publishers desire to keep milking the moribund cow. There is no singular quality that shines from the game’s world (beyond the vast number of female characters in need of physical therapy). The only reason to play Karos is if you’re wearing glasses coated with nostalgia, otherwise you’re better off with another game.  

Screenshots

Karos Returns Screenshots

Videos

Karos Returns Videos

System Requirements

Karos Returns System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10
CPU: Intel Dual Core 2.6 GHz or AMD Athlon II X2 240
Video Card: GeForce 210 or Radeon X600
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 5 GB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: XP / Vista / 7 / 8 / 10
CPU: Intel Dual Core 2.9 GHz or AMD Athlon II X2 260
Video Card: GeForce 230 or Radeon HD 6550D
RAM: 2 GB
Hard Disk Space: 5 GB

Music

Karos Returns Music & Soundtrack

Coming soon...

Additional Info

Karos Returns Additional Information

Developer: GalaxyGate
Publisher: RedFox Games

Closed Beta Date: March 24, 2015

Foreign Release:

South Korea:  2009 (NHN)
Russia: Ovtober 6, 2010 (Nikita Online)

Steam Release Date: July 30, 2015

Development History / Background:

Karos Returns, also known as Karos Online or Rosh Online, was developed by South Korean game developer GalaxyGate and originally launched in the U.S. back in 2010. The game shut down due to a lack of popularity and was later re-licensed by GamesCampus for U.S. and European users and re-launched on April 3, 2015. Karos Returns released through Steam on July 30, 2015. GamesCampus shut the game down in April, 2016 and it was picked up by RedFox Games that same month. The RedFox version of the game launched on April 26, 2016.