Linkrealms is a free-to-play 3D retro-style sandbox MMORPG that features an open-class system, giving players the freedom to customize their characters and pursue their own paths.
|Publisher: Mythyn Interactive
Release Date: May 19, 2016
PvP: Open World/ Territory Wars
Pros: +Classless gameplay. +Sandbox environment. +Lots of things to do.
Cons: -Sluggish controls. -Cluttered interface. -No quickslots/hotbar.
Enter the mythical world of Syndesia and explore a world without boundaries in Linkrealms, a 3D Sandbox MMORPG. Experience the game’s classless gameplay where you can choose your own path, whether you want to be a sword-wielding knight, a spell-casting mage, or both. Explore an open-world environment inhabited by creatures that will run away when hurt or work together in teams to take you down. Learn a huge variety of skills that will allow you to craft virtually anything you need, from weapons and armor to potions, food, and even fruit juices. All of which will help you to survive a world where everything is out to get you, even your fellow players.
Linkrealms Key Features:
- Classless Gameplay – choose to be a knight, a mage, or a barbarian, or better yet be all of them!
- Sandbox Environment – explore a massive world without boundaries.
- Professions & Crafting – learn additional skills to help you on your journey, from blacksmithing and alchemy to cooking and farming.
- Land Ownership – own your own piece of land that you can decorate and customize using a huge variety of in-game items.
- Server-wide PK – enter a brutal world where other players can kill you as soon as you step out of a safe-zone and loot you for everything you have.
Linkrealms Featured Video
By, Marc Marasigan
Linkrealms is a fantasy-themed–free-to-play 3D sandbox MMORPG set in the mythical world of Syndesia. Players are free to go on their own adventures, join others on theirs, and make a name for themselves however they want, as a knight in shining armor or as a bandit terrorizing the locals.
Going Old School
The game features retro-style graphics similar to what you would expect from PC games that ran on Windows 95, like the first Diablo game, Fallout 2, and Ultima Online. While I have nothing against retro-style graphics, I personally prefer 2D or sprite-based games like Final Fantasy III or Ragnarok Online that have an air of timelessness about, them rather than old 3D graphics that start to show their age only a few years after their release. The background music perfectly fits the overall mood of the game with epic fantasy-ish melodies and a hauntingly beautiful chorale. The sound effects, however, are generic at best.
A Hero Is Born
Before setting out on their chosen paths to honor, fame, and glory, players must first create their characters. Players may choose from around a dozen or so races which range from normal looking humans to cat-like and wolf-like humanoids. Races are purely cosmetic and have no impact on the game. Players can also choose their character gender and customize their characters using a handful of face types and hair styles. The game provides players with limited options for customization but is exactly what I would expect from a retro-style game.
Once they’ve created their characters, players are transported to a hell-like starting zone where they are taught the basics of movement, combat, dying, and resurrection. Unfortunately, the tutorial is unskippable. Fortunately, it only takes around 5 minutes to complete so no harm there. Like World of Warcraft, players who die in the game become ghosts, spirits, or whatever you choose to call them. They then need to get to a resurrection shrine or collect a certain number of angels to be brought back to life, while avoiding one-eyed monsters that suck the player’s life force requiring them to collect more and more angels. Depending on the server, players may also lose equipment when they die.
One of Link Realm’s weak points becomes evident as early as the tutorial, this being the game’s awkward Carpal Tunnel-inducing control scheme. Players need to hold down the right mouse button to make their characters move toward the cursor. Placing the cursor farther away from the character makes them run while moving in closer makes them walk. To attack, players need to use the left mouse button and double-click on their target before moving in to within attack range. Add the sluggish character responses and you’ve got a formula for sore wrists a mere thirty minutes into the game.
As far as I could tell the game lacks a quick slot/hotbar feature. This might be OK if you’re playing a melee character but playing as a mage requires you to constantly have your spellbook open and manually select skills to cast. Personally, a control-scheme similar to Diablo or even something similar to DOTA might have worked better. While I’m on a roll, I would also like to point out the game’s somewhat cluttered inventory system. Every item you pick up is placed randomly, and rather haphazardly, inside your pack without slots or any kind of organization system. What this looks like in-game is exactly what it would look like if you did it in real life. You then have to manually and painstakingly drag and group individual items together to give it a semblance of order which is time-consuming and unnecessary.
Have It Your Way
Linkrealms is a sandbox MMORPG that has a lot in common with old-school Multi-User Dungeons, or MUDs, which are essentially the grandfathers of modern MMORPG’s. The game’s class-less system allows players to freely choose their paths and roles within the game while also allowing them to explore the game’s massive open-world environment regardless of their level and without being hampered by instances and breadcrumb quests found in typical MMORPG’s.
Characters don’t level up in Linkrealms like they do in typical MMORPG’s. Stats and skills are improved with constant use. Hitting a mob with a club increases a player’s strength stat and his proficiency with clubs, along with a few other related skillsets. While using a staff and casting spells increases a player’s intelligence, spell power, and even strength if the staff is used to physically hit the mob. This progression system allows players to create their own specialized builds. Fancy yourself as a knight in shining armor? Go ahead and grab a sword from your pack and start hacking up the first mob you find. If you’re more into burning off your enemies eyebrows with a fire spell then by all means pick up that staff and start blasting away mobs. There’s also nothing to stop players from creating a battle mage who can switch from casting spells to deftly handling a sword on the fly. They just need to put in the required time and effort.
Players who aren’t into adventuring and killing and prefer selling and crafting can also find their place in Linkrealms by specializing in profession skills like, blacksmithing, alchemy, and cooking. Like combat skills, profession skills are improved with use. Creating armor and weapons for blacksmiths, concocting potions for alchemists, and preparing meals for cooks.
Survival of the Fittest
Sandbox MMORPG’s typically have PK or Player Kill systems in place to add to the game’s realism, and sometimes even make for fun role-playing scenarios. Linkrealms is no different. Any player can kill another player at any time, anywhere without penalties except for a few safe-zones which are usually towns or cities. Depending on the server settings in place, players might get away with their gear intact or lose one or more items, or maybe even all of their gear when they die. The harsh penalties are meant to add a measure of realism and risk to the game. Coupled with the PK system, however, this can become quite frustrating especially when griefing comes into play—a problem that most PK-enabled MMORPG’s have struggled with. Players can also join guilds and battle other guilds for control of in-game territories for those who like larger-scale PvP.
Microtransactions are fast-becoming the payment model of choice for free-to-play MMORPG’s. This allows players to purchase premium items that give them a bit of an edge over the free-playing community. Link Realm’s developers, however, are dedicated to equity and fair competition in the game and, therefore, have made sure that, and I quote, “nothing a player can purchase is going to make him suddenly powerful or give him an unfair advantage,” which is always a good thing.
The Final Verdict - Fair
The absolute freedom that sandbox MMORPG’s impart to their players is great. Being able to create a character tailored to your exact specifications is simply amazing. That being said, one drawback of sandbox MMORPG’s is that they don’t give players a specific goal to accomplish in the world aside from being the best at everything, which oftentimes isn’t enough of a motivation to make players stick around for the long haul, especially when PK and griefing is an all too real part of the game. Link Realm’s awkward and sluggish controls coupled by its dated graphics doesn’t help it either. If you’re a fan of MUD’s then this game might be to your liking. If not, there’s always Elder Scrolls Online and other better-looking sandbox MMORPG’s.
Linkrealms System Requirements
Operating System: Windows-based PC
CPU: Pentium 4
RAM: 200 MB RAM
Video Card: 32 MB Video Card
Direct X: DirectX 8.0
Hard Disk Space: 400 MB available space
Operating System: Windows 7
CPU: Quad Core 2.4 GHz
RAM: 6 GB RAM or more
Video Card: Any video card with a minimum of 32 MB RAM
Direct X: DirectX 9.0
Hard Disk Space: 500 GB or more available space
Linkrealms is optimized to run even on outdated and low-end machines. A broadband internet connection is recommended but even a dial-up connection will work.
Linkrealms Music & Soundtrack
Linkrealms Additional Information
Developer: Mythyn Interactive
Publisher: Mythyn Interactive
Distributor: Steam (Coming Soon)
Designer: Christopher Theriault
Producer: Konstantin Fomenko
Technical Director: John Lockwood
Composer: Joel Steudler
Game Engine: Mithrill
Closed Beta: February 27, 2015
Summer Beta: August 29, 210
Fall Beta: October 31, 2015
Winter Beta: January 5, 2016
Open Beta: TBA
Shut Down: January 31, 2018
Official Launch Date: TBA
Development History / Background:
Linkrealms is a free-to-play 3D sandbox MMORPG developed and published by indie game developer Mythyn Interactive. The game went through a number of testing periods starting on February 27 , 2015 when the Phoenix server went live. The game also went through a Fall and Winter beta on October 31, 2015 and January 5, 2016, respectively. The game was Greenlit on Steam on July 29, 2015 and will be distributed through Steam's gaming platform.
Linkrealms shut down on January 31, 2018. It never managed to attract a sizeable playerbase.