There have been a few big Action RPG releases recently and more notably Warhammer: Chaosbane and of course everything will get compared to THE ARPG, Diablo 3. However, this one, on the outside, feels a little different.
Pagan Online Is developed by Mad Head Games and Wargaming and the story is based around Slavic Paganism and you can choose one of eight heroes to fight against the countless enemies in a fast-paced, hack-n-slash environment as you work your way through the journey of the story.
So let’s choose a hero and smash some enemies.
Right away you’re introduced to the story and of course, you have to select your character. What did I go for? Well, the one that looks a cross between Odin wielding Mjolnir aka Istok: The Stalwart Protector. Here are the eight characters you can choose from:
Istok: The Stalwart Protector
Anya: The Blood Ritualist
Kingewitch: The Juggernaut
Dameer: The Wildborn
Lukian: The Servant of Two Gods
Masha: The Vagrant Champion
Morokh: The Dark Sentinel
Valeria: The Royal Assassin
Once you have selected your character, you start your journey where you are introduced to the Old Man. he tells you the story of the Gods and also instructs you where you should go on each step of the journey. He is basically a very pleasant tutorial guide and helps ease you into the world.
When starting off you need to do the introduction mission and once completed you start opening out the world. There are 3 things you can choose from there are:
The Campaign currently has 6 actions where you Journey as you Hero through various parts of the story. Without spoiling too much, the story is what makes Pagan online stand out a little compared to the rest. More likely as I like Norse Mythology as this closes resembles it but also it gives a good outline on the Slavic Mythology and bringing to light a religion that no one, more than likely, knew it existed.
Don’t like the campaign? then missions might be something for you. These are split up into 4. They are:
Nothing too special about these as they are static parts of the campaign story but they are great places to grind materials, armour and more importantly Key Fragments which are required for the Assassination missions.
Assassinations are the true end game in Pagan Online as this is the place where you get the top-level loot and the Hero shards which are required to unlock Hero skins.
You might want to bring a friend along in Co-op to help you out on these as they are very tough. Also, each player needs to meet the requirements set for each mission too as you don’t want to be going in there too low levelled otherwise your not going to have a fun time.
These need to be reworked. You have 3 options for Keyboard and a Controller option but the Controller is basically useless. It’s just unplayable with a controller. I have tried a few attempts to get it better but that fact the arrow quizzes around the screen while your moving and not hiding is a big issue.
As for the 3 Keyboard options you have Movement keys (Default), MNouse Pointer and Click to move From all the control option the one that seems to be the better option is Mouse Pointer as at least moving the mouse your hero is looking in that direction which is a nightmare when playing on the default keys.
This is early access and it’s going gold soon and after looking on reddit there seems to be a contoller update on lanch as loing as they are on schedule.
Put the game on Epic and the game runs pretty well. Only when I put the game to Ultra its stuttered a little but that’s more of my ageing machine rather than the game as overall the game seemed very optimised.
However, there are no colourblind options at all and this can cause a headache when equipping different level of items as most the time I’m just winging it. Hopefully, something that can be added in the future.
It has all the classic audio you might expect from an ARPG, something that you hear on both Diablo and Warhammer however this year in Gamescom Sabatonsang their classic Swedish Pagan song to introduce the game and were shown playing the game too. Sabaton would be a perfect match for Pagan online and would pay to hear a soundtrack from them. One can only hope.
With 50 hours of gameplay, more missions to get that perfect gear and Assassination mode to get further, there is plenty for you to crack on with without feeling bored.
The developers also have a huge potential fort DLC’s to further expand the story and really keep this game alive for a good long while.
Controller issues aside, Pagan Online has great potential for the long haul and to be up there in the ARPG go to’s with the likes of Diablo. The community on Reddit is active and so are the developers and with gold around the corner, I can see the player base becoming bigger. With Thunder and lightning raining down, I would give Pagan Online a Thumb Culture Gold Award.
Disclaimer: A code was received in order to write this review.
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