After spending countless hours of play testing the first beta of Closers Online, I am finally ready to share my experiences with others. Closers Online is an upcoming Anime style Action MORPG and I am very delighted to share the good and the bad aspects of the game. I spent most of last week writing and playing this game all day, so it's definitely going to be one long article with a lot info, images, and videos.
Playable Characters and Cosmetics - Fashion System
The first beta only had three playable characters for the PvE portion of the game while the PvP AOS/MOBA mode offered a handful of selectable characters. The three playable characters in this beta are Seha the Striker, Seulbi the Caster, and Yuri the Ranger. New characters will be added later on like J the Fighter and a Shota Lancer character whose gender leaves normal people confused, even though he is a Trap.
The beta didn't provide any character customization upon creation because it might affect the movie cutscenes and stuff in the game. Other than that, I was able to customize my character by purchasing a CBT package from an NPC and obtaining the level 30 CBT set after finishing Chapter 2 story! Most of the fashion gear in this game doesn't have any stats on it or boosts certain stats by a small bit because of the special item system that I will explain further down below. I've obtained a lot of cute fashion accessories from dungeons, quests, NPC's, and more. Closers will most likely be F2P so expect to have a lot of outfits in the cash shop in the future.
Gameplay & Controls - Combo Crazy
Closers Online is an instance based game so you're bound to repeat the same dungeon on various difficulty settings, but the developers decided to go about a different way this time around by making players go through all the stages within the chapter in easy and normal modes first. After successfully clearing all the dungeons and the last stage of that chapter, it will ask players to go back and clear all the stages again on hard mode.
The only bad thing about genres like this is that it tends to become very linear after long hours of playtime. If you're the type of person who gets bored easily, then you're probably want to skip this game and play an MMORPG or something. Long explanation cut short, enjoy the story with voice overs, pick up quests, enter dungeon, rinse and repeat. As for the controls, players can use the arrow keys to move around, Z key to attack, X to jump, Space to dodge backwards, Q to escape stunlock with a lengthy cooldown, and the hotbar with skills.
The beta had a level 30 cap with low-level content, so most of the uploaded videos in this review or other sources will most likely show lackluster AI. Closers Online offers special Emergency Missions that pop-up in town during certain time frame. During this phase players can solo queue or party with friends. The difficulty of the mission varies depending on everyone's level in the party. I've posted a lengthy gameplay video of a long Emergency Mission on one of the hardest difficulty in the game below. As you can see, there were a lot of players dying throughout the dungeon including myself near the end. Expect a lot more challenging content in the future!
Questing, Leveling, and Stamina System - Denied
Nothing special worth mentioning towards the questing system. The repeatable quests in this game is completely unnecessary, especially with the stamina/fatigue system. A who-what-huh?! Entering dungeons consumes 10 stamina and when your stamina bar is fully depleted, you can no longer enter dungeons until the next day. RIP hardcore grinding and max level in one day style. The stamina isn't that bad for normal players or users that have more than one game to play. However, a hardcore player or someone who enjoys this game a lot will most likely end up leveling two or more characters per day. I ended up being the latter user for this part of the review with a Level 30 Yuri and Seulbi.
One of the more satisfying features of Closers Online that others might find enjoyable is that most of the NPC conversations for various quests and story is fully voiced. They aren't just saying a word or two, they are really talking to you. I didn't really pay attention to the story that much because I was too hyped up on playing the game and beating stuff up, but a friend of mine said it's actually quite good.
Skill and Stat System - Use Points Wisely or Gimp Yourself
Some of the skills during the early levels of the game looks fairly simple. The fun party actually begins after players start investing points in the skills and adding skill cubes to them. What's a skill cube?! A skill cube enhances the skill to the next level making it stronger and adding special effects upon activation. Skills have four phases of evolution. Each skill is upgradedable up to three times going from Novice > Advance > Expert > Master. What's the difference? At a novice skill level the skill can only be executed once without a follow-up attackl. After evolving that skill to Advance, that skill can then be executed twice by pressing it once and then pressing that same skill again for a follow-up attack. Enchance the skill again to Expert and the effect varies, sometimes you can execute it again for another third time or it will let the player use the skill in both the air and ground. Skill cubes are obtained from normal monsters, quests, or an NPC trainer.
There are a couple of things I would like to mention for those planning on playing this game in the future. You will run out of skill points extremely fast especially with the shared stat point system. Stat Point system? Yes, that's right! You can distribute stats into Str, Crit Up, Dmg Up, Magic, etc. However, it also uses the same skill point as you would normally use for upgrading your skills. Which means, you must find the perfect balance on which skills you want to focus on and which stats you want to enhance. Keep in the mind that you can only enhance a skill with skill cubes after reaching a certain skill level! You're definitely going to be needing that skill reset item in the future. This is the part where everyone starts begging for character builds.
Module Equipment System - Specialize your character!
Freely customizing your own unique character doesn't just stop at skill enhancements and stat points alone. I'm really digging how the equipment system works in Closers Online. My explanation will become a lot easier after you view the image below. As you can see there are three main elements on how stats is calculated and added on to a character. The first and most important part is the main weapon which boosts my characters Physical and Magic Attacks. Next to it, I have weapon modules. I can only equip a maximum of three modules and these mods enhances my Magic Attack or Physical Attack greatly as a Main Stat with random sub-stats such Magic/Physical penetration, Attack Speed, Skill Speed, etc. The Armor modules work in a similar way, except it enhances the defensive stats of my character such as HP, Magic Defense, Physical Defense and more. Which means, players can customize their character to their liking! For example, I am going cat crazy with a bunch of Cat modules that adds a ton of HP per piece + the set bonus. As for my weapon modules, I am mainly focusing on Magic Attack modules with sub stats of Critical Damage or Crit Chance. By the time the beta was over, I had three cute cat set pieces and a bunch of crafted high quality gear. I ended up replacing the bottom half of the cat set for defense and magic defense so that I can stay alive longer during raids.
Players are able to reset a weapon or modules sub-stats if they aren't happy with it. Resetting all of the sub-stats only costs gold, while resetting 1-2 stats will consume a special capsule which might be a cash feature later on. What's the deal? There are various sub-stats in the game and they are ranked from F-S depending on the bonus they give. If you ended up crafting a godly weapons with all Rank F-B stats, then you're most likely would want to reset the sub-stats by paying a small fee. Great! Now you noticed that there are "two Rank S sub-stats" and "two Rank C sub-stats" on your godly weapon. What will you do? You will be forced to select the "two Rank F sub-stats" and reset those two again, but it will require an extremely rare reset capsule. Closers Online offers a lot of item features, but going through them all will take up too much time. Yes, there is enchanting and crafting system for those that want to go + crazy with weapons as seen in the video below.
Graphics Quality - Stylish Anime Graphics
I was able to run the game on 2560x1440 resolution without any problems at all. It seems like the game is optimized very well. I was able to adjust the settings from low to high although I was actually hoping that there would be some ultra settings for textures. The graphics quality is good enough for now. Nothing like super OMG crazy amazing nice and all, just plain old good. The auto camera features while using skills is nifty though others prefer to have it off. I believe there might be an option to have it turned off. If you've played a crap load of Anime games then you're most likely going to find this game as a hybrid mix between Rusty Hearts and Elsword Online. If I had to compare between the two, it leans towards more Elsword mainly because Naddic Games the developer of Closers also consists of veterans who previously worked on the Elsword.
PvP Mode - What's it like!?
I didn't get around to testing the PvP part of the game as much because I was mainly focused on PvE'ing. The only PvP mode available in this beta is an AoS/MOBA mode like League of Dota2. Standard three lane, towers, and jungle monsters. Players can purchase items from store and upgrade them using gold obtained from creep or player kills. Each character has two sets of skills that they can master and there are a lot of playable characters including NPC's and Bosses. They are probably going to add other styles of PvP in the future, but this one is much more balanced because everyone starts off level 1 with no items or gear. The matches are 4v4 against players or CPU. This mode is unlocked to everyone even level 1 players, so you can jump straight into PvP if you wanted or ask a friend to try it with you.
The Flaws - Are there any?
The game may sound amazing so far, but it does have its own flaws such as the extremely awkward running up and down animations. Random disconnect or crashes while dungeoning in the future will set the player back, especially if they are playing with friends because they will end up losing stamina for that run. Once you're out of stamina, there is nothing else to do other than level up alts, which is what I ended up doing in this beta with two max level characters. It would be nice if players had an option to play as the NPC's from PvP Arena to help friends or players in dungeons. During the "High Level Nightmare Emergency Mode" with a full party it's sometimes hard to see what is going on with too many flashy skills, monsters, explosions, and camera angle changes. I ended up losing track of where my character was a few times. Awesome music, but I felt like there is something off about the Sound FX or BGM that I couldn't quite grasp, maybe it's the lack of bass? Ahh! Don't want to spend too much time thinking about it >_<!
Conclusion - Great Game with Lots of Potential
I had a blast during beta, but maybe that's because of that I had that "new" feeling excitement that I usually get when I was young when playing brand new titles! I ended up spending my nights playing the game until the servers went down for the day. Closers was one of the top ten games that I wanted to to test this year and I am glad Naddic Games was nice enough to contact Nexon and help me get in beta. Did the game live up to my standards? Honestly, Closers Online is a great game, but this genre isn't my cup of tea as I prefer a more open environment. I'd definitely be playing it again during the next test if the two new male characters are available as I am eager to try them both out. Fully customizing your character to your own playstyle in terms of stats, builds, and skills is always a big plus in my book. I rarely experienced any latency issues playing from USA which was nice and the PvP lag wasn't that bad either. Alright, that sums up everything time to sleep or go back to playing other titles. Thanks for taking the time to read my lengthy review and see you on my next gaming adventures!