Exploring the Perfect World
Despite recently being released on mobile, Perfect World has a long and storied history. Perfect World Games’ original game was released in July 2005 (in China only, the NA release would come in 2008), and it’s only being released on phones now because our phones can handle it. The game is nearly a full port of the MMORPG on PC. Sure enough, Perfect World Mobile offers a mind-boggling amount of content, especially for a free-to-play game. The game features a vast overworld with gorgeous scenery that you’re able to fly around and explore freely. Even though Perfect World is fourteen years old, its mobile port feels very new and is well worth the wait.
Shallow Classes, Extensive Equipment
Unlike the full PC version, Perfect World Mobile offers a scant five classes for new players to pick up and play. The classes are exclusive to race, and most of the time, gender as well. Winged Elves can only be Clerics and Female, for example. There isn’t a lot to build your character with, but over the course of the game, you will find that your equipment matters most of all. When playing the game, you’ll focus on refining your equipment. Players with more refined armor/weapons will be significantly stronger than players who only have the basic armor, even if they’re at the same level. This is where you’ll find most of the game’s microtransactions. That’s good, because it’s still very much possible to play and enjoy the game without microtransactions. But, be warned that the game will still try to encourage you to become stronger than other players by paying up.
Go on an Adventure or Let the AI Do It for You
The story mode consists of plenty of main quests and side quests. There are a lot of NPCs to talk to, which helps the game environment to feel like an actual world. Unfortunately, these quests are more or less devoid of anything to do. Most of the time, the NPCs will send you on your merry way to pick a medicinal herb or maybe take down a few bandits. In absolutely none of the quests do they actually show you where to go. Instead, the game prompts you to click on the quest icon, which will then auto-play the game for you. Thus, the game is more like a clicker game than an adventure, at least for the single-player segment. The multiplayer layer is considerably more nuanced.
Let’s Go Together
You’re encouraged to join a guild early on. The guild will offer substantial rewards in exchange for completing guild quests, some of which can be auto-played for grinding purposes. You can level up at any time, but the game features a system where you can only rank up and learn new skills by completing quests. Some of these quests require other people to come in and help you. There’s a nice balance between solo grinding and cooperative dungeon-faring. The other thing that I actually appreciated is that you cannot auto-play some multiplayer quests. This forces you to actually learn how to play the game.
Also, there is a convenient graphics slider that enables it to be played even on older devices. However, even with the graphics settings, I would greatly recommend that you try to play this on higher-performance devices. The lag gets exponentially worse when you move to an older device.
All in all, Perfect World Mobile is a very enjoyable romp through a gorgeous game environment. Single-player questing is a bit trivialized by the fact that most of it is automatic, but in the end, it’s still worth it to invest in upgrading your equipment so you can go on the real quests, the ones with other players involved. Even with the automated quests, I still enjoyed watching my character journey around a rich world full of NPCs for the character to talk to. When it was time to strategize and engage in multiplayer battles, Perfect World really took off for me. I thoroughly enjoyed collecting and enhancing equipment, and unlocking the best skills, in order to make sure that my barbarian tiger-man was the most badass tiger-man imaginable.
Is it Hardcore?
Yes, especially for a freemium game.
Perfect World Mobile is a graphically stunning MMORPG that’s free-to-play with microtransactions that are actually optional. You’ll spend most of your in-game time going on automatic quests to level up in preparation for full-fledged cooperative quests, but this is a solid choice if you want to play an MMORPG on the go.