Midgard, a Forgotten Past
Ragnarok Begins is a free-to-play mobile MMORPG developed by veteran game studio Gravity Interactive. Players can experience an expansive world, all in the palm of their hands. Those familiar with the Ragnarok series are sure to experience nostalgia, while others explore an ambitious MMORPG.
Ragnarok Begins takes place 100 years before the events of Ragnarok Online. Gravity Interactive’s first MMORPG. Tensions are growing between the worshippers of Odin in the Kingdom of Rune-Migarts and Freyja’s followers in Arunafeltz. Consequently, Chaos erupts in Midgard when Pope Arunafeltz vanishes. It’s up to you to uncover the secrets surrounding the Pope’s disappearance and find what is hidden at the heart of Midgard.
A Side-Scrolling Adventure
You begin your hero’s journey in the minimal character creation screen, featuring the adorable chibi art style the Ragnarok franchise is known for. After that, you get more backstory on the events within the realm. Then, following in true Ragnarok tradition, you defeat Porings; the iconic pink jelly-type creatures, until you unlock the four primary classes. Mage, acolyte, archer and swordsman, Ragnarok has eight additional advanced classes that unlock at level 50.
Ragnarok Begins offers wonderfully fast-paced side-scrolling action that translates well onto the mobile device. Combat resembles Ragnarok Online, which gave me large doses of nostalgia since fighting is what Ragnarok entails. The side-scrolling controls focus on horizontal movement. I was apprehensive about it at first, but I experienced no issues in the heat of battle.
Ragnarok Begins also supports cross-platform play. Players on PC and mobile devices can play together, and it is abundantly clear when you log on to play. Additionally, it is easy to find players of various levels and classes in most areas of the game.
A Blast from The Past
Ragnarok Begins will hit players with nostalgia if you have ever played the classic MMO. From the glossy graphics and chibi character models to the iconic music and combat. But what about players who haven’t played the original Ragnarok? Does the game offer more than just nostalgia?
Surprisingly, Ragnarok Begins offers a vast amount of good quality-of-life features. For example, in MMOs, I always worry about inventory management. Fortunately, the game displays available space as a percentage next to the inventory icon. This way, I always knew how close I was to a full inventory. Ragnarok Begins does the same with your base level and your job level.
Your base level and job level differ regarding how you level up. Players’ job level corresponds to their class, and they gain experience through completing job-based actions. Using spells and taking on job-related quests all fall under job-level experience. Meanwhile, your base level is essentially your character’s level. Players gain Adventurer based on milestones they achieve in the game. It’s important because it adds permanent buffs to your character’s stats. The higher your adventurer level, the better the stats.
Ragnarok Idle Heroes?
One crucial feature of Ragnarok Begins is the auto-pathing and auto-combat features. You can automatically complete quests and fight while watching your hero do all the work. It reminded me of old RuneScape bots I employed early in my gaming career. This puzzled me since Ragnarok Begins doesn’t present itself as an idle-like game. Yet as I am writing this review, my hero is fighting an epic battle right now. I initially thought the auto-battle and path features would make the game boring. However, it was a welcomed feature after spending countless hours completing quests.
Unfortunately, quests in Ragnarok Begins are basic, and most feel redundant once you reach level ten. However, writing is where the quests shine. Yes, you may be completing a fetch quest to get a sandwich, but the storyline you follow is pretty darn funny.
Free-to-play mobile games often have unnecessary microtransactions. While Ragnarok Begins has various in-game currencies and microtransactions, they are mainly limited to cosmetics. This was an excellent addition, given the minimal customization at the start of the game, and the premium options are fantastic.
A True Ragnarok Legacy
This isn’t the first-time publisher Gravity has tried to capture the nostalgia of the Ragnarok series. Ragnarok Orgin saw some success. However, Origin failed to win over the hardcore fans. I found myself bored at some points, gladly using the auto-path feature. However, the developers clearly put a lot of love and care put a lot of love into all the game mechanics.
However, the main reason to play Ragnarok Begins is the community. During the slowest parts of the game, I could always find a party to fight in dungeons with. This offered a much-needed change of pace. As a result, I stayed happily entertained during the slow portions of the game. Ragnarok Begins also has ranked PVP and, my favorite, server-wide world boss raids.
Ragnarok Begins is the closest thing one can experience on mobile devices that will match the original game’s feel. Though not even close to being perfect, it’s hard not to love this game.
Is It Hardcore?
Only the end-game content.
A blast of nostalgia that will hit veteran MMO players while new beginnings for those who want a solid MMO experience.