Old As Chaos Itself
Gala Inc’s Rappelz Online is a mobile fantasy MMORPG following the long-running Rappelz for PC. First officially launched on PC on November 3rd of 2006, Gala brought the title to mobile devices on November 2nd, 2021—fifteen years later. While Rappelz is and always has been free-to-play, Rappelz Online’s heavily monetized nature makes it difficult to justify giving it a shot in 2022. However, it must be lucrative considering Gala has maintained the title for a decade and a half. So, the question is: is there anything of value behind the paywalls, or is it time for Rappelz to rest? Should you choose to brave the grind yourself, Rappelz is available for free on Google Play. Gala operates a Facebook page and official site for Rappelz Online, but only the Facebook page appears to be active as of late.
As mentioned, Rappelz launched on PC in November of 2006 following a beta launch the previous month. The game features a medieval fantasy world inhabited by the Deva and Asura (representatives of Light and Dark, respectively), as well as the Gaia. The story is simple—the three races coexisted peacefully for a time. Eventually, a Gaia rallied their people against the others with ruthless conviction, under the title of The Witch. Despite a world enveloped in chaos, the three races managed to unite and conquer The Witch and her acolytes. Epics are essentially separate chapters of Rappelz’ story. These distinct Epics explore the remnants of chaos The Witch left behind—as well as her rumored return. Rappelz has shifted publishers since its launch, but servers are still running today—currently on Epic 6.
Rappelz Online, the new mobile version, is essentially the PC title on mobile devices with several auto-play features in place.
Indeed, Rappelz features a fairly standard fantasy setting, complete with its own rebellious ancient-one who seeks world domination, one whose shadow lingers long after they are thought to be defeated. However, it’s story is presented well enough and accompanied by impressive visuals. But, what role do you play in this epic?
Harnessing Light And Dark
Unsurprisingly, Rappelz plays like your average MMORPG. Using standard twin-stick controls and a set of unique attack buttons on the side, players will find themselves comfortably navigating this fantasy world in no time. Combat is flashy, but it’s your typical click-and-watch action. You first choose from a set of classes whose names may sound somewhat unique, however they are fairly standard RPG classes—a warrior, a roguish archer, and a sort of herald (holy warrior). Players can then customize their character to a surprising degree. It’s enough to make every player feel special.
As previously mentioned, Rappelz features a somewhat generic aesthetic, but at least it’s presented beautifully. The game looks as good as a PC MMORPG, and Gala offers a range of settings you can tweak to find that perfect balance between good graphics and performance.
Elephant in The Room
What little story is available right now for Rappelz Online may be intriguing to some. However, it is only a taste of what is now available for the original PC version. The mobile game, as it stands, is a grind. Many hardcore players will find themselves grinding for hundreds of hours to make meaningful upgrades by the end-game. The alternative being a couple hundred dollars of in-game currencies. I guess if players enjoy the world enough and only put a few hours into it per week, it won’t feel like so much of a grind.
Hopefully, with the release of more story and side content, Rappelz will level out and feel more engaging and balanced. If you’re looking for a certified doozy of an MMORPG, check out Daniel DeAngelo’s review of RuneScape for Android or the turn-based RPG Revived Witch. Between you and I, you can never go wrong with Guild Wars 2. ArenaNet’s MMORPG may turn ten years old this summer, but it’s beautifully stylized art is timeless. The base game offers five races and nine classes to choose from, a hefty eighty-plus hour story with hundreds of hours of unique side content and plenty of fun to be had with friends—entirely for free from ArenaNet’s official site. There are two major expansions available for purchase today with a third one coming this month. It’s never too late to jump in!
Is It Hardcore?
Rappelz Online feels a little hollow. Perhaps if I had some nostalgia for the original PC version this port is trying to mimic I could look past the lack of content, in-app purchases and simple gameplay. Overall, it just feels like an attempt to kindle a long-dead flame.