Do note that this is just the Closed Beta, and I did not really play too much of it given the lag and long queue times. This is Asura, a self-develop title by China’s biggest online gaming company, Tencent.
Based on a re-written novel, the game puts players as characters in the years after Journey to the West ended, only to travel back in time frequently to find out what was the “real” story behind the whole thing.
On first look. Asura may perhaps look familiar, Diablo familiar. I am not really understanding why folks are so pissed about that, yes the characters may bare some similarities, but the aesthetic feel is different, and most certainly the storyline, which is refreshing and not leaning on to the classic novel word by word.
There are huge open world maps, towns, dungeons with different difficulties, mounts, and basically everything you will find in a MMO. Each of the 6 characters (refer to my older posts) have different combat resources as well, as seen via the UI below.
If you have seen the videos above, you would have noticed that there is no auto-pathing. I seriously can’t remember when was the last time a China-developed game left that out. Awesome! Playing as the Spirit Monkey, there are currently 2 paths to choose from, Staff and Fists.
Since combos need to be done via pressing different keys, I went ahead with the easier one, Fists, which will allow me to spam just 1 key ~.~ Building up 1 resource point after each combo chain is done will allow me to unleash my skills.
Normal combat can both be target and non-target based, since skills can be unleashed any time even if no monster is selected.
Talking about the skill system, the one found in Asura may slightly look similar to Diablo’s where each main skill has 4 different “runes”. However, skills in Asura has several more passive add-on to each skill, and they are all active at the same time.
The only thing to worry about is which add-on to max out. Another great feature for me, and hopefully this will not change come commercial release.
My only complain so far is the stupidly insane queue times of 4 hours on a weekday evening (played League of Legends while waiting), and the superbly ugly, low-resolution textures during cut scenes.
They are basically made by just zooming in onto the characters and environment, which looks great when scrolled out. I will be playing the game for a little while more, before committing more time when the none-wipe phase arrives.