First announced back in 2016, we were surprised when China games company Gaea Mobile revealed that is has obtained the rights from WIT Studio to make a mobile MMORPG based on Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress, an anime which only had 12 episodes in its first season. After going through development hell under Top Studio (a partner under Gaea Mobile) and a change of team, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress finally entered its first Closed Beta phase a few month back. For extra info, Top Studio was founded in 2016 and worked on 1 mobile MMORPG, MIA Online. A new test started recently, and we hopped in for a very quick look.
While we do not feel that Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is not a suitable theme to be made into a mobile MMORPG, we can’t fault the development team for trying its best. The 4 playable classes are not really inspired choices, but we could see how they tried to make them work by giving them the traditional class archetypes (Warrior, Gunner, Archer, Brawler). You got to realize that the game takes place during an industrial revolution, and magic is not an element in the lore, hence many classes were not considered for the game.
To summarize, Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress is a very standard mobile MMORPG product from China studios, so much so that it felt like a re-skin of the many similar titles we have tried over the years. Many features, PVE and PVP modes, mounts, costumes, and more. Of course, the main selling point is the lore from Kabaneri of the Iron Fortress which includes locations, characters, and the monsters (Kabane). If you have already noticed, there are passive Kabanes in town, which felt so weird as they are supposed to be super-aggressive.