Developed by Chinese studio Kingnet and published in China by Bilibili, Sword Art Online Black Swordsman: Ace is an officially licensed mobile MMORPG from Bandai Namco and Kadokawa. It launched a couple of days back as a China-exclusive title, and I managed to get on the hype train and give it a quick whirl. As usual, I am only giving the game a first look, without experience mid or late content.
So, there is really nothing much about character creation in Sword Art Online Black Swordsman: Ace, which is a bummer as I was expecting something at the level of Black Desert Mobile. At least players can choose between male and female for each playable weapon? So, off we go to Aincrad and kill some monsters!
The progression in Sword Art Online Black Swordsman: Ace works this way: Players need to clear a chain of mission and quests to finally advance to the level boss, defeat it, and advance to the next. Pretty much similar to the anime. The key characters such as Kirito and Asuna are both NPCs and also in your team once you unlock them.
In the open world, they simply exists as special skills which you can summon after unlocking them (there are just 5 of these characters now). So why do we need to level and equip them? Well, if you want to solo any dungeons, you can add them instead of partying with other live players. So far, there are the only 2 features I encountered.
Combat in Sword Art Online Black Swordsman: Ace is kind of frustrating for lazy players like me. After unlocking auto-combat around 30 minutes into the game, you will then find out that this feature doesn’t work in instanced dungeons and scenarios such as the level boss. Basically, auto-combat can only be used to AFK farm in the open world… Until you reach Floor 2 where new dungeons open up and you can auto there.
While the main instanced dungeons do not have auto-combat, casual ones such as resources dungeons and wave battles do allow it, along with open world bosses.
There is just 1 item to gacha for right now, which are skill upgrade cards. Basically, they change the way each skill works by giving them add-on effects. Hence, there can be many different types of skill combinations even if players are using the same weapons. From what I see, players can eventually unlock other weapons as well rather than just sticking to the starting one.
And of course there is the Battle Pass.