Of Elegance & Fantasy: A Granado Espada Review
Granado Espada aka Sword of the New WorldPublisher: HanbitSoft
Status: Free to Play
Genre: MMORPG - Fantasy, Adventure
Game play Rating: [5/5]Granado Espada is a Korean MMORPG created by Hakkyu Kim, the creator of Ragnarok Online, and developed by IMC Games, HanbitSoft and IAHGames. It won the 2006 Korean Awards for Best Graphics and Game of the Year. Granado Espada's setting and art style are based on the Baroque Era of Europe, making it stand out from the typical "sword and sorcery" and "fantasy" bandwagons. At first, the game may seem hard for players because of the unique features such as the MCC system and the Intelligent Movement,(wherein the characters are controlled through a combination point and click and hotkey use).
Graphics Rating: [5/5]
Game Sound Rating: [5/5]
Performance Rating: [4/5]
Community Rating: [4/5]
Game Play 5/5
Granado Espada is known to use the Multi-Character Control or MCC system, wherein the player can control 3 characters at the same time. This makes it easier for the player to level their characters up and harvest faster, as well as going AFK without too much hassle. The characters' stances and base levels improve independently. Another feature is the Versatile Stance System, which enables each character to have a wide range of skills and fighting techniques.
The Barracks Mode allows the player to choose and create characters. The player will first create a Family name or surname, then proceed to create and give first names to the characters. Players can choose from 5 stock classes: Elementalist, Fighter, Musketeer, Scout and Wizard. Each class has its own set of stances and fighting skills. The Barracks can collect up to 36 characters.
In this game, players also have the freedom to recruit NPC's (Non-playable characters) as they venture to the New World. The Recruitable non-playable Character (RNPC's) can only be obtained by finishing all the required quests, depending on the NPC. Once the quests are finished the NPC gives the player his/her card as a reward for the effort and hard work, thus recruiting them in their barracks.
The players can also earn Family Reputation and other rewards (e.g Experience Cards, items, etc.) by doing various quests, such as the RNPCs quests, and through successful duels and PVP. The Family Reputation can be used for creating Factions, declare war on other Factions, purchase items, etc.
The Duel and PVP features of Granado Espada are usually held in a sports arena. The PVP can hold up to four families per team. The players are given the opportunity to test their strategy, skills and weapons against the opposing player.
Just like any other game, players are also allowed to form groups called factions. Factions are similar to guilds wherein players can establish territories and form alliances. When forming a faction, players have to choose which side will they support: The Royalist under the iron fist Vespanolan Princess Gabriela or the Republican under the freedom fighter Simon Ayende.
It can hold a maximum of one hundred people. Rich and powerful factions can declare wars on other factions and as well as opening and occupying colonies in designated maps.
Families are also allowed to party, known as squad, to other families.
Interactive trading allows players to buy and sell with NPC vendors and other players with the use of Market Manager in every city or if in AFK mode they can put up their own personal shops and sell.
Game Graphics 5/5
Granado Espada's graphics is quite stunning. The scenery is rich in color and breath-taking. Every city and scenery is modeled after the European style of architecture during the Baroque era. Every intricate designs and details of the buildings, environment and even the costumes are well-defined and definitely an eye-candy for all players.
The characters' skills' execution are flashy yet elegant.
The players can choose poses by accessing the pose list for screenshot purposes.
The Baroque atmosphere of the game itself also added some good points; it's as if the players are transported back into time, only this time it involves the supernatural and fantasy mixed with European conflict and politics.
Game Sounds 5/5
In terms of sounds and music, the sound effects corresponds well to the environment and to the characters, making it more realistic. Each town, dungeon, city, fields and even in the barracks and log in screen have its own distinct music. Although not all the music fits well in some places. The music are mostly techno and rock; it lacks classical and baroque music that makes the players feel that they are really in the Age of Exploration.
→ Granado Espada: Esa Promesa (By: SFA) - YouTube
→ Granado Espada OST Vol.3 - Arpeggione Sonata - YouTube
→S.F.A. -Blanco del ojo- Granado Espada OST - YouTube
Another thing is that the characters can talk. They act and sound as if they were alive in that time. The voices have the right accent but does not really fit much in the characters. Some of the voices are pretty annoying to hear since it's not really a real European who does the voice acting.
→ sGE V3.4: Helena's Voiceovers - YouTube
→ The Back-Stage: Mad Emilia Voice Over - YouTube
Game Community 4/5
The community makes its own efforts to listen to the problems, suggestions and feedback and do their best to make the players satisfied and prolong their stay in the game. In my opinion, the community acts fairly okay, although there are some flaws in terms of botting problems. It is no surprise that this issue is still evident even after the server merge (although the shout outs of botters, even the botters themselves suddenly decreased). This game, despite the long existence, is still striving to be known because it unfortunately lacks publicity and endorsement.
Game Performance 4/5
The performance so far is okay, although there are still flaws. For instance, the dialog box in a quest has missing words or phrases, and it has not been resolved yet. Anyway the presence of lag is barely a problem. The technical problems are easily resolved. The game itself, surprisingly requires only 5 GB of the disk space, despite the graphics. At least I am happy at the current performance of this game, but I hope they would improve more.
Overall, this is the one of the online games that I enjoyed playing so far. It was a good experience for me to play this game, despite the long patch updates. I also find inspirations for my drawings and enjoy the events. I recommend Granado Espada to all true and history fan gamers.
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→ Jeannie, Market Manager - Sword of the New World
→ Woulfe, IMC JV a step closer - Worldnews.com
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