Elsword is the spiritual successor of Grand Chase, developed by KOG Studios. It is a 2D-sidescrolling action MMO.
System - 7/10
Standard expected options are there to tweak graphics and map keys, everything runs fairly well...except...the netcode. It's pretty bad, but doesn't render the game completely unplayable for party play or PvP.
Graphics - 6/10
Everything looks pretty ok, although some of the models and textures are so simple, they're ugly. A lot of the special effects and models that clip over each other make the game look kind a cluttered and messy too. On the plus side, there is a small emphasis on Elsword's comic-themed style, which is pretty neat.
It's funny, cause I'm fighting a steel robot, hah, hahaha....ha.
Gameplay - 14/20
Currently, there are three characters to play as, each with two branching classes. They're your archetype warrior, mage, and archer. A skill tree is used, and works as you would think.
The core of the game has you running PvE dungeons or PvPing in the game's 2D sidescrolling combat system, there really isn't anything else to do. There are pre-defined combo strings that the game allows you to do, and you string them together to form bigger combos. There's little flexibility with this, and the characters end up using roughly the same combos in PvE and PvP.
Speaking of which, PvE can be quite dull. While some of the dungeons do provide some unique tidbits and enemies, you'll eventually find them to be bland. The fact that attacking enemies in PvE consists of mainly spamming the same 1 or 2 combos for everything doesn't help.
PvP on the other hand, is more exciting. I wouldn't say by too much however, as you'll constantly be doing roughly the same combos as well. Nonetheless, it's entertaining. Yes, it has some balance issues, and gear does make a difference, but if you overlook that, it can be pretty fun.
The equipment upgrading system is a bit more extensive than others. First, you can upgrade the stats of the equipment itself, with the classic +1, +2, +3, and so on system that has an increasing failing chance with each success. Then you can slot the items with gems that give some additional stat bonuses. Finally, you can add an element to the equipment, giving it special effects or protection.
Yes, it is possible for an item to have more effects and text than this.
Guilds are there, along with a marketplace where anybody can open up a store. There is a cash shop where you can buy various things, a few conveniences and avatars. The avatars in this game do grant some stat bonuses, and they can somewhat make a difference, most pronounced in PvP.
Audio - 6/10
Pretty average soundtrack and voices. Not much else to say.
Elsword will definitely please Grand Chase fans, and is likely the target demographic. The first 3 characters are practically clones of the first 3 in Grand Chase for god's sakes! There are quite a few flaws with the game, so for anyone else, check out a few videos and read up on Elsword. If you like what you see and hear, it's good enough for a try.
Overall - 33/50