Grand Epic Online is without question the best looking browser based MMORPG on the internet. Although it describes itself as a 2.5D dungeon crawler, the graphics are beautifully animated. The feudal Japanese-style of the game will amaze many fans of the RPG genre the world over.
Before you start the game, you have the option of choosing which clan you want to be in. It doesn't really matter which clan you choose as long as you pick a character to become your on-screen avatar throughout the entire game.
There's the option of being both male and female characters. There are 8 characters in all and four different styles of weapons that they can wield. You can use a bow & arrow, a sword, a larger broadsword or just a plain staff. Again, it doesn't really matter what type of weapon you choose as your attacks will be weak to start off with anyway.
You will start off by talking to a character called Sher Chao who shows you the basics of this game. It's quite funny how the tutorial plays out as she makes you do all these mundane chores for her – much to the dislike of the character you are being.
One of the first quests she tells you to do is to kill a bunch of rabbits so she can use their fur. It does from that moment on you realize how user-friendly this game really is. Almost every RPG game I've played, you're forced to explore the entire area yourself to know where all the location are. It can be a long process walking around large villages and fields just to find what you need. This game however, lets your character automatically run to the next location simply by pressing the area of interest on the quests menu.
Once I found the rabbits, it was very easy to kill them. All you have to do is highlight the target using your mouse and your character hacks away until the enemy is dead. You can even use the mouse to escape any conflict if the enemy you're facing is too hard for you to defeat. This system of battling is much more intuitive than the old-school turn-based system that is used in many other RPG games.
Leveling up in Grand Epic Online is also a breeze. Once you earn enough points, you can simply click on your character's profile and build up your stats from there. The only downside is that you can only upgrade 3 points for each attribute at one time. If I have 6 points in total, I can only give 3 points for my strength until I level up again.
The online community of Grand Epic Online is healthy and thriving. Even if you're doing single player quests, you can still see other players walking around and doing their own things. I was having trouble killing a bunch of bad guys, until I encountered another player who helped out just in time. It's this sort of interactivity that you rarely see in other video games these days. Not only that, but as you progress further into the game, you have the option to join up with a team to do team quests and more.
Communicating with other players is also easy to use. There's a scrolling message board at the side of the screen or you can instant message other players when you see them walking around the game field. The production values are nothing I have ever encountered before in a free-to-play video game. There are sound effects included and even music playing in the background. The character models are cute and rendered in full 3D.
Grand Epic Online truly is an epic game. The visuals and gameplay are all of high quality and there are a plethora of quests to complete during your journey. One of the best RPG games I've played in a long time.