Cabal Online review
Publishers: ESTsoft Inc
Costs: Free to Play
Page: Cabal Online game
On 22 Feb, 2011
Pros: Attractive graphics and spell animations.
Cons: Formulaic, generic. Small world.
Our Rating: (2/5)
Cabal Online won’t revolutionize the gaming industry with its standard fantasy MMORPG classes, leveling system, and graphics, but its well-established community and ease of play make it one of the easier MMOs to play. However, you might have a problem discovering that for yourself, as Cabal plays hard to get with your computer. You’ll have to use Captcha, go through a surprising number of pop-up windows, and download from a mirror site before getting to the game itself. ESTsoft should streamline the initial download process, especially as it has done nothing to bar spammers from Cabal Online.
Upon character creation, you’re asked to choose your class. You’ll start to see how little thought went into this game when you see the class names: warrior, wizard, blader, force archer, force shielder, and force blader. “Blader” is inherently uncool; it’s only one doubled letter away from being a part of the excretory system. What’s worse is having three classes with the word “force” in the name. Someone wasn’t even trying to be creative with those, and the concepts behind the classes are likewise generic.
After you’ve created your character, you’ll start off in a fairly limited space. There’s nothing unusual about that; newbie zones are small for most games. But Cabal’s claustrophobic game realm isn’t just in the new players’ stomping grounds. There are no large continents to explore, just individual map screens accessed via warp gates. Isolated chat channels further divide the world and take away a lot of the massively multiplayer aspect of this MMORPG.
Roleplaying in an RPG: What’s Your Motivation?
The “RP” part doesn’t fare much better. As one of the mercenaries fighting for dominance in the broken world of Nevareth, you will be tasked with…well, it’s never really clear what role you’re to play. For gamers who are happy to dispense with roleplay and get to killing monsters, this isn’t a bad thing, but for roleplayers who enjoy a good story, Cabal Online will be a disappointment.
About that monster-killing: plan to do a lot of it. Cabal is one of the more grind-happy games available. There are occasional quests, but as they’re almost all kill quests anyway, they don’t provide a break from grinding as much as offer extra incentive to grind. You can speed up this process with cash, of course; like most free-to-play games, Cabal offers a cash shop. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a cash shop, but a game needs to be compelling enough to make players want to use it. There’s nothing compelling about “insert Sword A into Monster B” gameplay.
If you’re a fan of the grind, Cabal does reward players every ten levels with ranking quests and new modes of fighting including combo modes. Combos make battle more exciting by using timed elements of an attack in succession. It’s a nice break from mindless button-pushing and is one of the few distinctive elements of Cabal Online.
Cabal Online: Comfortable or Downright Dull?
Despite its basic competence, Cabal feels like a placeholder for a more interesting game. Graphics are polished, skills are useful, but somehow there’s just no spark. If an MMORPG doesn’t feel suitably “massively multiplayer” and offers no roleplay interest, all that’s left is just another online game. If you’re looking for a placeholder game to play before you find an MMO that captures your attention, Cabal is a fine choice. If you’re looking for something special, keep looking; the only thing exceptional about Cabal Online is how generic the game is despite its polish.
Cabal gets a point for its combo mode and another for its appealing spell and weapon animations, giving it a final rating of two out of five.