Ever since the WoW franchise opened up the floodgates and drowned the MMORPG scene, a myriad of similarly-minded titles have been vying to garner some kind of wider popularity that even remotely compare to that of WoW.
4Stories, a 2008 free-to-play title released by Zemi Interactive is indeed one of those games. But is it worth the energy of playing it? Or should it remain cast out at sea? Read this 4Story review and see for yourself.
4Story: the Setting
The game takes place in a fantasy realm known as Iveria. This world has long since suffered under the sabatons of war. Three factions have been gripped in combat for years, attempting to break the stalemate and seize control of the provinces.
The two opposing factions are Defugel, a militaristic nation that implements technology to best their foes, and Craxion, a mystical kingdom of mages and sages that fights to preserve nature. The tug-of-war between these two warring forces has been so terrible that it spawned an entirely new faction. Broa is a kingdom comprised mostly of refugees, and it strives to maintain neutrality in the conflict.
After selecting your character’s race (human, fairy, and werebeast), you may choose which of these three to support.
Graphics and Artstyle
When looking at 4Story, its art direction and graphics promptly remind players of WoW. Everything is similarly colorful, while the armor and weaponry are just as bulky. Granted, this is far from the first game to take inspiration from WoW. Furthermore, it doesn’t appear that 4Story is directly aping it, but is actually taking the visual artstyle into a new direction.
Gameplay: Classes and Beginning
4Story plays much as one would expect from an MMORPG of this kind. As already touched upon, you opt for one of three races. These all have their individual affinities, such as big brains or a propensity toward slashy/bashy/smashy activities.
Speaking of which, you have access to six classes: Summoner, Assassin, Wizard, Warrior, Priest, and Archer.
The summoner can employ the aid of diverse beasts and demons to slay the enemy. The assassin prefers the subtle approach, though, as they can approach a target silently and deliver a lethal blow. Wizards can spend their mana in exchange for potent spells to decimate their foes.
Warriors have a radically different life philosophy, preferring to simply level the enemy with brute force. Priests are a touch gentler souls that use their power to heal and uplift others. Finally, Archers make fighting cheekier with devastating long-range weapons.
Once you’ve pinned down the character of your dreams, you’re thrust into the great wide world. After some training and reaching level 9, you must choose which faction’s cause to champion. It’s a buffet from there, so eat up while you’ve still got an appetite for it!
Gameplay: The Actual Game
Much of 4Story’s gameplay involves the staple practices in use by MMORPG games today. Grinding, PvP, potions, gear collecting, leveling and build crafting, the works. There isn’t quite a lot to say there, save for the fact that it’s serviceable. The strategic command system works well for real time battles, as it’s not terribly cluttered.
That aside, a few gameplay features do stand out. For one, you begin the game with a mount. This makes traversing the lands of Iveria much more practical. It also allows experienced players to pounce right to where they need to be without excessive boredom.
Another quirk of 4Story is that you, as a freshly-baked hero of the world, already start the game with all your class skills. This goes against the convention of gradually unlocking the skills one by one as your character grows in power. In this game, you simply improve the abilities you prefer, leaving the others by the wayside (even though you may still use them).
Moreover, the game offers a wide range of PvP areas and alternatives. These range from plain-and-simple one-on-one encounters to massive faction clashes. Some more intriguing ones are Dragon Invasion and Aerial Wars. They entail exactly what you imagine they do.
You might be wondering whether this is a downright clone of WoW or not. As far as we see it, it isn’t. It draws a considerable amount of inspiration from that material, but its lore and gameplay are just about disparate enough to separate them.
With that in mind, there is no reason not to give 4Story a whirl. It’s a perfectly commendable project. It can even be fantastically entertaining, especially when relishing in all those different PvP games. On top of all that, it’s free to play too. It’s basically a fine game you can play free of charge. And that’s nothing to scoff at, if you ask us.