I’ve always wondered what the protocol is for reviewing an MMORPG. After all, if a game goes on forever, how much time should one investment to have “played enough” of it to get a complete view of the game? Ten hours? Twenty? One hundred? Well, I’ll be honest, I haven’t tracked my hours-played on Wakfu, however, having played the beta and putting additional time into the game after its official release, I believe I’ve played enough to form an honest opinion.
Wakfu takes place approximately one-thousand years after the events of a game called Dofus, which in my opinion looks just a little too close to “doofus” and I can’t help but snicker every time I see it (just goes to show you how poorly a language barrier can effect one’s perception of a name). All of the character classes (fourteen in total, all with customizable looks and great names such as Xelor’s Sandglass and Ecaflip’s Coin) are the same as the original game, so all you doofuses out there who played the original (sorry, I couldn’t help myself) will find Wakfu very familiar.
Just a few of the character classes of Wakfu. Argh! Just look at that Iop’s hair (bottom left)!
Like any MMORPG, there are a variety of jobs and tasks to perform, from quests to collecting lumber to create items from, and all of this is set to smooth, fun-to-watch animation that makes even the most tedious tasks seem a little less so. Of course, for those of you who hate super-deformed Anime, you may find Wakfu a little difficult to stomach (my favourite class is Iop’s Heart, and I still can’t get past that their hairstyles look like they’re wearing alien skulls for headwear).
The battle system of Wakfu, however, is probably its best attribute, and for those who play MMORPGs, you’ll know that’s very important because this is how you’re going to spend a great deal of your active gameplay time. Wakfu uses a grid-based, tactical battle system somewhat reminiscent of Final Fantasy Tactics. This is something not seen in MMORPGs, but if you’re a fan of the aforementioned title, you’ll certainly love what Wakfu has to offer. What’s more, each class has its own set of special abilities and five spells in three of four elemental schools of magic (fire, water, earth and air, of course).
But therein lies the one issue hardcore MMORPG fans might find off-putting about Wakfu: the game is not as large-scale as titles such as World of Warcraft and EverQuest. However, if you’re like me and enjoy MMORPGs but don’t want to have to give up a social life to progress half-way decently in the game, Wakfu caters to the casual MMO-player better than any game I’ve played before. Sure, the world is smaller (which can always be added to with expansions), and the list of abilities is shorter, but that also means you don’t have to slave away, hours on end, in a pretend world. And for me, that’s a selling point.
And speaking of selling, you can play Wakfu for free! Sure, a premium (paid) membership will give you the ability to buy and sell items, more dungeons and other fun things, but there is still a wealth of things to do with a free membership. If you’re like me and don’t see the reason to ever pay for a membership to an MMORPG again, Wakfu is a perfect game for you.
If there’s anything I could say against the game, it’s that the tutorial area is a bit tedious (but, hey! they actually have one!). Barring that, however, Wakfu is a fun and enjoyable title and with two levels of playability, it’s much more inviting than most for the non-hardcore MMO crowd. So if you’ve got the time, head over to the Wakfu website and download the game. If you like it, great! And if not, all it cost you was the time to download it and try it out for a while.
Game Play: 4/5
Replay Value: 3/5