Swords of Legends Online

Icon - Calendar Released: 9 Jul 2021
Icon - Edited Reviewed: 14 Jul 2021
Platform: PC

Swords of legends

Swords of Legends Online is a Chinese MMORPG that has been slapped together with bits of string and duct tape for a Western release. There are some decent upsides to it, and some big downsides. Overall, it comes out as "Meh, there are not other MMOs at the moment so why not", but whether that's good enough for you will really depend on whether you can live with the abysmal translation and voiceovers, for the sake of being able to play an MMO that isn't at least 10 years old.

Pros

  • The character creator is both very detailed and simplistic at the same time. There are tons of options and sliders, but they only make tiny differences and basically all characters look the same
  • There are Classic & Action control schemes
  • Quite a nice UI, which is completely customisable
  • You can turn off other player models to increase FPS (which is good, because a lot of people struggle with performance in the outdated engine)
  • It has dodge, sprint & double jump
  • You can fly pretty much immediately
  • All the normal MMO things; crafting, gathering, player housing, instances, raids, PvE, PvP
  • I quite enjoy the combat, which isn't tab-based

Cons

  • The NPCs are voiced, but you aren't, so they talk to you and you just stare blankly at them
  • The game name is silly
  • It came out in 2019, but it's built on Unreal Engine 3 which came out in 2006, so it looks pretty outdated in places. They're working on updating it to UE4 but goodness knows why they started with an outdated engine from the beginning.
  • It's not actually 'open world' like most MMOs, it appears to be a collection of small areas and you keep getting teleported between them during quests. If you see some cool landscape you want to investigate, it's probably behind an invisible wall
  • Some objects on the ground have invisible walls that extend into the sky, so it's impossible to fly over small objects
  • You can only have black hair. Blond and pink hair are real-money purchases only
  • All the armour is silly; everyone's just wearing silk dresses. No one has any actual armour
  • Works fine for me, but a lot of people have performance issues because the engine is so old. People with older computers have better performance than modern graphics cards

Translation Issues

Yes the translation issues really do deserve their own section:

  • The voice acting is awful
  • They haven't edited the cutscenes based on the difference between how long it takes to say something in English vs Chinese, so when the camera moves to the next NPC in the cutscene, it either just stops the audio from who was talking and cuts them off, or it just starts the next voice line and they all talk at the same time
  • Some non-cutscene voice lines don't play at all, or get cut off halfway through a sentence, or play at double speed
  • Some voice lines are still in Chinese, then switch back to English, in the same cutscenes, for the same character
  • Sometimes even the voiced English lines have weird mistakes in them, like when someone gives you a "healing past" (paste)
  • The voice lines don't match the subtitles, ever
  • Sometimes NPC lips don't move when they're talking in cutscenes
  • Two of the buttons on the Skills panel are still in Chinese
  • The translation is an annoyance for dialogue, but it can be a real problem for the abilities, which also seem to have been Google Translated. It's not clear how some of them work
  • The tutorial voice is some East London woman who sounds like an air hostess and is INCREDIBLY jarring every time she opens our mouth. Thankfully that only happens for the first 5 minutes of the game
  • The audio balance is inconsistent; some sections of cutscenes are much louder than others, some NPCs are so quiet you can barely hear them
  • A lot of the translations feel like they were done by Google Translate. They doesn't make a lot of sense, but you get the general gist of what it's supposed to mean
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