Florensia • Page 2

Not rocking the boat.

Ship-based combat is also a simple but challenging affair and, unlike the turn-based, auto-targeted battles of the land combat, it is in real time and requires constant repositioning as well as manual aiming - forcing the player to try and predict where their target will move to, and keep them within an attack radius to the front or sides of the ship. When constructing a ship, players have to make a choice between warship types, including: Armoured, Torpedo, Assault, Big Gun and Maintenance. These ships all require a varying number and quality of crew members, which cost disparate amounts of in-game money depending on their skill level.

Despite the differences between the land and sea components of this game, the quests for both parts are often very similar. Florensia seems to stray very little from the standard fetch quests, and you're often told to kill Xs and bring back five of their Ys as proof. This, coupled with the requirement to grind through certain levels, risks becoming monotonous.

Florensia appears to have taken much from World of Warcraft, and features a familiar-looking user interface - and at times even has a similar artistic style. The similarities are especially striking with the symbol for an available quest, a rolled up gold or silver scroll, strongly resembling WOW's exclamation point.

Well... at least there's something for boring people to do.

Florensia is very cartoon-like and makes use of bright primary colours, which no doubt allows the game to look good even whilst working on low-end PCs. And it does look good, with a level of polish that is usually absent in free-to-play titles. There is the occasion where you'll hit an invisible wall when you approach an area that is merely an aesthetic backdrop rather than a playable part of the level design - but this is forgiveable.

This is a free-to-play game which doesn’t, of course, mean that it's actually free - there is content that you will be charged for in the form of micro-transactions. Items are purchased with 'Action Points', for which EUR 6 will purchase 5000 AP, EUR 12 will purchase 10,000 AP, EUR 24 will buy 20,000 AP and EUR 60 will buy 50,000 AP. The items available to buy range from purely aesthetic items, like rabbit ears for your character, to skill boosts.

Florensia currently seems to straddle the thin line between offering enough items to entice people to spend real money, and holding back to avoid spoiling the game's balance. However, it remains to be seen if they can continue to straddle this line, as more and more items are added to the online store.

Gang warfare hasn't been this flamboyant since West Side Story.

Florensia is a charming game, the art style is cute, and town and environment designs are suitably whimsical. The ship-based gameplay is also quite entertaining, and it's fun to be actively engaged in what feels like skill-based combat - something noticeably absent from many MMOs. But the game lets itself down with unimaginative quest designs, and the necessity to grind.

Florensia also suffers from being needlessly complicated at times, assaulting you with text walls and explanations, never drip feeding you information, but always ramming it down your throat.  At its core, Florensia is an enjoyable MMO - it just needs to iron out the barriers it puts in place that stops it being instantly compelling and rewarding.

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James Lee

James Lee



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