Lineage: The Blood Pledge

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a game by NCS Corporation
Platform: PC (2001)
User Rating: 8.7/10 - 3 votes
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See also: Best MMORPG, Lineage Series
Lineage: The Blood Pledge
Lineage: The Blood Pledge
Lineage: The Blood Pledge
Lineage: The Blood Pledge

Lineage may well be the newest addition to the online RPG genre as far as people in the West are concerned, but it’s been going strong in Korea for a couple of years now and has amassed a huge following in its native country. The stories behind Lineage’s fanatical and obsessive players have been well documented. It’s not uncommon for grudges held between players in the game to spill over into real-life violence in Korea, and the introduction of many players from the West has not gone down well with some Korean players. If anything, the animosity between eastern and western players prevalent in the game has further harmed Lineage’s already questionable reputation.

To look at the game itself, you can’t help but wonder how on earth people became so obsessed with it in the first place. Graphically, it’s singularly unimpressive in every department with washed-out colours and a 2D isometric viewpoint giving the impression that the game was created in someone’s bedroom with the most basic of tools. Gameplay is nothing particularly special either. There are only four character classes to choose from: prince/princess, knight, elf and wizard, and while this in itself is not a major bugbear, the fact that you can’t customise your character’s appearance in any way whatsoever most certainly is. It feels very strange exploring an online environment where a large percentage of the game populace look exactly the same as you do, and it does nothing to make you identify with your character in the way just about every other online RPG currently available does. Presentation then, is hugely disappointing. However, Lineage does have its redeeming qualities if you look hard enough... There are many organisations in the game called Blood Pledges. These are basically player-created guilds, and if your guild becomes powerful enough you can lay siege to one of the many castles in the game in an attempt to take it over. Of course, you might just as easily lose it again if another player guild decides to challenge your right to your new property, but it’s a great way of establishing control of important territory in the game. This is the one true innovation in what is otherwise a very standard online RPG with decidedly shady political overtones. Even compared to Ultima Online: Third Dawn it underachieves on a technological level, and if you bring games like Everquest or DXIOCinto the equation, well, bye-bye Lineage. This, then, is not the game that’s going to take the online RPG world by storm, despite its massive popularity in the Far East.

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System requirements:

  • PC compatible
  • Operating systems: Windows 10/Windows 8/Windows 7/2000/Vista/WinXP

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