Top Critic Average
There's no story worth hearing, there's no immediate hook that makes this different from anything else, and nothing special about the combat or the questing to make me care.
In short, ArcheAge does a whole lot of things most MMOs never would dare dream, but the sad truth is that it's not exceptional at any one thing. And that, unfortunately, makes the grand idea that is ArcheAge a little underwhelming overall.
ArcheAge's robust free to play model, which is much fairer than many of its peers, will likely keep interest high and the population steady, which is an absolute necessity in a game that relies so heavily on its player-base to create meaningful experiences within its world. If you like some of the concepts of EVE Online or Darkfall but want a more relaxed approach then this is possibly the MMO you've been waiting for.
The point is that there's endless hours of enjoyment in ArcheAge for just about anyone. If you can stomach a slightly stale questing experience, and get your head around the quite innocent labour system, it's an MMO with near endless potential for player driven, organic content. And to be quite honest, it's the closest thing to a true fantasy sandbox experience on the market, and will be for a good time yet.
While Archeage doesn't bring much to the table in terms of story, quest mechanics or even combat, the sheer depth of the PVP and tradeskill system promises to make it into the EVE-Online of the fantasy genre. The queue system is marring what would otherwise be an enticing game, at least for those players who have been looking for a fresh take on the fantasy PVP MMO genre – Ultima Online can only last so long.
ArcheAge is one of the best free-to-play games to be released this year, with a near endless amount of content awaiting eager adventurers. While ArcheAge could strongly benefit from further guidance on more advanced gameplay mechanics, the overall experience -- from completing numerous quests and crafting tasks to sailing a boat or flying a glider -- are simply too entertaining to miss with the game being free-to-play.
It's been quite awhile since I have enjoyed myself this much in an MMO. It makes me reminisce about sandbox games of old. ArcheAge is a game that thrives on its player interactions. It will live or die by its community, but the PVP and extensive freedom of choice might just keep you playing for a long time to come.