A massively multiplayer online role-playing game set in a high-fantasy world developed and published by NCSoft, AION is a fusion of player versus environment and player versus player gameplay styles in what is awkwardly termed PvPvE.
Debuting in South Korea in 2008, AION has since rolled out to all territories and is currently on version 6.0 as a free-to-play game.
First announced back in May 2006 at the Electronic Entertainment Exposition, better known as E3, AION is a game very much in the style of Blizzard’s World of Warcraft MMORPG but with a few differences.
How to Download AION Free-to-Play
To download AION for free simply click on the Download button at the end of the review. Steam offers additional paid downloadable content. You can acquire Small, Medium, Large, and Mega Started Pack, each containing many useful in-game items.
The Game Review
Much of the game was revamped for a Western release yet the content remains largely the same between the regional versions.
As in WoW, gamers choose a class and a race as well as an initial alliance on whose side you will fight. The gameplay mainly centers on two PvP zones – Abyss and Balaurea – and the control of fortresses within those zones.
Combat is often conducted against both player characters as well as NPCs. Gamers upgrade their characters siege weaponry by completing the PvE raids found in the game. In terms of a skill tree, it is quite simple: Everything is determined sequentially, meaning those skills that come later in the chain are naturally more powerful than those that come before them. Many gamers have noted AION’s grindy nature, but that is typical of most games in this series, the Guild Wars games, and TERA coming to mind most readily.
PvP is ranked and weighted, meaning higher level players offer more prestige when they are vanquished in player versus player combat than lower ranked avatars.
In terms of class selection, there are 11 main classes and six sub-classes present in the game. These include classes such as Warrior, Mage, Scout, Priest, Technist or Muse.
With AION being a multiplayer game, the players are encouraged to form groups to share the spoils of victory as well as jointly bear some of the burdens of combat. Four groups of players can form a league, and eight leagues can form an alliance. The robust player-driven community draws a lot of gamers to AION and its system is unique among MMORPGs with a fantasy theme.
In order to make better weapons, armor, and other implements, AION features a crafting system that is subdivided further into the following weaponsmithing, armorsmithing, handicrafting, tailoring, alchemy, cooking, and construction, each focusing on a particular specialty within the in-game economy.
Like other MMORPGs, AION features extensive questing including ordinary quests, campaign quests, and Work Orders. Ordinary quests are typical do this and receive a reward fare while the campaign quests are necessary for lore progression. Work Orders tend to focus on leveling up within your chosen crafting profession.
Mounts are obtained from completing quests and in-game milestones as well as by purchasing one from the in-game Cash Shop.
Sporting a high-fantasy aesthetic that is sure to be friendly in terms of graphics for most systems, AION accompanies its vibrant art style with an orchestral score that is similarly Tolkien-esque in its composition.