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MMORPG.com Reviewer Sean Bulger has been spending some time in Aventurine's Darkfall Online and today files his complete review.
Many MMOs that get released tend to follow a pretty standard formula. They appeal to the masses and tend to follow whatever the top game on the market happens to do. That title used to belong to EverQuest, and now it belongs to World of WarCraft. Some games, however, tend to target niche audiences with the hopes of winning over people that are not as interested in the more mainstream titles. In some cases, this has proven to be a very successful strategy, as shown by the ever-increasing subscriber-base of EVE Online. In some cases, however, this tends to fall short, such as what happened to ShadowBane.Darkfall is a game much like the two mentioned above. It focuses on an open-PvP environment, player-controlled territory, sieges, and guild/alliance wars, with harsh penalties abound. It does not follow the mainstream design for most MMOs, even if it does take place in a fantasy setting. If anything, I would say that it is closest to ShadowBane in design, but with plenty of departures. The question is, does this niche game actually stack up to have a chance at surviving?