Lineage 2: Revolution review – Career automata

Credit: Netmarble
Credit: Netmarble /

For you, what makes an MMORPG an MMORPG? Netmarble is challenging our expectations with Lineage 2: Revolution, but it can’t fully break away from convention.

Developer: netmableNeo
Publisher: Netmarble Games
Platforms: Android (Version reviewed), iOS
Release Date: November 15, 2017

When I think of an MMORPG, I think of sprawling worlds like those in World of Warcraft or Guild Wars 2. I think of gorgeous scenery, competitive endgame, and engaging community activities. I don’t often think of mobile games as places where such experiences can live and thrive. Lineage 2: Revolution seeks to prove me both right and wrong about this. It isn’t an MMO built around any of the things I’ve already listed, but it does introduce some interesting mechanics that have me wondering what’s possible for the genre on mobile.

Lineage 2 doesn’t hesitate to throw you into the thick of things. After a brief opening tutorial, you’ll be able to choose between four different races and three starting classes, which branch off into more complex classes at higher levels. There’s some basic character hair customization, but gender selection is locked into particular races and it’s ridiculous that in the year of our Lord twenty-seventeen, I must either be a male human/dark elf or a female elf/dwarf.

lineage 2
Credit: Netmarble /

What will shock most players the moment you leave the game’s brief prologue is that playing Lineage 2: Revolution doesn’t actually involve much actual…play. When you start, a feature called auto-questing is turned on that has your character run around and complete tasks without any input from you beyond accepting quests and rewards. You’ll take down monsters or perform actions in an optimal enough way, then run back to the quest giver and get your potions and coins. While your character does this, you can mess around in your menus, open chests, receive rewards from login bonuses, or play with your equipment and settings. Close the menu, and wow! Your character just did a bunch of things for you!

Regular questing isn’t the only thing that’s automated. Almost everything in the game is. Dungeons can be automated, as is PvP, if you like. You can’t fully leave the game alone, as you still have to select quests and opt to complete them and collect your rewards later, but you can effectively run the game while doing another task and check in every 30 seconds or so to push a button and move on. This holds true even into the mid-tier levels of the game, and given that the story itself is such standard fantasy fare, you won’t be missing much by doing this.

lineage 2 revolution
Credit: Netmarble /

…with some refining, automated questing could be ideal for mobile users who want the rewards and don’t care as much for the rough journey.

But despite how weird and unappealing this might sound to veterans of console MMOs, there’s something about Lineage 2: Revolution’s format that just…works. It works because I don’t open my cell phone in the middle of the day to become immersed in a huge, open world and mash the button to swing my sword a million times. I open it to check on my progress in a game, or play for just a few minutes. I get the rewards and upgrades of an MMO with minimal effort. It’s almost reminiscent of the WoW: Legion app, except I get to actually watch my character run around and kill the wolves, if I like. But if at any point I want to step in and engage, I can turn auto-questing off and handle things myself. This is particularly effective for PvP or higher-level content, when things start to boil down to skill rather than level.

If you can separate yourself enough from expectations of a full MMORPG experience and appreciate what Revolution has to offer as a condensed version of that, you might enjoy the game’s accessibility. That doesn’t mean it’s flawless. Visually, Lineage 2: Revolution still tries too hard to look like a PC MMO, and as a result can feel bloated and overwhelming. The menu options are vague and densely stacked within one another, and the UI takes up way too much of the screen. If I do decide I want to explore on my own, there isn’t anything rewarding about that. The world is designed specifically for those narrow, automated questing paths, not for exploration.

lineage 2 revolution
Credit: Netmarble /

There’s also little to encourage community or interaction with other players. Teaming up is unnecessary for most content, so unless you’re already into the types of partnerships Clans in games bring about, you won’t glean much from the fact that other humans are playing the same game at the same time as you…beyond the usual nonsense chatter in the box that takes up much of the bottom of your screen.

Next: Lineage 2: Revolution tips, tricks, and strategies for beginners

Lineage 2: Revolution is proof that something like the MMORPG format can work on mobile, but its insistence on clinging to certain MMO conventions will likely confuse those looking for a different experience than what it offers. I think with some refining, automated questing could be ideal for mobile users who want the rewards and don’t care as much for the rough journey. As it is now, I wouldn’t call Revolution thrilling, exciting, or even especially fun. But it is satisfying, and its gameplay loop intrigued me for awhile. With a cleaner UI and a better story, Netmarble might have something here one day.

If you come to <em>Lineage 2: Revolution</em> expecting a full-blown MMORPG experience, you’ll be sorely disappointed. Its auto-questing system is easily its most distinctive feature, so if you’re the type who loves the rewards of growing stronger without much of the work, you might find plenty to love about the world of Aden. But while intriguing, the bloated menus and unsurprising story and combat probably won’t capture any but die-hard mobile RPG fans for the long-term.. Netmarble. . Lineage 2: Revolution. 6

A copy of this game was provided to App Trigger for the purpose of this review. All scores are ranked out of 10, with .5 increments. Click here to learn more about our Review Policy.