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Play TM Preview: Aion - Tower of Eternity

Luke Guttbridge:

''The success of World of Warcraft has clearly been something of a wake up call for the once dominant NCsoft, the South Korean MMO specialist deliberately creating Aion with both Western and Asian audiences in mind. The style is still wonderfully Korean, as you can tell from the images adorning this feature no doubt, but the gameplay is heavily influenced by Western conforms, the firm clearly hoping to create a hybrid experience that will appeal to everyone.

Story is at the very heart of Aion, and its clear that some time has been spent ensuring that while a fantasy premise holds all manner of opportunity for outlandish fun, magic and a world of opportunities, there's also been a concerted effort to avoid lore which might clash with Blizzard's genre-leading World of Warcraft. My NCsoft guides describe the game as 'fantastical', but with a leaning towards the 'ethereal', and this can be seen in the story too. There's not a goblin in sight as I'm told the sorry tale of a world crafted by five Dragon Lords, ripped apart by 12 Imperial Lords, and now literally split in two, the surviving Elyos and Asmodian cultures existing on the upper and lower levels of the sliced planet. Imagine a Terry's Chocolate Orange split in half, then imagine having warring cultures living on the inner surface of each half.''

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