Crusaders of Light: The Okayest Mobile MMO I’ve Ever Played

I’m not a big fan of mobile games in general. Mobile lends itself to the worst kinds of free-to-play games; your smartphone is easily accessible, especially in short bursts, and many people have their credit card information saved to their account, so it’s the perfect venue for lockboxes, wait-to-play, pay-to-win/pay-to-advance, and other annoying marketing strategies hoping to capitalize on impulsive spenders. Add to that the fact that touch controls are inherently awkward and imprecise, and it’s just not a very good platform for games. There are some gems–Mage Gauntlet, Bloons TD 5, Implosion, and a few ports like Rollercoaster Tycoon and Final Fantasy III and IV come to mind–but most of them are paid games, and honestly I’d choose to play all of those on my PC if I was sitting in front of it.

And yet mobile is just so darned so convenient. Who among us hasn’t been stuck in a waiting room or something and wished that they could somehow play their favorite MMO? So I’ve been on a quest for a while for a good MMORPG (or even an MMO-ish ARPG) that I can play when I’m AFK. Sadly, I’ve mostly searched in vain. I’ve waded through a lot of badly translated imports (poor translations ruin the experience for me; I’d rather have no dialog than bad dialog) and mediocre gameplay without finding much worth playing.

I think I first came across Crusaders of Light on Massively OP. It’s pretty much your standard Chinese WoW clone. The graphics, while very clearly trying to imitate Blizzard’s iconic style, are passable, and the gameplay looked fun enough, so I gave it a shot. I was impressed by the fact that it’s fully voiced. I’ve always felt that fully voiced media has better translation than plain text, not only because it means that the company had to sink a decent amount of money into translation, but also because you at least had to get an English speaking person (presumably a native speaker) to read the lines, and they will probably object to awkward syntax or outright nonsense phrases. I also enjoy the combat. It’s nothing to write home about, but it’s fun to run around, dodging red circles and slinging fireballs. I’ve resigned that autopath/autoplay is just a thing that all mobile MMOs seem to have. I get it, it’s annoying to run for long periods on a mobile device, but it also serves to disconnect me from the game. At least Crusaders of Light makes me feel a little more in control, asking me to press buttons to interact with objects instead of just watching my character gather five flowers and return to the questgiver with zero input from me (the moment I decided Lineage II mobile wasn’t for me was the moment when my phone went to sleep due to inactivity while I was “playing”). Also, pressing any button stops the autopathing, which is nice because some games I’ve tried have made me feel like I’m fighting the game for control until I tap the quest button to stop autoplay.

Overall, it’s far from the best game I’ve ever played, but it’s the closest thing to having a decent MMORPG experience on my phone that I’ve found so far. I’m still pretty early on in the game, and I can see it getting old fast, so we’ll see if there’s enough to keep me coming back.

Let me know in the comments if you have any suggestions for mobile MMOs! I’ll definitely be going back to RuneScape (probably just Oldschool, but who knows) when that launches on mobile, and if the Tree of Savior mobile version ever materializes I’d be interested to give that a shot too.

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2 thoughts on “Crusaders of Light: The Okayest Mobile MMO I’ve Ever Played

  1. It always surprises me that no-one ever mentions Celtic Heroes. ( http://celtic-heroes.com/ ). It was one of the first Mobile MMOs. I was playingn it on my iPod Touch more than five years ago. Not sure when it launched but it was running in 2011.

    It’s exactly like a typical, Western 3D MMO of that period. It looks and plays just like any number of desktop MMORPGs that modelled themselves on EverQuest (it’s more like EQ in looks than WoW although the gameplay is like a cut-down version of either). The iPod screen is too small to enjoy any games but I have played CH on a 7″ Andriod Tablet and it looks good and plays smoothly there.

    I’ve posted about it a number of times but no-one ever seems remotely interested, even though as far as I can see it’s pretty much the game MMO bloggers keep saying they wish they could find on Mobile. I’m not sure how much content there is – I lost interest around level 20, by which point I was finding it somewhat difficult to find enough new quests, but then I didn;t really look very hard.

    I would say it was definitely worth a try though. If you like Runescape I would guess you’d find Celtic Heroes quite a good fit. I’d also be very interested to read a post or two about it if you give it a go because, as I say, I have yet to read a single word about the game on any blog other than my own.

    (Second attempt – first got eaten by some internet monster).

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