Dark Age of Camelot: Catacombs is an impressive expansion to one of the best MMORPGs. So why should you go get this one? Read our review to find out
Dark Age of Camelot was released in late 2001, and it quickly became one of the most popular MMORPGs among fans of the genre. Its tight quest-based gameplay was extremely satisfying. Since then, there have been two retail expansions, and a free downloadable expansion. Fortunately, Dark Age of Camelot: Catacombs is one of the best expansions yet.
The graphical improvements are the most obvious in this expansion.
The characters, specifically, got the biggest overhaul.
The story of the game depends on which of the three realms you choose to play in: Albion, Midgard, or Hibernia. However, no matter your choice, you will be immersed in the deep and satisfying story of this vast MMORPG. As the title suggests, most of the new exploring will take place in catacombs and otherwise underground. Thus, most of the story revolves around long-lost underground civilizations, cities, and whatnot. Overall, it paints a wonderful fantastical picture of the time.
The graphical improvements are one of the major things in this expansion. The character models have been completely revamped, and you are now given the ability to perform a bunch of customization on your face. This is great because now you hardly meet anyone that looks exactly like you. These models look on par with other recent offerings in the genre such as World of Warcraft and Everquest II.
All of the previous expansions have made improvements to the graphics of Dark Age of Camelot, but not as drastic as this. Besides the models, lighting has been vastly improved in all previous environments. Textures have also become substantially better looking. To put things in perspective, the original game and all previous expansions take up three CDs, while Dark Age of Camelot: Catacombs is four CDs.
Sound is good, though not necessarily improved. There’s no voice acting for dialogue, unfortunately. Music is appropriate and changes depending on your surroundings. Sound effects are decent and get the job done. Other than that, there’s nothing really outstanding.
The game is comparable to the likes of Everquest II, at least in terms of graphics.
It's really cool to customize your character to your liking...
Gameplay is enhanced quite a bit in this expansion. Each of the realms has plenty of new areas to explore. These areas are filled with new characters and quests. Fortunately, the quests are much improved in this expansion. They’re not only entertaining, but tend to give concise directions for completing them. Previous quests tended to give you too little direction and had you running around looking everywhere for unique NPCs, which was a pain.
Dungeons can now be explored in what are called “instances”. These are basically copies of dungeons that are created specifically for you and your party. This means that you no longer have to camp spawn points for experience. You can explore the dungeon at your own pace, and when monsters die, they don’t respawn. This has been a feature of other MMORPGs for a while, and it’s about time it was added to Dark Age of Camelot. This really helps in leveling up, so players new to the series shouldn’t hesitate to join in.
Besides all these changes, there are five new classes. There is the Vampiir and Bainshee in Hibernia, the Warlock and Valkyrie in Midgard, and the Heretic in Albion. One of the major elements of Dark Age of Camelot gameplay has been Realm vs. Realm gameplay. The expansion, besides the new classes, doesn’t really do much for that. All of the new content is Player vs. Environment based. However, this means you will level up quicker and you can take part in RvR gameplay quicker. This is really great, because RvR is what will keep you playing for months after you've leveled up to level 50.
The same great gameplay you knew and loved is still in Catacombs...
...but now you have all-new environments to do battle in, again.
Top game moment:
DARK AGE OF CAMELOT: CATACOMBS VERDICT
Overall, Dark Age of Camelot: Catacombs is a great expansion to a great game. It improves the game in all the important aspects satisfyingly. It gives you plenty of new content, and updates the graphics to give the game almost a brand new look. It’s hard to not be impressed with Mythic’s top-notch job on this expansion. If you have never played Dark Age of Camelot before, now is the perfect time to get started. The game is looking and playing better than ever.
TOP GAME MOMENT
Teaming up with your friends and getting a dungeon all to yourself where you can level up in peace.