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Tower of Fantasy is a really fancy cake. Tastes great but isn't filling at all.

The newest MMORPG trying to market itself as a competitor for Genshin Impact falls very short from the mark.

By Jarrod MorrowPublished 5 months ago 4 min read
Out of all of these characters. You'll remember maybe one of them.

Tower of Fantasy, a new MMORPG released by Level Infinite and developed by Hotta Studio, has a problem. For a game that is designed to be an immersive experience the reality is anything but. With a weak story line and little in the way of comprehensive world building you have a game that is all style but no substance.

Starting with the world itself, Aida is more or less just "another world" it has bandits and aberrants (things not actually explained until later in the story) that roam and harm the small pockets of civilization remaining after the generic apocalypse (tm) that happened however many years ago. Much of the story is given to you in text dump format rather then explained to the player so it becomes less about immersion and more about reading a book.

Now don't get me wrong Aida is a very beautiful place and has tons of scenery to look at but, the problem extends from the fact that it's just a stylized world. There's very little designed with a purpose beyond looking pretty. You've got your typical bandit camps to raid, different chests in the world maybe a couple scattered world bosses here and there but, nothing that makes the game distinct to itself.

Next up we have the main character. At the beginning of the game you get to select the gender you want to play and then go through the tutorial which is fine. Furthermore, you eventually get to redesign your character and make it unique to you which is great for a game that's going to have a shared open world. However, once again the problem comes from the story part of the game. Your character has... amnesia. Yes that's right the same generic amnesiac'd hero trope that has been done to death at this point. After passing out due to.. "something" (there's an in game "lore" reason for it that once again isn't really explained until later) you are recovered by generic spunky girl (tm) who drags you back to the safety of the shelter.

Once again the character design is pretty but, behind the pretty picture is nothing but an empty void. None of the characters you meet during the tutorial are going to matter to you because you're not going to be there long enough for it to provide you a meaningful attachment to those characters. They are just a vehicle to let the character move along in the "story". Even after "generic spunky girl" ends up becoming our raison d'etre for our little adventure I had to sit there and wonder if I as a player really cared about it. It tries to tug on your heartstrings as a motivator but, because the in game avatar only knew the person for a couple days and for the player they only knew her for a few HOURS it falls extremely flat in the end as it requires such a massive suspension of disbelief that it becomes impossible to get over it.

But surely the other waifus and husbandos that you get from the gatcha system can at least help you grow a fond attachment to the world of Tower of Fantasy right? Once again the expectations are dashed upon the ground as the gatcha system basically becomes little more than the ability to access different character skins. Yes, the characters *may* have a story but since it's all delivered in text dump format, except for 2 whom you get to see "cutscene" scenarios for, you once again have no actual feelings toward these characters. Furthermore, the fact that you don't interact directly with these other characters provides an additional degree of separation from the player making it nothing more then just a hollow "character customization" feature for you to use when you don't feel like looking at the character you... painstakingly created at the beginning of the game. Yeah, it's not a really well thought out design choice.

The interactive stories that are out right now that you can "participate" in also have very little in regards to meaningful content because as before it's all taken as "information" without actually trying to attach an emotional investment behind it. The game is constantly trying to tell you to "care" for characters without providing any real reason to do so. We don't actually know the person either through our avatar or from a player perspective so how can we be emotionally invested in their situation?

When it comes right down to it Tower of Fantasy is a game that looks pretty but, is emotionally dead. It's riddled with cliches and constantly tries to tell us to "care" about things without actually providing us a reason to do so. In order to care about something there needs to be an emotional attachment and this game lacks any form of that whatsoever.


About the Creator

Jarrod Morrow

I am an avid RPG/Strategy game player who watches crypto. Currently playing Genshin Impact, Tower of Fantasy and Fate Grand/Order. I mostly play Indie games rather then the triple A major publishers.

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