Are you one of those players who craved for mounted combat in big RPG games for so long? Finally, a whole game dedicated to that segment – Battle of Arrow: Survival PvP.
Do you know anything about mounted archery? Luckily, you’ll have Funathor, your combat instructor! He will first teach you to simply ride your horse. Just minding your own business. Then comes the aiming, and finally some shooting! After the first tutorial, you’ll be put on a horse and thrown into the fighting pit, against a real live person! Talk about from the fire into the frying pan principle, right? So you’ll soon be off to arena PvP battles, and when you get tired of those, you can try some of the adventures in either the Campaign or the Raid mode. Collect new crates and chests, new gear, mounts, costumes, earn experience and talent points and lead your hero to victories. Upgrade your talents and switch between them wisely. Join a guild. Rank against other players and become the Lord of the Arena, or the ultimate Adventurer! Giddy-up!
Yeah, it sounds so epic, but how to actually achieve that? Well, let’s say this game is skill based. The objective of the game, in either mode is simple: bring your opponent to 0 HP before hitting the dirt yourself. Now comes the tricky part: actually doing it! Aiming is maybe the toughest skill to master, because you have to constantly tilt your phone, but not too much and too sudden! So you really need a pair of steady hands for this one. Then you use one of your closest fingers to nock the arrow, by pulling the depicted arrow on your right side of the screen. When you do that, you’ll camera will zoom and start terribly shaking if you hold for too long. Yet again, damage output increases when you pull longer. If you get hit back while in this zoomed mode, you’ll probably miss.
The character’s head awards you with most damage, but it’s the smallest target. Then you can aim for the torso or even the mount, disorienting the player for a moment and making it ride slower. Timing and precision are the two main elements of the gameplay experience. You’ll need to carefully track the animation of the opponent, because you can usually predict when their arrow is going to be released, and you, of course, need to be quicker than that. It’s interesting how you can weigh your options. Go for the head, with the full strength of the pull, while risking the opponent will hit you right before you were going to strike that deadly blow? Or shoot weak, but for sure – slowly disengrating that health bar of theirs? Check out your talents and combine useful passive perks with some active effects you can use during a fight.
These can be quite refreshing after a series of matches in the Arena. You engage scripted mounted fights with one or several opponents, and also try to knock them off of their horses, before they do the same to you. But in this one, camera angle can change from level to level, unlike the Arena, where the opponent is always on your left side. But, there is also a downside to this mode. It’s the AI, which can become predictable after some time. Luckily, every now and then, there’s a wonderful and imaginative boss fight waiting for you, in the Campaing. After the first one, you’ll probably chose the Raid mode more often. There you’ll only engage in 15 minute boss fights, that are even more engaging and thrilling than the main aspect of the game: PvP. I won’t spoil the fights for you, go check them out yourself.
The visuals are superb in this title. The style reminds me of Frank Miller’s comics and it’s so fitting with this theme. Bosses in the Adventure modes are especially interesting. Too bad that there are none character customization options, so all of the toons look generic and the same. Gender and gear can make tremendous difference though. Visual effects and animation are stunning, and really help you emerge into this world of bloody mounted battles. The same can be said about sound all together. Music is grandiose and epic, and the loud and clear bow, crossbow, armor, horse and arrow sound effects do wonders when it comes to pumping adrenaline.
Interface, however, is a bit clunky. Not the way it looks, but the way it works. Each and every reward you receive, be from the daily quest, achievement or a challenge, will be firstly sent to your mailbox. So, you have to manually pick it up. What is this, World of WarCraft? So you have to tap on the little letter in the top right corner of your screen and then manually accept every reward! Hush, why going through that trouble, when you could automatically just reward the player and put the item/resource they receive in their place. Add to this that you’ll have to go through the same process to earn daily rewards, then those you get from the achievements and the challenges. Okay, this, for example, is more common in games today, but the mailbox thing…
Reading some older comments about this game I ran into a lot of pay-to win complaints. I must admit that I felt only 1/10 players to be significantly stronger than me and almost impossible to beat, although we were the same level and rank. So I am sorry that there are those who had such an experience. The game does offer buying golden ingots for real money, and I understand there are players willing to pay to skip the fuss. But you can win these by completing Campaigns and Raids and that was fun for me! So there is no premium-only resource in the game, which is quite fair. And the player base must have grown since then, so you won’t run into OP players that much. You earn a lot of gold coins, and you can buy various materials and craft some interesting gear for you and your mount!
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Really engaging and a competitive, fast paced online mounted combat game. Constantly evolving and growing. A rare gem!