Ragnarok M: Eternal Love has finally arrived on iOS in Europe, a whopping 10 months after its January North American launch. It begs the question: what took them so long? W’d argue that the wait hasn’t done it any favours. Back when it launched across the rest of the globe, there was a shortage of mobile MMORPGs that didn’t effectively play themselves.
That landscape has changed now though, thanks in most part to Old School RuneScape, which has quietly dominated the mobile MMORPG scene this year. With regular RuneScape arriving in January and Warhammer Odyssey promising to bring a proper PC MMORPG experience to mobile in the not so distant future, it’s difficult to see where Ragnarok M will fit in.
Right now, it is a small breath of fresh air in a mobile landscape still flooded with autoplay. You’re still generally led by the hand, with your mini-map flooded with exclamation marks to follow, but it’s nice having to actually make your way to them and the subsequent quest locations yourself.
The quests themselves are less interesting. Most we’ve completed so far are your standard fetch and kill quests – or even a combination of the two. Coming from Old School RuneScape, with its varied quests full of story and interesting objectives, feels a bit jarring.
Ragnarok M is a Mobile Reimagining of the Classic PC MMORPG
What makes it worse is that quests make up the bulk of your actions in Ragnarok M. You wander around, filling your quest tracker by talking to NPCs, then check them all off the list by killing monsters or collecting items. It’s really difficult to engage with this ancient form of MMORPG gameplay in 2019.
Being fair, this is a faithful recreation of an MMORPG that originally launched in 2002. If you’re one of the original players, you’ll probably get a good hit of nostalgia and get caught up reminiscing about the good old days that you won’t worry so much about the creakiness. Those of us who are new to Ragnarok won’t be quite so forgiving though – particularly as Old School RuneScape has held up much better despite being four years older.
However, we can give Ragnarok M credit in the looks department. It’s a pretty faithful 3D recreation of the classic PC version, and those who played it will be hit with nostalgia. The style has changed considerably, moving strongly towards a cel-shaded anime style rather than SNES-style visuals, but it does a good job of feeling modern and familiar at the same time.
There are loads of nice little touches too, like the pixelated numbers that appear over monster’s heads when you damage them. It feels pleasingly retro, reminding you that Ragnarok isn’t some new contender – it’s been around for some time.
It Does a Great Job of Feeling Both Modern and Pleasingly Retro
There’s a huge map to explore, though we’re not entirely sure how much of it is available right now. Each location takes the form of a square on a gridded map, which lights up as you venture out into the world. It’s another nice touch that really gives you a sense of how far you’ve come the further you get on your journey.
If you’re the sort of person that absolutely adores MMORPGs and are constantly on the lookout for something that scratches that old classic PC itch, Ragnarok M has something to offer – particularly if you played it back in the day. We’d question its longevity though, in a market that’s poised to get RuneScape and Warhammer: Odyssey in a matter of months.
Even now, we’d still argue that you’re better off playing Old School RuneScape or Villagers and Heroes. Both offer a far better version of the classic MMORPG than this does, with a more engaging world and quests to complete.