Love them or hate them, massive multiplayer online role playing games (MMORPGs) usually have this geeky aura of being extraordinarily difficult adventures, only intended for role-play lovers and heavy videogame players. If you share this idea, you should give a try to this game. SilkRoad Online is a good option to begin in MMORPGs, if you ever feel an interest in it.
The suitability of SilkRoad as an introduction for online role-playing games is due mainly to two facts: one, it’s absolutely free; and two, it’s really a very good RPG –that is, for a free RPG. So SilkRoad's a perfect choice for casual players who prefer not to get too involved, nor have to pay a monthly fee for playing.
However, if there’s something you’ll need to play SilkRoad it’s patience. Loads of it. First, you’ll have to wait for the file to download, then for the EXE to be patched with the latest releases. After that, you may find yourself waiting to enter the over-populated servers and play. In fact, these issues were the main complaint of SilkRoad players, although now seems that the problem has been solved. At least, we didn't have to wait nor had lag problems during our tests.
Once you’re logged into SilkRoad, you start by creating your character. You can have up to three different characters and can customize them by choosing their physical aspect, clothes and weapons. When you’re ready to go, let the adventure begins! You’re free to move around SilkRoad's fantastic universe set in the ancient era of the Chinese Silk trading route and inhabited by players from all over the world. Use the map (M) and make your way through cities and landscapes, either killing enemies or accepting quests. Both will give you experience, which you need to level up your character. As you reach SilkRoad's higher levels, you will be able to improve your skills in weapons, force and magic. Also, after level 20 you’ll have three professions to choose from: merchant, hunter or thief.
As a multiplayer game, there is also a heavy social side to SilkRoad. You can actually chat to other people and exchange mail messages with them, or join a guild in order to complete high-level quests which otherwise would be too difficult. However, most players end up spending their whole time in SilkRoad grinding (that is, just killing monsters) as it is the easiest way to gain experience.
Concerning graphics, SilkRoad offers high-quality characters and scenarios, especially if we bear in mind that this is a completely free game. They’re not the best graphics in the RPG world, but good enough to ensure a realistic gaming experience. Its music is even better: a classical-style background soundtrack that adds to the atmosphere of adventure.
To sum up, we could go back to the words we said at the beginning: SilkRoad Online is a good introductory game for beginners. But if you’re already a serious role fan and you’re looking for a really high quality MMORPG, I would suggest joining me –and seven million other people- in World of Warcraft.