RYL: Path of the Emperor Review


RYL: Path of the Emperor competes against MMO’s like World of Warcraft, Guild Wars, Everquest II, and Lineage II. In comparison, you might say that RYL: Path of the Emperor does an OK job, but not a great job.

Like other MMOs there is a monthly fee, and although you do get a month free with purchase of the game you will need a credit card for activation. You’ll need to do some updating, of course, before you can get started. You will also want to take a read through the RYL walkthrough, or at least print it out and keep it handy. You can find the walk through via the small pre-loader that starts every time you run RYL, or by visiting the official RYL website: www.ryl.net/downloads.asp. Don’t worry, the walkthrough is an Adobe PDF and it’s only 20 pages long. The manual that is included with the game, by the way, is about 130 pages. The game also includes a paper map and has a great little automap complete with grid coordinates that works wonders during quests.

The game starts with you choosing your character by race; either a Human or Ak’Kan and your choice will greatly affect your experience in the game. Additionally, once you choose your race you are locked into that race when you play on a server. That’s right, although you can create multiple characters you will be locked into a single race. As of this writing there were 3 servers available to choose from: AZREAL, IVERIA, and Tournament. It was not uncommon to experience some lag when playing on these servers as you enter large areas where there are many other players and NPCs. You can also use your user id and password for the servers to log in to the RYL website and buy game time, manage your characters, change preferences and manage your buddy list of friends. So now that you have started and logged in, how’s it all look?

The graphics in RYL: Path of the Emperor are fair to good. Although the character models look relatively good the world seems a little bare. This is not surprising given that the game’s minimum requirements are quite low: a Pentium II 400 with 128mb of RAM and a display card that supports DirectX 8.1or higher are all you need. If you are sporting a relatively new computer with a fast CPU and new model graphics card, say something in the Geforce 66XX and up rang,e you shouldn’t have *any* problems running the graphics on full. It’s interesting that the world is a little bare because your characters are kept on an awesome looking island full of lush grass and palm trees. In contrast to this, you might find yourself thinking that the world is missing some decoration, especially as you get further into the game. I must say you will be impressed by some of the buildings at the start. In the early stages you can take your character to some of the highest points in the tallest buildings and jump all the way to the ground far below you without damage. You should also note that you will be provided with the ability to customize the face and appearance of your characters as you create them. The customization options are nice, but they don’t equate to big changes in the game. Oddly enough it seems like your character is constantly out of breath in the game. Everyone stands there heaving like they have just run the 5K…

RYL is not without its redeeming qualities though. The gameplay and controls are really quite good. The game is played in two modes: Mouse and Keyboard. Toggling between the mouse and keyboard mode enables you as the player the control the character in different ways. This is easily accomplished using the ESC key. When using the keyboard mode your character will move “normally” a-la Wolfenstein and typical FPS games. Keyboard shortcuts are available and your mouse pointer can be used to activate and select menus. Using the mouse mode will allow you to control your character slightly differently because you will be able to point to a destination and your character will run in that direction; a-la Diablo… Similarly you will be able to access menus using keyboard shortcuts while in mouse mode. Some of your very first moves in RYL: Path of the Emperor will be experimenting with the two different modes. Remember; keep that walkthrough handy…