Order & Chaos Online for Windows Phone 8
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Order & Chaos Online Review: The most massive game on Windows Phone 8

When Windows Phone launched with Xbox-branded games, many Xbox 360 fans picked up the platform in hopes of Xbox 360/XBLA-style experiences. Well, there are several Xbox Windows Phone games worthy of being released on consoles, but for the most part, they tend to be pick-up-and-play casual games.

It wasn’t until the advent of Windows Phone 8 and Gameloft’s increased support for it that we started getting more serious and complex games in the mobile Xbox lineup. The largest and most fully featured of those games is undoubtedly Order & Chaos Online. Can a massively multiplayer online RPG (MMORPG) like this work on less than massive smartphones? Read on to find out.

Take on an alter ego

Order & Chaos Online for Windows Phone 8

You can have up to three separate characters (or five with an In-App Purchase), though even just a single character will take countless hours to “max out.” Choose from five races and four classes, each of which can specialize in two subclasses. The two most important types for completing dungeons are Warrior “Tanks” and Monk “Healers.” Learn a bit more about races and classes here.

After creating a character you’ll run through a brief tutorial and then set out to explore a massive online world. Role-playing games typically have intricate stories, but MMOs necessarily reduce the focus on narrative. Order & Chaos’s story comes via text delivered mostly before and after completing quests. Each new city or area you visit will have its own tales that unfold. You don’t get an overarching story, but there’s no real need when you’re supposed to be partying up and socializing with friends and new people.

Party time

Order & Chaos Online for Windows Phone 8

Now, you COULD play through everything except for high-level dungeons all by your lonesome; you’ll have an experience very similar to Oblivion and Skyrim. But you’d also be missing out on the inherent social appeal of an MMO.

This game is one gigantic shared adventure, and there are many obvious benefits to interacting with your fellow players. Don’t understand how something works? Can’t figure out what to do in a quest? Instead of searching online, it’s often faster and easier just to ask other players. In my experience, the general North American community has been quite helpful. You can always mute anyone who rubs you the wrong way – I’ve only done so twice so far.

Forming a team of 2-4 players also makes things much easier. Escort missions or quests that involve higher level enemies can be tough to survive on your own. Bring a friend along (or recruit someone new in chat) and you should have much less trouble. Teammates share XP from kills and some items dropped as well. Distribution of the more valuable loot depends on the team settings; I tend to let items go to whichever player can actually use them.

Dungeons and dragons

Order & Chaos Online for Windows Phone 8

You’ll especially want to party up when taking on instanced dungeons. The first dungeon (Knahswahs Prison) becomes available around level 20. Dungeons contain packs of high-level monsters and multiple bosses to battle. Without a balanced group of four party members, you’re certain to be overwhelmed by the enemies.

Given the steep challenge of the dungeons, it’s super satisfying when your team finally clears one. But I found that by the time my character was actually strong enough to be a real help in the Prison (closer to level 30 than 20), the gear I could get from the dungeon’s loot was no longer of use. Taking a dungeon on at a low level could be profitable though, provided you have one or more higher level players to get the team through.

Dungeons are also held back slightly by the game’s experience system.  You don’t gain XP from killing enemies that are more than 5 levels below your own, much to my chagrin. So running dungeons for XP isn’t practical either. Still, people are constantly looking for dungeon help in the global chat. I bet they do it for the challenge and the shared goal more than anything.

Chatting it up

Order & Chaos Online for Windows Phone 8

Order & Chaos offers a global chat channel in which anyone can converse, ask for help, or form a team. You can also switch your chat messages to local (just the map you occupy), team, or guild, as well as sending whispers (private messages). Chatting via touch screen keyboard (though not as convenient as voice chat)  is such a breath of fresh air given how most multiplayer Xbox Windows Phone games like UNO & Friends and Asphalt 7 don’t offer any way for players to communicate.

That said, Order & Chaos’s chat feature could be better. Type a long message and the text goes off-screen so that you can’t see much of what you’re typing. And tapping anywhere outside of the keyboard sends the message as-is, often in an incomplete state. The game really should allow users to resume a message without sending it.

Guilds

Order & Chaos Online for Windows Phone 8

Speaking of chat and community, Order & Chaos players will probably want to join a guild. This game’s guilds don’t involve much of an energy investment; there’s no guild bank, guild wars, or things like that. Being part of a guild just gives you access to the guild’s private chat channel. Stick with a guild and you can get to know the other members, ask them for help, and help them when they need it.

WPCentral actually has its own guild made up of loyal readers and newcomers alike. Visit our official forum thread for instructions on joining up.

Big, beautiful, and buggy

Order & Chaos Online for Windows Phone 8

Considering what a large game this is, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that it suffers from a fair number of bugs. The most frustrating kind is when certain quests glitch and become impossible for anyone to complete. And in fact the second dungeon Relic’s Key (pictured above) is currently bugged. One of the bosses causes the game to crash for the entire party, making the dungeon unbeatable. The game also just crashes at random times. Hopefully Gameloft fixes these problems in an update.

Achievements

Order & Chaos Online for Windows Phone 8

Speaking of bugs, Gameloft games on Windows Phone often suffer from broken Achievements. Thankfully Order & Chaos’s Achievements all work just fine. They’re also quite reasonable in difficulty, though time consuming. Naturally.

Surprisingly, there are no Achievements for completing dungeons. A few involve finding loot of high rarity – I still haven’t come across an epic level item at level 30. The game awards an Achievement for every 10 experience levels, all the way up to the current maximum level of 60. Getting there will take dozens of hours, though a handful of dedicated players have already accomplished it in just a few short weeks.

Check out Part 1 and Part 2 of our Beginner’s Guide for lots of helpful gameplay advice. The guide also describes lots of gameplay aspects like mounts, pets, and crafting that couldn’t fit into this review.

Overall Impression

Casual games are a perfect fit for smartphones since you can play them for a few minutes at a time throughout your day. But sometimes you crave a longer, more interesting experience.

Order & Chaos Online is just the right game for when you have 30 minutes or an hour to kill. MMORPGs are time consuming games and typically played on PCs. But because this is a phone game, you have way more opportunities to play it than a PC game. You can literally play it anywhere; that’s the beauty of phone gaming. You’ll have to plug in your charger if you play for very long, but that’s a small price to pay for the fun this game offers.

In this reviewer’s opinion, Order & Chaos Online is the single best game for Windows Phone. Will you fall in love with it as well? The demo lets you play the first seven levels for free, so try it and see!

Order & Chaos Online – Windows Phone 8 with 1 GB RAM – 1012 MB - $6.99 – Store Link

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Order & Chaos Online Review: The most massive game on Windows Phone 8

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Same here.  I want to give my money to these gaming companies for Batman, Spiderman, etc, but thanks to MS's Other storage problem.  I can't even support them.

Same here.  I used to buy everything I could get my hands on, now I hardly buy anything because of space concerns.
 

Same here. Just an opinion but I think MMOs suit a Tablet, laptop or PC more than a mobile phone as games like these are known for prolonged playing sessions (a.k.a. 2 hours or much more). I sure would not be comfortable playing this game on my phone for hours.

If this game was available for RT i would purchase. There is a new trend for games that i am not happy with though and that is in game purchase for paid games. I would rather pay a little more on not have to bother with buying in game to get through the game.

I completely agree Paul. Best game for Windows Phone. What an accomplishment to have an MMO on a phone. It may not be Ys series but it great! Great review.

I have this game and I'm in the wpcentral guild with Eastwind. I have to say this a great review. It is the best phone game I have ever had! I currently play a warrior named Cinn. I hope to see more games of this quality on WP! Just shows what's possible and may other game developers take notice. This girls a huge fan!!

I'm in the guild too --Baltogok-- awesome review Paul. Also hit me up if you want to be added to the guild and EastWind is not online.

Also a guildie with wpcentral and am truly loving this game. I used to play wow and tried a few other mmo's and I can definitely say they this is the first one that felt fun. There was a reason wow worked and others didn't so who can blame gameloft for trying to recreate it? Not this guy!
 
 

Great review, Paul. As usual. You seem to have forgotten though that the wpc guild doesn't exist on North American servers alone. ;)

From what I've played the game is as good as many of its PC counterparts, which was initially surprising. I've been planning a wedding, as well as playing Mass Effect 3 (again) but plan to get back into it soon.

I've been loving this game since you posted the first news of it a few weeks ago. Although I regularly attend WoW Anonymous groups and have been WoW free for 2.5 years, I was unable to resist O&C.  I hit level 60 last Friday with a military monk, and have since respecced to Divine. :)  If you ever find yourself being chased down by a rather unattractive undead monk only to find yourself helpfully buffed once he mounts up and runs off, you'll know you've crossed my path.  I'm Fhallon of Exiled.
 
Also, for best battery life, turn on wifi, location off, set screen brightness to low and get a 2.1A charger.  Yes, your phone will feel as though it will melt down at any moment.  Par for the course.

Mine does fine with the AC/USB charger as long as I turn the brightness to low, use WIFI, location off and remain plugged in the entire time. It will actually very very slowly charge the phone. You'll have to look around (amazon) for a charger that works. I bought the 2.1A amazon basics charger and the phone didn't recognize it, but others (in game) have reported picking up other models that worked. Probably any of the highspeed chargers for android phones would work. For what it's worth, the AC/USB charger that came with my 920 is 1.4A I believe. So, after fiddling with the settings on the phone, i'm able to play the came continuously and still trickle charge by using that. The wireless charger output is lower current, so it's useless in addition to awkward.

I traded in my first 920 with Rogers because it wouldn't hold a charge like this. The new one works much better.
People need to realize that this is a defect and trade them in until they get a good one.

I have had mine at repairs once. Its now on its second repair run.
But what means "better"? Don't get so hot? Is it holding the charge while plugged in?

You can't get around the heat issue. All Lumias heat up when playing hardware intensive games, sadly.

About holding the charge, the tips in our guide will work. Yes, batteries lose capacity over time. But you can still get by with smart power management and a better charger.

Fantastic review Paul! And I do recommend anyone to join the WPCentral guild! It is a fantastic guild and the point of it is to have the WPCentral community in that game! Add Forthwind for an invite if EastWind is not available.

How is the most massive game when the majority of wp8 sales (512 ram devices) cant play the game?

That is actually evidence of its massiveness, as in the massive scope of the game and its technical demands. Would be great if low end WP8 phones could play it too though.

Probably, but you have to remember that Windows Phone handles RAM differently than iOS and Android. Devs can't access as much RAM on lower memory devices as they could on those platforms (AFAIK).

This game sucks big time. It's almost unplayable without iAP, far too much spare time and a second device with a separate account, yet they want to have $$ for that. 

Yet somehow, people are playing quite well.  I don't know what iAP means, and frankly I don't care.  This is WPCENTRAL, not iMORE.  We have Windows Phones.  We're grateful to have games on our Windows Phones.  If you're bitter because something has come out for Windows Phone that is far better and mature on iPhone, take your complaints elsewhere.

Got it.  Well, my previous comment is senseless then.  But the game does allow for the purchasing of gold and runes, which is helpful.  I assume that there is a much more robust selection available on the competing platforms?  For now it seems that the Ubiquitous Nicks isn't working.

I know Ubiquitous Nick isn't working and that really bothers me. I really want it. Also, it is the same selection on other platforms. The game is the same as on android and ios, but android, ios, and wp8 all have their own server.

Your complaint reads like you gave up after playing for 5 minutes. Many people play without making IAPs - they are not required at all. And a second account isn't required either. That's just ludicrous. It's best not to talk out of your butt. ;-)

Windows Phone needs more games designed and developed for WP first. The iOS/Android ports are good, but when you compare the quality of those ports between iOS and Windows Phone, the latter has a lot more bugs, doesn't look as good,etc. We need more Halo: SA like initiatives.

Awesome game though. Plugging in doesn't help, phone still dies on me. ); I once played it for several hours while on charger and it died while I started at 100%! I know it's not my phone because with very heavy web browser usage and news app usage, my phones battery last about 16 hours unplugged.

Nothing new, seriously? I guess since Halo is out we're done with new games for a while. Isn't anyone making new games for Windows? Maybe all the developers are playing Halo instead of working. Get back to work, write me some games!

Well, Uno and Fruit Ninja both came out after Halo. There aren't too many Xbox WP games left in development though, that we know of.

While you're admittedly not totally wrong, Mike, the silly season is known to be very quiet when it comes to new titles, on any platform.

Yes, but how many other mobile games promise you literally 50+ hours of gameplay? This is a full console-scale game squeezed onto phones. Not to mention the production values (far beyond most other mobile games) and server costs of operating a big game like this.

I may have to grab this and join the guild...as soon as I get my water-damaged phone back or figure out what to get next if it cannot be repaired. I wish the 1020s' were available in Canada.

If you're playing on a Lumia phone then almost every graphically intensive and/or online game makes it run hot. It's a design flaw. I find that using a case helps.

Any Flagship phone heats a lot while intensive gaming, even HTC one and Galaxy S4 heats a lot while gaming.

Paul,
Great review, I can't believe you managed to concisely decribe this massive game. It would take me forever. We are in agreement that this is the single greatest game available for Windows Phone.
Don't forget to tell Gameloft about Nick being broken too! That's revenue for them :)
- Kiara (from the Guild)

i love that you're in multiple screenshots, kiara. too funny. back in a time when the server was young and full of hope... lol

I don't see any mention of the battery drain while on the charger, is this not a problem for everyone? I feel like that's most noteworthy over anything else.

I thought I read both of those but maybe I only saved it for later so I'll go back and read. Thanks, Paul!

Paul, I do remember reading that part now! Those tips are for newbies! I'm a hardened veteran, lol. I do all this and at the end of the day, I only play if I can charge up to 100% are close so that I can actually finish the things that I start. Buy this doesn't deter me from the game so whoever reads this don't get me wrong, this amazing game cannot be passed up.