|Based on the anime TV show, .hack infection has you, the player, playing a character who is playing an on line multiuser RPG. Talk about layers of gameplay!|
In essence, this is a great way for kids not quite ready for real, on line MMORPGs to get a feeling for how they work. Your character, let's call him "Link", is playing an on line MMORPG. All of the people which Link interacts with are just computer-controlled characters. There is no real on line aspect to this game. But you get a sense for how to interact with other players, how to send messages to them, how some are on at some times and others log on at other times.
Your methods of moving around between areas of "The World" and killing monsters is pretty similar to most MMORPGs like Asheron's Call or EverQuest. You have weapons to hack and slash at creatures. You have magic and can heal your party members or harm the enemies. You can "chat" with your party members to ask them to give you a hand or heal you.
When you're not "on line", you can read message boards about things going on, send messages, and progress through the game. After your first half hour of "guided tutorial", one of your friends falls into a coma and you're concerned about it. More things happen as you get deeper and deeper into the game.
Amusingly, the graphics are better than most real MMORPGs out there but are not quite as good as many real PS2 games that are out there. So depending on which one you compare it against, it's either quite nice or not quite up to par. They're around the Dark Cloud level of graphics.
The 45 minute anime cartoon that gets you familiar with the game and the players helps to draw you into the world, and feel like this is a real situation with real people you are interacting with.
On the downside, you can't customize your character at all. Most of the fun of MMORPGs is that you can tweak your character to be just the way you wish. In this one, you are forced to be the character they have set up.
Still, it's fun practice for how a MMORPG works, and fans of the series will enjoy participating in its world.
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