SCORE: 89% – “Probably the best free online RPG Ive ever played!”

I love online RPG’s and even more so when they are free.  Eternal Lands is one that I played often on the Windows platform, however I never got around to installing it when I went 100% Linux.  I have now rectified that, and what I remember as being a great free online game, is amazing on Linux! Lets see what the advantages are (and bear in mind that Ive installed it on a same spec machine with XP)  Firstly on Linux the graphics are better, there is a textured sky which changing to weather conditions and time of day.  I can zoom in and pan the camera around in a way that I could never have done with it running through Win.

The loading speed is also about 10 times quicker than its Windows counterpart, and the whole experience is far smoother than I ever would have believed.

Now that the comparisons between the two versions have been made, Ill get on to explaining the game.  Eternal Lands is an online roleplaying game, that is free to play.  It falls into the Morrowind category of role play games somewhat, as you are not restricted by choosing your character class, and its up to you how you evolve your character.   There are many skills to learn, from making armour, to fighting & spells.  The server always has at least 200 or so people on it, and there’s always help about.   There are missions and quests to get involved in, and for a small fee you can get access to other, additional features.

Graphics wise, its a very “clean” looking game.  Lighting effects are done well enough to make it pleasant to look at but also not so intensive as to limit the game to only high-spec PC users.  There are also plenty of options to improve performance if you should encounter problems, but I guess that the majority of users will find that the default settings will run without hitch and the majority will be able to run with full graphics on.

I cannot recommend this game enough, if you have Linux and a love of RPG’s, you can do no better in the land of freeware gaming.

You can visit the official site here and download the software, and there are comprehensive tutorials as well as the games forums to get involved in.

Installing and playing Eternal Lands

Eternal Lands was tested with Ubuntu 8.04, and although the game is not available through the Ubuntu repository, installation was simple.  Just follow these steps:

Download the libstdc++5 package first: sudo apt-get install libstdc++5

Download the Eternal Lands game from the site and extract it into your home folder.  You should consider renaming this folder to Eternal-Lands (its default is EL-Install)

Load up terminal (applications, accessories) and type:

cd ~/eternal-lands

Next type:

chmod 775 el.x86.linux.bin

Then to run the program:

./el.x86.linux.bin

If you want sound you must download the sound files separately.  Once done just unzip the contents to the Eternal-lands directory.

Eternal Lands homepage