Although not immediately obvious, Aion does actually offer a trial through its ‘Refer a Friend’ program. It is extremely limited however, and you’re given either 5 hours of playtime, or a level 7 character, whichever comes first. In my case, I was booted out of game promptly after dinging level 7.
My initial impression was that despite the quests, it felt grindy. Then again, it is an NCSoft game, and given their history of Lineage and Lineage 2, it didn’t come as much of a surprise. The game is beautiful, with detailed atmospheric and flora effects, largely thanks to the CryTek engine that it uses. I didn’t run into any performance issues during my solo play, but I wonder how it would handle during PvP and raids.
I’m quite tempted to play further, mostly because it gives me a chance to play with members from my Lineage 2 guild of Uprising.