RaiderZ ReviewBy: Zanpakutou posted at Aug 15, 2012 4:53 pm
It's taken longer than I expected to get around to this because of the fact that the game is frequently down. It took me longer to play around with the game and try out different things. So far I have only tried the 2 Handed Sword and Mage characters. RaiderZ is sort of like TERA where it is an open world yet contains some of the features of the action MMOs. I will probably play more of it once the game is outside of closed beta, but until then I want to try out other character classes rather than reach a high level with just one class.
The game is broken up into quests that revolve around a primary enemy and the lead up into the fight with that boss. The quests feature mostly texts with a few cutscenes. I wish that the game would allow you to control the speed of the cutscenes and skip dialogue when you want to, but you can only skip the entire cutscene. This makes the scenes really long and boring to me. There is no voice acting either so it feels like you are playing a PS1 RPG during the cutscenes where they just make gestures while they are on that line of dialogue. The first major enemy you fight is called "The Crawler" and all your beginner quests lead up to the first major boss fight against it.
The graphics of the game is very nice. Of course, I have to state that I sort of hate the lighting of the game. It is a bit bright and I get really annoyed by the lens flare effects. Character customization allows you to pick from a decent variety of options so that was a nice touch. You can also add some facial markings and change their size so your character at least looks a little different. Everything you equip also changes you appearance so that is a nice touch as well. My only complaint is that some of the things look really out of place when you can interact with them. Some things blend in real nicely, but others look like they obviously do not belong there. It is nice for allowing players to find objects, but they also have a quest marking so it is still obvious. It just really draws your attention away when you see something like that.
Character customization is really simple and you won't see it much of the time anyways because your equipment changes your entire appearance. The most you will see is your face assuming you actually bother to turn the camera around to look at your character. Most of the time, you will be looking at yourself from the back and you will only be able to see the equipment that you have on. All of the other customization features such as hair colors will probably be covered.
The game starts off by giving you a tutorial that is rather simple. The story quests tend to direct you to your next location rather than back to the same place as you obtained the quest. The side quests also appear at the same time as you need to enter that area for the main story so it is quite simple to follow. The side stories each revolve around the character that gives them and tells you about the sort of problems that they have, but you will not care about most of them.
The combat system is simple to learn. Your left click is your basic attack and the number keys are used for skills. You can hold Shift and use WASD to dodge in the given direction. This is very important when you are fighting because you have to learn to avoid damage. You do regenerate HP and such slowly over time, but the big enemies can hurt badly. Guarding is near useless because it reduces the damage you take by little, but dodging can avoid it altogether and certain skills also force your character to dodge and are a better alternative than simply blocking an attack. In a fight against a large enemy, it is best done in a team so you can control the aggression. Whenever it changes targets, everyone else attacks and you take turns doing this. Most enemies will attack in a straight line and the ones that do jump out of view give you more than enough time to roll out of the way. As long as you focus on the enemy, you should do fine. Fights also tend to last longer as you level up due to scaling. The only thing to watch out for is falls. If you fall from a high distance, you take some damage and your speed goes down so try not to stand too close to the edge of anything.
My only complaint about the combat system has to do with skills that have charge times. While they are being cast, you cannot move. This is annoying for a mage when the basic fireball skill has a 2 second charge time and almost no MP cost yet all of the other skills have very low cast times and low MP cost with only higher cooldown. Sometimes it feels more practical to use all of your skills to initiate and then just resort to melee attacks to finish them off as a mage.
In order to obtain new equipment, you have to craft it. Most of the items you need are dropped by the enemies in the surrounding area at a pretty good rate. Once you obtain all the items, you just need to bring it to an NPC to exchange it for the items you need. This will be the main way for you to obtain equipment until higher levels. Weapons do not seem to scale as well as armor so you will have to rely on the power of your skills as you level up.
My only complaint is the quests that require you to "transform" into something else to complete. Normally, these transformations occur when you pick up fragments of enemies. They give you a temporary skill set that you can use for as long as the weapon lasts. They tend to be powerful and able to cause knock downs and cancel enemy attacks. However, they kind of defeat the point of playing as your character class because they override all of your other skills. There is a segment of the game where you have to do it to complete several quests because you are not strong enough to do it on your own.
N/A - I didn't join one. I stopped playing a character once I reached The Crawler.
RaiderZ is what TERA is, except it is free to play. Luckily, RaiderZ is actually set up for a free to play model while TERA would run into numerous issues if they simply converted to free to play one day. The only problem with RaiderZ is that their character classes do not feel that much different from one another so far. The melee characters play the same and I feel that even the 2H Sword and Mage play similarly except that the 2H Sword closes the distance. It lacks the diversity that I feel in other games and it feels like I can play almost every class in RaiderZ the same way with the initiation attack being the only thing that is significantly different.
7/10 - Free action MMO, but character classes feel very similar to me for some reason.
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