AT THIS YEAR’S Rezzed games expo, infinite robots got some hands-on time with an upcoming MMORPG that’s looking to combine stunning visuals & addictive gameplay with a free-to-play system. Hailing from European developer MAIET Entertainment, RaiderZ is an MMORPG with big ambitions. Combing the bright vibrant presentation of Kingdoms of Amalur: Reckoning & World of Warcraft with the epic boss battles of Monster Hunter, RaiderZ brings a level of depth to crafting & combat rarely seen in an entirely free-to-play game.
So with the free-to-play model being adopted in one form or another by everyone from Warmage: Battlegrounds to the eternally enduring World of Warcraft, is RaiderZ an experience worthy of your time?
So how does it play?
RaiderZ is preparing to enter a very crowded genre, but it’s got a few tricks up its monster-hunting sleeves to set itself apart. The developers have chosen a radical approach to the traditional RPG class-system by jettisoning it almost altogether. The game offers four basic ‘classes’ as starting points so that genre veterans won’t be too alienated, but instead uses different ‘abilities’ which can be mixed and matched depending on your fighting style and weapon choice.
In a recent interview with infinite robots, RaiderZ producer Rudiger Moersch spoke candidly about the benefits of a class-less approach to the RPG: “There are benefits to the class-free system, as well as many pros & cons. If you specialise in something, you will be very powerful in this special area, but you’re not going to be very versatile. If you split your talents up a bit, mix them around, then you’ll get a more unique character set for yourself. You’ll have a unique skill set that suits your own personal playing style.”
The many monsters which roam the land can be tackled solo but the benefits of working as a team really come to the fore when facing the largest more fierce enemies
Like any entry in the genre, RaiderZ comes complete with an XP levelling system and menus of customisation and inventories that will satisfy even the most elite of players. But what impressed us at infinite robots was the ‘pick-up-and-play’ feel to the game. Right off the bat you can choose any particular weapon (whether it be a heavy two-handed great sword or a spell-ridden magic staff) and immediately jump into the action. The many monsters which roam the land can be tackled solo but the benefits of working as a team really come to the fore when facing the largest more fierce enemies such as the amphibious frog monster Eluga. Additional abilities such as meditation can be used to replenish health whilst others work best in conjunction with other players in order to create a formidable monster-hunting troupe.
How does it look?
The comparison to genre flag-bearer World of Warcraft might sound like a lazy one, but taking tried, test & successful beats from something as popular as WoW is no bad thing. MAIET Entertainment could have followed the more in vogue darkness of Skyrim or Dark Souls, but by embracing a bright & colourful palette RaiderZ becomes a world that’s a pleasure to explore. Of course, the more powerful a PC you have at your disposal the better this game will look but even on a laptop with a basic graphics card RaiderZ is still a beautifully rendered experience.
The game isn’t set in Medevial times, it’s the end of the more traditional Medevial, the beginning of the Renaissance for the world” – Rudiger Moersch
The lands you uncover all have a distinctly different feel, from the lush forests & beaches you first encounter to the imposing tundra you’ll stalk as the game opens up. All of the many monsters of RaiderZ have been designed with an eye for combining comic book artistry with intimidating size.
“The concept behind the RaiderZ art style is that we wanted to create a world that was different to what was out there currently”, added Rudiger when we spoke to him at Rezzed 2012. “The game isn’t set in Medevial times, it’s the end of the more traditional Medevial, the beginning of the Renaissance for the world. That’s why certain buildings look more modern then most people will be used to from MMORPGs.”
To Raid or not to Raid?
We at infinite robots aren’t traditional PC gamers, but there is something undeniably charming and enticing about RaiderZ. The game is a little rough around the edges in terms of character animations but considering the game is about to enter its next beta phase the signs are incredibly encouraging. The free-to-play model isn’t capped to a certain level and extends to the entire game. That’s potentially hundreds of hours of vibrant, dynamic monster hunting for free! Micro-transactions are available for purchasing materials for crafting, etc, but almost every material or item can be found by delving into this rich world. Considering that this game has managed to convert two gamers who don’t usually go in for MMORPGs, when it’s released later this year RaiderZ is going to make some long-lasting fans in veterans and converts alike.
Are you excited for this exciting new addition to the MMORPG genre? You can sign up for the beta by clicking here. infinite robots will be bringing you an in-depth review later this year, so join the IR community & keep it infinite!