By Vincent Haoson, Onrpg writer
From the company that has brought games like Exteel, City of Heroes, Lineage II to the MMO industry. NCOsoft introduces an MMO which puts a whole new meaning to the phrase “don’t take yourself too seriously”, Dungeon Runners (DR).
New Concept, Same System
You get to choose from three different job classes in Dungeon Runner, the Fighter, which is the melee character for DR, the Mage, which is your standard magic user type, and lastly the Ranger, which is the long-range character in DR.
Aside from the standard three classes in Dungeon Runners, you can also customize how your character looks in game. You have a limited pre-rendered selection of customizations on your character’s face, hair and hair color design.
Dungeon Runners also allows you to see what you equip to your character. This feature is hard to find in most of the f2p games available in the market.
At the beginning of your character creation, you can immediately see the quirkiness of the game. Each of the three class starts of with a lengthy and comedic title. For the fighter, you start of as the Invigorated Fanatical Fighter, for the Mage, you are the Energetic Noobie Obsidian Mage and for the ranger you are the, All-around Bush League Poison Ranger.
Similar to most mmos, DR has the usual stats that you need to fill out whenever you level up. The stats, which are namely, Strength, Agility, Endurance and Intelligence, are as self-explanatory as they can be. There is an in-depth stat guide found in the DR forums where you can know more about how the computation is done which gives players the heads up on what stats they need to allocate for their preferred builds.
The quirkiness factor does not just begin with the character creation. Once you log into the game you are welcomed by a little read dinorsaur named, Noobsaur. This “dinosaur” is the beginner NPC that would give you the starting quest so that you can jump start on your DR experience.
Usually in free-to-play MMOs you would be disappointed with the way the character design is done. In DR you can see that the character detail is smooth and refined. Though you are limited on using a few pre-rendered styles in the overall look, they are made in such a manner that passes as expertly done.
With the character sprites done in such a manner, you the game’s background and interface though suffers quite a bit. There are areas where the background is as fine as the character design but it is not that important as you will have to concentrate on the monster attacking you rather than the background.
The game’s audio also a treat, especially the NPC’s dialogue. However, the audio can be quite irritating as you continue on playing.
The game’s in-game text can also be hard to read especially when you do play it in window mode. Regardless of what you do with the game’s resolution, you would still get the same hazy text. I advise that if you do want to save your eyes the trouble, play the game in full screen mode.
While the quirkiness factor does put a novelty feel to the whole thing, Dungeon Runners does in fact have nothing more than that. As the game title suggests, Dungeon Runners is a game that is- well a dungeon exploration game.
While it is true that the lack of in-game content story wise is a real disappointment, DR is not about the story but rather a dungeon questing game. This is where DR really shines best, the dungeons are fun to go to though there are camera angle issues it is a spectacle to see how you can beat down those “icky” monsters using either a very large sword or bow or killing them with your spectacularly colored skills.
The overall look and feel of the game can be quite troublesome especially the foliage. Thankfully, there is a foliage control option in the game so you can manage if the grass is quite troublesome especially if you are in the middle of it and you cannot seem to click the monster you need to kill.
The controls are also easy to use and very convenient. You do not need to keep on clicking to kill a monster all you need to do is just press on the left mouse button until you kill the monster.
Also, as the game specializes on exaggeration, it is fun to see how your character moves and sounds whenever you encounter a monster or an NPC. Though I have to admit there are times when the humor on some NPCs are strained that you cannot find the slightest humor in it.
The game is newbie user-friendly because the game is ample with NPCs that help you out on how to experience the game. Plus add the fact that having an NPC named “Noobsaur” that gives the players the initial run through on how to play the game really helps those who have just started out.
The lingo used in the game though could be quite a handful especially to those who are not familiar to the whole l337 speech. Though the learning curve for it is not quite as huge as other languages, it could initially irritate a newbie player.
Like most f2ps you need to actually subscribe, or pay for the game itself to fully enjoy the full potential of the game. The subscription does not in anyway change the fact that DR is fun even if you do not shell out.
However, if you do want to delve into the world of Dungeon Runners, you should then get ready to spend your money on the game. It is true that you can enjoy playing DR without spending a nickel yet you cannot utilize your character’s full potential without getting the privileges of a premium subscription. On the other hand, you can purchase the game off the stores, which gives you a hefty advantage then being just a premium subscriber. The question though is that are you willing to spend your money on a game like Dungeon Runners, that is for you decide.