By Michael Sagoe (mikedot)
What happens when you take the TPS style of Gears of War, the visual aesthetics of Metal Gear and throw in some gratuitous violence together in a blender? Well, you’d end up with a game like “Dizzel”, a multiplayer online third person shooter created by Neowiz Games and published by OGPlanet. While the mix of Gears of War, Metal Gear and over-the-top violence sounds nice, the overall experience that Dizzel provides proves to be lackluster due to the fact that its gameplay and presentation has been overshadowed by many other third-person shooters that have came before it.
For starters, let’s take a look at the game’s control scheme: it uses your standard set of WASD for movement, spacebar for jumping, mouse-look shooting and aiming, along with left shift key for dodging and 1-through-6 keys for various weapons and skills. Very straightforward and simple, and it all works the way it should, except for one aspect of the control system that overall gameplay is supposed to be centered around, which is the automated cover system. Whenever a player is near a wall or low barrier than can be used for cover, the game will automatically place them into a cover position, which can really affect players during close quarter situations. Another issue with the cover system is that players cannot hug and stay close to low barriers or walls while moving along them, which means that players will be at risk of giving away their position while using low cover.
Another issue with the game’s control scheme is that players do not have the option to switch their “over the shoulder” camera from right to left, which really hurts the overall gameplay and importance of tactical positioning, since players will not be able to (properly) peek around corners from a left side position. The issues with Dizzel’s cover-based controls could have easily been remedied with a manual camera switch and cover button, but since the game is so dated, it’s very unlikely that these options will be added anytime soon.
Gameplay and Features
Dizzel’s gameplay is about as plain as any third-person shooter can be in this modern age. Players will be able to engage in various match types, including a traditional set of game modes such as team deathmatch and bomb diffuse. Dizzel also comes with some unique spinoff modes including Predator and Annihilation. Combat in Dizzel plays out exactly the way that one would expect from a tactical TPS: run, jump, roll, take cover, coordinate with teammates and take great aim in order to defeat enemies and complete objectives, and doesn’t seem to go into any greater detail than that. As I write up this review, it was very difficult for me to give a more elaborate analysis over Dizzel’s gameplay, because there is absolutely nothing about it that sets itself apart from the pack. I could mention that the shooting mechanics all work as they should, but the cover-based mechanics tend to get in the way. The amount of game modes that are available is hefty but they’re all fairly average and forgettable. The pacing of the gameplay seems fast enough and everything else in between has simply been done before. If Dizzel was ever attempting to earn an award in average-ness, it would win the gold star.
Oh, but what feature does Dizzel promote in order to distinguish itself from other TPS titles? Why, that would be the execution system. Simply put, whenever players loses most of their health in battle, they’ll be put into a groggy state where opposing players can either finish them off the old fashion way (with gunfire), or get fancy with it and pull off an execution kill with a simple press of their F key (whenever they’re up close). Think of it just like the curb-stomp executions in Gears of War, but executions in Dizzel are a lot less interesting. These executions are so bland and quick, the shock value that comes from performing one will wear off quickly. On the upside: Performing executions over regular kills will help players fill up their burning rage meter much faster, which can be used to activate various skills, including increased damage, shield protection and more.
Simply put: It’s not that Dizzel’s gameplay is particularly bad in any form or fashion, but everything about Dizzel‘s gameplay is so generic to the point where it’s almost cringe-worthy.
As far as customization goes, Dizzel does not have much of it to offer. Players can choose between one of three primary weapons (Assault Rifle, Shotgun and Sniper Rifle), one melee weapon and one grenade, along with up to three different skills. Strangely enough, unlike in other many other titles similar to Dizzel, there are no option to select a secondary firearm. Since melee combat is fairly clunky, your primary weapon will be a player’s only true saving grace for many situations. The amount of skills available is fairly low, so players won’t have much variety to distinguish themselves from other players. The weapons that players can choose from all handle differently, at the very least, so players will certainly be able to find a gun that works towards their play-style.
Visuals, Sound and Presentation
Dizzel is a somewhat dated title that started its development back in 2009 and was released in South Korea about two years ago. As it stands, the visuals do not stand well enough despite its age. While the visual aesthetics seem to be pulled straight out of a Metal Gear title, the visual quality doesn’t hold up well enough in order to serve those aesthetics, with very low-to-moderate quality textures, weak visual effects and even weaker gore effects. I find it very amusing that one of the promoted features for Dizzel was how violent the game is, with nods and comparisons to other violent games like Mortal Kombat. However, the visual violence portrayed in Dizzel is so incredibly average and is no more graphic than the violence you would see in your average modern military shooter. Players won’t see any rolling heads or highly detailed chunks of brain matter flying on the screen whenever they score a headshot. Instead, you'll get a few blood splatters across the screen and a few puddles on the floor. Occasionally, you might get some Quake-style gibbings here and there, but they’ll disappear so fast from the screen that you may not even notice them.
Sound quality is also very average, with gunfire shots that sound appropriate, along with voice acting and music that’s reminiscent of a 90s action flick. It gets the job done, but is certainly nothing to write home about.
Dizzel is a TPS title that doesn’t seem to strive to be anything more than a cheap alternative to other TPS shooters that are currently available. It’s almost as if the developers took a checklist and marked off every little detail that is required to make a complete TPS title before sending it out to the F2P market, but didn’t spend any time working on a checklist to make sure that the game was actually fun and distinguishable compared to its competition. For those that have never played a TPS title before may be able to enjoy Dizzel as a decent time waster, but will most likely more onto a much better title within a short while. And for those that are already fans of the genre will see Dizzel as something that is utterly forgettable.