Karma: Operation Barabossa: Player Versus Player Versus Zombies
By Kei Beneza (dividelife), OnRPG Journalist
It's been a while since we last saw an new FPS online game, and might I say that this one doesn't disappoint. Karma: Operation Barabossa is a fictional MMOFPS set in World War II, where the Germans continue to harass the land of Europe (like I said, completely fictional). Perhaps another factor that would stress the "fiction" part completely would be the ravaging zombies walking around (yep, that's right! Zombies), all thanks to the Mad Scientist, Dr Fritz who lost it during the war. Now that I think about it, the game seems to be a bit late as the zombie era of gaming pretty much ended 2 years ago (if you remember, 2008 = Left 4 Dead, Zombie Apocalypse, Resident Evil 5 etc). The visuals are absolutely stunning, and it is very hard to compare with its older counterparts. It's a fatal-three-way of Player vs Player vs Zombies, so nothing can get more action-packed thanthat.
Karma: Operation Barabossa is a mixture of games like Left 4 Dead, Battlefield, and Call of Duty MW2. It's still PVP, but unlike most MMOFPSs, you can also gain points (level up) by killing the zombie NPCs that flood the arena. The best part about this game is how they managed to take different elements from trademark games and still come up with a product that not only makes these elements work surprisingly well, but also makes it all feel fresh in some way. There are a lot of zombies in the game, and by "A LOT" I mean hordes of undead beings. It may not be that original, but you can't deny that there's nothing more satisfying than driving a solid bullet through a zombie's head.
There are two factions to choose from: Germans & Russians (Sorry folks, the zombie faction stays in Left 4 Dead :P). Worry not though, for the game does have a nice set of classes that will keep you playing for hours. There are four default classes in all, each with their own set of weapons and specialties to suit the player's preferred playstyle. There's the Sniper, who technically serves his comrades from afar, the Heavy Weapons Expert, who shoots weapons of mass destruction, the Squad Support who shoots rapid artillery behind the front line, and of course, the common Assault Squad who tend to get bitten first (lol). Since the game is more hostile than your average MMOFPS, players must work together in order to overcome the odds, strategizing all the way while making use of the classes provided.
The game has a limited set of maps, but don't get me wrong as each of these arenas are big enough to keep you from getting bored. Each arena also has its own set of game modes that keeps the game from being linear. There's the common Team Deathmatch, which basically consists of 2 teams duking it out to see who's the victor, Demolition mode, which is similar to "Destroy the Target" Campaigns, and the most awesome mode in the game-Annihilation mode, which yanks our 2 teams to a killing race to see who can kill the most zombies per round.
The game looks and plays very well, but like most games, it does have its own share of cons. My first problem with the game would have to be its maps, or rather the lack of them. It's a very enjoyable game all in all, but maps are quite essential for PVPFPSs. You don't see us playing Counterstrike on the DE-Dust map for 3 hours, so a few more maps should do the trick. Although this problem doesn't affect most people, the game also lacks a good selection of guns which keeps a player from fully expressing his playstyle. This isn't Left 4 Dead where you just randomly point and shoot, and the choices of guns found in FPS shooters are there for a purpose (not just variety). Guns are mainly mass produced in FPSes in order to see that each player gets the playstyle he wants, rather than simply carrying the same sniper rifle all day. Like I said, it may not be a problem to some gamers, but it does affect pro games on the long run.
Graphics and Interface
The interface looks lot like Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. HUD elements like HP and bullets are placed in rather familiar places, which can be good since everyone's used to having it there. There's also the familiar experience count which flashes right above your target after killing it, which was obviously taken from COD: MW. The graphics on the other hands are flawless, with each character rendered to perfection. The background or arena is also something to behold, with dynamic shaders and cool lighting effects that make the stage fitting for the theme. The guns look perfect (almost real) and effects like smoke and explosions make the game action-packed. What truly captured my heart was the framerate. The game runs extremely well, with fewer choppy frames which tend to ruin your gaming experience/zen. When it comes to MMOFPS graphics, this game is god.
Zombies meet Call of Duty? What will they think up next? The game is definitely something to look forward to as it's still on Beta. There are still a lot of things to improve but the game is definitely on the right track. It may not be that original in the gaming world, but definitely a breakthrough in the MMO spectrum. The game modes are enjoyable, making me crave the real thing. The only thing keeping me from giving this game a high score, is the fact that I still have to wait for it.
- ZOMBIES man! What else?
- The visuals are one of the best in the spectrum
- Diverse game modes (I'm tired of capture the flag)
- It's PVPVE! A breakthrough!
- Needs more guns
- Gets old after a while due to its limited game modes
- Needs more maps.