Parabellum Review: If you want peace, get ready for war!



Parabellum Review: If you want peace, get ready for war!
By Gabriele Giorgi, OnRPG Journalist

In the MMO scenery nowadays it's frequent to see mixtures between different genres, and some of the best candidates to merge with a multiplayer environment are First Person Shooter games.We took a closer look at Parabellum by Gamersfirst, a Free to Play MMOFPS aiming to attract hardcore as well as casual players.

Si vis pacem para bellum

If you want peace, get ready for war. Parabellum gets its title from this meaningful latin aphorism and from the name of the 9mm bullets (the most used in the world) as well. But what will set this game aside from other FPS out there and what MMO elements will be present?Parabellum will be published in different countries, both eastern and western (though not at the same time). The game will be set in 2018, a near future chosen by the developers in order to have some freedom with technology and scenery.

Every player will have his own avatar, with a degree of customisation comparable to masterpieces of personalisation like, for example, City of Heroes. This character will be used not only to play, but also to move and socialise in designated areas that will replace the usual chatroom, so common in this kind of games. This way, the avatars will not be anonymous model, but completely recognizable both in these "breaks" and while playing. Of course, those who have already a clan or want to set it up will have the option to upload their logo, in order to share it with all their members. This is one of the many ways to spend real money for in-game services, but we will shed more light about this subject below.

Characters in Parabellum

Characters in Parabellum

The road to victory

In Parabellum, the players will compete in maps, powered by the Unreal 3 engine, that will host up to 32 people at the same time. There will be no computer-controlled bots: all our opponents will be strictly human. The system will take care of balancing the situation each time, letting in players in the queue, should anyone quit or lose connection.

The maps will be given to a close community to be tested and make sure they are fun to play. Later they will be polished at a visual level. The developers, though, have deliberatly chosen not to push the graphics to the limits: since the game is a F2P, they want to attract as many people as possible, and keeping the system requirements high would just deter those who don't have a last-generation machine.

The gameplay in itself is quite standard, but besides the usual modes (like deathmatch, for example), Parabellum will present a brand new one, the campaign, quite similar to the TV-series "24:" a race against time in a grid drawn over the map of New York. Players will split in two factions (Counter Terror Force or Syndicate mercenaries), one seeking to defuse a nuclear weapon on the other side of the city, the other trying their best to slow them down. For each fork in the grid, based on the result of the teams in each scenario, the campaign will take one direction or another, with altogether different maps. For example, some of them will feature long streets, perfect for sniping, while other ones might be more crammed, suited for close-quarter fight; based on your team, you might prefer one scenario to the other. There might even be secondary objectives or hindrances as well, like for example a V.I.P. to protect; sometimes a fork might even lead to a shortcut. Overall, a really innovative gamemode, and in the future the developers are planning to set up a sort of global campaign, affected by all the single campaigns played.

A matter of numbers

It's well known how statistics are particularly important in this kind of games. The most notable effect in Parabellum will be the redistribution of players in the different servers: in order to avoid newbies facing hardcore players, after the first games the system (based on stats like frags, hit ratio, etc.) will assign every one to the server best suited to him: newbies with newbies, pros with pros and so on.

Besides, for stats lovers, all of them will be bound to the weapon, not to the character: everyone will be allowed to have two weapons, fully customizable as well with sniper scopes, silencers and other enhancements. These weapons, though, will wear over time and will need to be repaired: with in-game currency, their efficiency will not go all the way back up to 100%. To have a fully efficient weapon, either you can buy a new one (losing all the statistics attached to it)... or you can repair it completely by spending real money.

Taxi Rumble

Taxi Rumble Ingame

The business model of Parabellum will be all focused around this: real money for what might be considered an added service (like statistics or, for example, a bonus to the experience gained for a limited period of time); time versus money for all the rest. Everything in Parabellum can be acquired spending time playing or real currency: it will be up to the players to decide whether they want to invest one or the other... but it won't be possible to buy with real money elements that might unbalance the game, like for examples the weapons themselves.

Moreover it's interesting to see how the weapons will determine the role of the player. In Parabellum, there will be no predefined class: to be a sniper, you will just need the specific rifle, and with a weapon with greater firepower you will take the part of a heavy assalut soldier.

Conclusions

Parabellum might turn out to be an intriguing game for both FPS fans and those who always wanted to try this genre. It's Free to Play with a microtransaction system conceived not to disrupt the balance, and for any upgrade, cosmetic or otherwise, it's up to the player whether to spend money or invest time playing for it.

Pros:
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Innovative campaign mode
- Automatic server selection to match skill level

Cons:
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Only a few maps will be available at the beginning
- Gameplay quite standard

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