RaiderZ Early Access
By Michael Sagoe (mikedot), OnRPG Journalist
MAIET, creators of the stylish third person shooter “GunZ: the Duel”, is back in action with a new MMORPG, and they’re looking to give a few AAA titles a run for their money.
RaiderZ is a massive multiplayer online role-playing game centered on the theme of hunting. It takes many nods from other action RPGs such as Capcom’s Monster Hunter, and while throwing in several unique features into the mix, all this and more as a F2P title curiosity of Perfect World Entertainment.
I previously had a chance to try out RaiderZ during its alpha phase a few months back, but I didn’t get very far into it due to some optimization issues and client bugs. Now with closed beta on the horizon, it was time to jump back in and give this game a proper walk through.
So when I first started up, my account was already pre-loaded with a LV25 Defender. This class focuses on tanking skills while maintaining a moderate amount of DPS. Although I was more interested in trying out the Berserker class, I took the Defender out for a spin, to see what it was truly capable of.
When the game loaded up, I instantly noticed a difference in visuals and performance compared to the alpha builds: My FPS was maintaining a respectable 30 to 50 FPS on my 2560x1440 resolution, and the colors were so much brighter and more vibrant than before.
My Defender character was set up at the same starting point for beginners, so the monsters in the area were going to be pretty easy to take down. Still, I played through the beginner area to get re-acquainted with some of the game’s key elements:
As mentioned before, this game takes several nods from Capcom’s Monster Hunter series in which crafting is a key component to success. Just about every piece of equipment that players obtain in the game MUST be crafted by artisans and blacksmiths, so players can use materials gathered from environments or from fallen monsters to craft amazing gear.
Get used to seeing this guy’s face a lot. He’s one of the many blacksmith NPCs around that will create your equipment.
Interactive bosses and environments
Here’s a feature that actually sets itself apart from Monster Hunter: Epic Monsters in the game don’t just attack you. They can also grab, throw and eat you. Yes, that’s right. They can EAT YOU, which made me wonder… What happens if a monster eats you? Do you instantly get killed, or do you just swim around in their stomach for a while before it spits you out? Can you fight your way out of the monster’s stomach, or must your teammates get you out?
It was such a mystery to me… I actually wanted to go and pick a fight with an epic monster just to try and get it to eat me, and so that’s what I set out to do! Midway in the beginner area, I met face to face with a giant frog-like creature. I was a lot stronger than the monster, so I just poked it a few times to get the thing nice and pissed off. Sadly, it was more intent on killing me rather than eating me. I guess my character didn’t look appetizing enough.
So I said “Oh well!” and kicked the frog monster’s ass into oblivion. The combat in RaiderZ plays very similar to another certain action MMO on the market, and I would have to say that it feels a bit sluggish in comparison, but it just takes a bit of getting used to. Once you get adjusted, you’ll be able to tackle epic monsters just fine.
Another fun feature is being able to grab usable items from the environment and from enemies. For instance, I went off to infiltrate a secret pirate grotto, and the hideout had tons of cannons all over the place. I walked up to one of the cannons and thought “Hmm, OK. I’ll fire off a cannon from here and take out some enemies from a safe distance.” But instead, my character ripped the cannon straight off from the stand and starting walking around with it. Not only that, but my character was able to bash enemies with it and fire a cannonball shot right in his hands! I’m not sure HOW my character is able to do that, but I’m just going to assume he’s taking some serious steroids or something.
After completing a few story quests, I entered into the second town of Ingen. I took a peek at the items in my inventory and noticed some kind of food items sitting in there. I decided to select one of them, and then all of a sudden I started preparing a delicious meal. RaiderZ has this cooking system where players can become a chef and cook up different kinds of food, on and off the battlefield.
Prepared meals can be served to any players and can be eaten to earn passive and active buffs. Not only that, but players can use their prepared meals as weapons!
As if that wasn’t enough side content, they’re also planning a musical performance system. Checking back into my inventory, there’s a bunch of different guitars available to pick up and play around with, but it seems like you can play one note at a time, so you can’t really bust a Jimmy Hendrix and start rocking the crowds just yet. This system is still in development and all that jazz, but if it turns out to be anything like the MML music system in Mabinogi, it could be one excellent side activity for RaiderZ players to partake in.
I WANNA ROCK!!!
After fooling around with the feast items and the guitars, I kind of lost track of the quests I was doing. I was still very over leveled in that zone, so I decided to go out and look for some trouble instead.
I went past the valley, through the woods and wound up at snowy Mt. Eda. Along the way, a pack of angry raptors were swarming all over me, but I managed to take them out without too much of a problem, but then I saw this: a huge ghost wolf was blocking my path.
I took the fight to it head on. The wolf had many different lunges and sweeping attacks that kept me on my toes. My weapon wasn’t doing a lot of damage to it, but I was fighting it very cautiously, so I knew I would take it down eventually. That is, until it decided to summon a second identical ghost wolf to stop me.
Yep, I went looking for trouble and I sure got it. (Spoilers: I died)
My time spent playing RaiderZ has shown me that MAIET sure has come a long way. With all the great combat and extra features that RaiderZ provides as a F2P title, it could easily become stiff competition in this ever expanding MMO market.
For more information on RaiderZ, check out our profile page here at OnRPG.com. Also be sure to grab one of our premium beta keys from the giveaway section if you want a one-up on your fellow players with a few key items in CB.