8Realms: Time Waits for No One
By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor), OnRPG Journalist
8Realms is an empire building massively multiplayer online strategy game developed by the well-known Jagex Games Studio. Jagex is best known for their title RuneScape which is one of the largest F2P MMORPGs on the market today, and I got the chance to test out their first MMORTS pre-Closed beta.
As soon as I made my village I got into a small tutorial that teaches you multiple actions, at first I had to fend off some evil barbarians that felt like burning my upcoming village. After I saved my village from burning to the ground I could finally rebuild my settlement. One of the first goals was to build a farm. I immediately notice that building settlements takes real life time. As every empire building game I have reviewed thus far does this, I didn’t expect anything. The time left is shown above the settlement which will help you in planning future expansions for your village, and ticks away while you’re offline so you don’t have to stay on the game for hours to complete major projects.
While doing the first couple of necessary tasks I got to learn how the interface works. On the top right of your screen you can find the current income per hour for your village. Other useful tidbits of information available include the population of your village, food income, stone income, wood income and gold production. This helps greatly with forecasting resource collection so you know how long to wait before you need to sign in and begin a major construction project. In the top left of your screen you can find the notifications tab; in this tab you can find the recent activities that you and your village have done. In this same region of the UI you will also find your friends tab, research tab, and project progression tab.
The goal in this game is fairly simple, build up your own empire and compete against friends and foes to become one of the biggest empires in your guild. Through the game you have multiple ages that you go through, giving a real sense of accomplishment while keeping the game fresh. The Task menu keeps you up to date so you know the most important projects in your empire and what needs to be dealt with in your current playing session.
After expanding my village and upgrading some of the settlements it was finally time to have revenge on those evil barbarians that burned down my village. I trained some courageous spearman and sent them off venturing into unknown lands to end their miserable barbarous lives. They came back successfully and I felt much better to know that these evil maniacs that burned down my village were no threat to me anymore. Of course there would be more barbarian raids in the future, but this time I was ready.
Jagex again show’s off their development quality by making this game feel rock solid. This is the first MMORTS to keep me occupied for some time; the game feels fresh despite my experience with so many browser based RTS that came before it. The art work in this game is really top notch and makes every project completion feel special. Unfortunately I did feel I was missing some sort of chat function but I am sure this will be added in the future. The game is now in closed testing so be sure to drop by OnRPG’s events page to get into the game and nab your own custom OnRPG flag. You won’t want to miss trying this out as it has the potential to become one of the greatest MMORTS games of all time!