Once in a blue moon something comes out that you don’t want to take your hands off of. Something so entertaining that is so delightfully different than what you are use to that it sticks to your mind like warm cotton candy that is so delicious that you spend the night dreaming of it and are happily not disappointed when you realize you have woken up and it wasn’t a dream. RaiderZ is just that kind of game. I was fortunate enough to be able to play this game a little earlier than the general public and I was very impressed with every aspect of the game.
After a short download the musical fanfare grasped my ears and dove into my soul, it’s rising crescendos and crashing baritones filled me with the urge to dive right into combat, the hero leaping from the crows nest to glide with your knife blade down the grand white sail of a massive ship to get to the foes below. (By the way, don’t try that at home. Your flagpole is not a crows nest and mom’s curtains do not make a decent sail. Butter knives don’t cut through things very well either. It’s ok though; I’m walking fine now.) And though you are ready to go from the first moment, they tease you with the ability to create your own personalized character before you go in. While this is incredibly entertaining, I made a cross breed of Justin Bieber and Snoop Dog but was too afraid to put it out publicly, it is after this that the true fun begins.
The world itself showers you in bright, beautiful light that belies the terrors that await you once you step outside your little area of security. The blue skies lazily drifting above your head and the rich sound of the open ocean can hypnotize you into a false sense of security, which is quickly remedied the moment you realize you just got thrashed by an electric porcupine! Yes, right from the start you have all sorts of native beasties to battle. But beware! Step a little too far out and you might find yourself completely unequipped to face what you ferociously jump into. But don’t be too cowardly, for the game offers you unique ways of dealing with this.
Most games drop you items when you vanquish an enemy. These items may or may not be useful, and generally they are not as good as what you already have. So you sell your junk and go back to the grind, hoping for one of the rare drops so you can finally improve your character. Here you get nothing like that. RaiderZ delightfully gives you a better does of reality than that. Instead of items that you can’t even use or trash that you don’t want to, your foes in this game drop crafting items that you would normally find in the real world. Don’t you find it amusing when a bear will drop a fireball shooting crossbow? How did the bear use it? Did you gut it and find it? How could one fit in its mouth in the first place? Bah, none of that for you! When you kill a bear you get to strip everything that would be there in the first place form it. And with its hide in your pack, you can go back and make your own armor. In fact, the more you slay the better the things you can make for yourself. This way every creature you destroy gives you something that you can use. Of course you can just as easily sell what you have and get rich. They have made doing so easy with a drag and drop system of buying and selling. But don’t you really want to see what evils lay further down the road?
The controls are set up to be very user friendly and game helpful. Your mouse controls your direction, making for swift moment when critically needed. They add the ability to lock in on any single opponent to help you control the battlefield even more masterfully, allowing you a complete globe of action around your character that will come in handy the deeper you get into the game. You move with the standard WASD keys, with the E key being your main item pick up and conversation key, keeping everything in a nice, tight grouping so you can constantly stay on the move. When you are surrounded and there are more coming, this becomes an invaluable set up, and RaiderZ delivers the awesomeness in these situations. A full range of free flowing movement isn’t something easily found in MMORPGs, as spending so much time on every little detail going into it isn’t generally standard in the business, but the folks at Perfect World Entertainment, RaiderZ’s parent corporation, aren’t going to sell you short. And I, for one, thank them for it.
The one small gripe I have with the game is something I was told in my interview with Mark Hill that turned out to be completely false. Shame on you Mark. You see, I was led to believe there were no skill trees or character classes. I made the comment of how some people will slink into a tree, even when other options were available to them, just to specialize in that single tree. While I am grudgingly not against this kind of behavior, when I am told you have no skill trees and several hundred skills that are not class specific, I tend to believe it and eagerly desire it because it is new and fresh. Sadly, in a game so beautiful and shiny new, a demon of disappointment chuckled over my shoulder. So let’s look at the skill trees that Mark claims aren’t there and see how they work into the game.
You have four areas where the skills you learn every level can be plucked. These four are the Defender, the Berserker, the Cleric and the Sorcerer. People should be familiar with all four of these and what the expectations of each are. The tree has related skills that you can purchase with skill points every level. You can pick and choose between them, though like other skill trees you have to get good at some things before you are allowed other, more powerful ones. Then, to the right of your skill trees, you will find there are levels of mastery you can obtain that offer mostly passive abilities to help further your character’s power. So while I am a little disappointed I was told something incorrect by someone who should have known better, the concept they have created in the skill trees they have are still touched with their own brand of uniqueness.
If there is one MMORPG game you buy in the near future, make it Guild Wars 2. But if there were one game you don’t need to purchase that is just as delightful, thrilling and packed with adventure, it would be RaiderZ. And unlike it’s big named competitor, RaiderZ is free to play and free to win. This is one game you will walk away happy from, if you ever dare step away from it. Remember to save a leg of roast for me when you get in the game. I love a good food fight.