Cody “Micajah” Bye, Managing Editor
Violence has always been a part of human nature. From the gladiatorial
combat in Ancient Rome to the bloody massacres seen on modern
television, the viewing of violence as entertainment has never changed.
According to a href="http://www.psychologymatters.org/mediaviolence.html">report
published by the American Psychological Association in 2004,
U.S. children are “seeing as many as 8,000 murders by the
time he or she finishes elementary school at age 11”, and the
number only continues to rise as the child matures into
doesn't shy away from over-the-top, blood, gore or sexuality.
So it comes as no surprise that many massively multiplayer online game
developers have opted to visit the mature market, a place where those
children (now as adults) can interact inside a dark and gritty world
full of violence, horror, and bloodshed. Strangely one of the first
developers to approach this grisly new medium is Gravity Interactive, a
studio best known for creating the wildly popular children’s
MMOG, Ragnarok Online.
Their entry into the marketplace is titled style="font-style: italic;">Requiem: Bloodymare,
and the developers have pulled out all the stops to insure that this
game is as nightmarishly brutal as possible.
With the game now in closed beta and free for the press to preview, I
sat down with the title and pounded my way through the initial play
experience for Requiem:
Bloodymare. It was a harrowing, gruesome, and horrific
trial, but I came away with all of my limbs intact and my head still
firmly attached to my shoulders.
From the outset of the game, it’s incredibly apparent that
this isn’t your standard “Teen” rated
MMORPG. The dark color palette blends well with the moody, minor keyed
music, and the throbbing baseline of the entire mix seems to breathe a
bit of freshness into the game even as you start in on creating your
Players that enter Requiem
for the first time will have three different races to choose from: the
Turan, Bartuk, and Kruxena. Each of the three races has their own
particular strengths and weaknesses, but each also comes with its own
unique set of classes. The Turan are your standard human-type race with
a balanced load of attributes over the entirety of their character.
Choosing a Bartuk character, you’ll essentially be putting
yourself in the shoes of a massive pile of muscle that’s
waiting to rip out your throat with his or her bare hands. Finally, you
can pick the magically talented and graceful Kruxena.
Once you’ve decided on your race, there are a few options for
faces and hair style / color, but generally speaking style="font-style: italic;">Requiem still falls
into the common trap laid by so many imported MMOGs before it. This
lack of character customization, however, doesn’t feel like
an extremely huge hurdle to jump over.
doesn’t force players to make a class decision right out of
the gate. In fact, initial class decisions don’t come into
play until you’ve been playing in the world for at least a
few hours. Until you reach level 10, you’ll simply be known
as a Bartuk Temperion or a Turan Temperion, and that’s it.
The character creation system in Requiem
is built on a quick entry into the game world, and that’s
exactly what occurs. Once you’ve gotten your race and
character customization options selected, your immediately plunged into
a deep, dark, and desolate dungeon where you’re instructed to
fight your way out.
With a weapon already strapped onto my back and my instructions firmly
in place, I walked through the dark hallways of my introductory dungeon
and attempted to find my way to the surface. New players to the MMORPG
genre don’t need to fret, however, as there are a number of
tutorial boxes that do a fair job of explaining the movement and combat
functionalities of Requiem.
All of the controls are listed in these tutorials, and Gravity really
went out of their way to insure that style="font-style: italic;">Requiem users were
able to navigate around the initial dungeon and didn’t feel
put upon to try to figure the game out on the fly.
Every monster in
Requiem has a different death animation.
That said, even MMO veterans should be happy with
style="font-style: italic;">Requiem as the game
is probably the best example of thorough localization to ever hit the
North American shoreline. Rather than force players to stick with the
standard point-and-click format that’s so familiar to the
Asian audience, Gravity has actually created the game to have WASD
movement mechanics. And for those players that are still used to the
point-and-click movement, that functionality is still included in the
game as well. You can run, jump, and navigate with either the mouse or
the keyboard, and most MMO gamers will feel comfortable with the
The only problem that occurred while I was playing occurred with the
combination of point-and-click and WASD movement. The easiest way to
auto-attack monsters in Requiem
is by right-clicking on them. However, this also moves your character,
so if you’re not careful you can find yourself in a sticky
situation rather quickly. But I only had this problem a few times
before I discovered the issue and turned off mouse movement.
Thankfully, the movement options weren’t the only portion of
the game that Gravity localized. All of the text that players will be
able to read in the game has also been translated fairly well, and even
though there are still a few niggling things here and there (weapons
are described as “basic armor”), it’s a
monumental improvement over a number of other imported games that are
on the market.
As I tore my way through the starter monsters in the initial dungeon, I
watched with a sort of morbid glee as the monsters I killed flew apart
in a variety of death animations. By using the Havok engine (the same
engine was used in Half-Life 2), the developers of style="font-style: italic;">Requiem were able
to create some incredibly vivid and visceral ragdoll physics to
accompany all of the deaths of their monsters.
To read the latest guides, news, and features you can visit our Requiem: Memento Mori Game Page.