For example, as I pawed my way out of the starter dungeon, I walked
only a short distance before I ran into a monster that looked like some
sort of rabid reindeer. Upon dispatching it, my character expertly
cleaved off the animals head, sending it flying away in a spout of
blood and gore. As I watched, the head proceeded to roll down a long
hill where it finally stopped just short of another reindeer.
All gore and guts aside, the atmosphere of the game really does an
incredible job of pulling you into the game. As you traverse through
your initial starting area, you’ll find the secluded city of
Rondel. Built into the middle of a massive, snow covered peak, Rondel
is reminiscent of cities you might have seen at the beginning of the
electrical age. Power lines run through the city streets and steam
blasts out of vents on random intervals. Glowing fires can be seen in
many of the buildings and armed guards walk down the stony alleys. If
the Fallout franchise focused on swords and sorcery, this is the sort
of town they might have designed.
Any game with a mob
called "Satan's Reindeer" is okay by me.
Inside of Rondel, I found a number of my initial starting quests in
easy fashion. The quest design in the game is reminiscent of what you
see in Blizzard’s World
of Warcraft; each quest leads you farther away from the
city as you continue to march your way out of the starting area and
into the full-fledged zones.
From level 1-10, you’ll be spending most of your time in the
Rondel area, gathering quests and quickly completing them to help
advance. Although death isn’t extremely common in early areas
(none of the monsters in these areas are hostile so they
won’t attack you first), try not to die often as there is a
slight XP penalty for each death. This penalty is negligible, and the
developers seem to have really been aware of the North American crowd
and our anger towards extreme death penalties.
After a few hours of gameplay and getting the nuances of the game under
control, you’ll hit level 10 and be eligible for your first
class choice. Each of the races has two initial classes to choose from
which essentially are split between melee and magic choices. For
example, the Bartuk can choose the Warrior and the Shaman while the
Kruxena pick between Rogues or Soul Hunters. Each race has different
class choices, so make sure you pick an appropriate race for the
eventual class you’d like to become. Eventually each of these
race classes split off again into two more classes, and in the end each
race has four inevitable classes to choose from.
Sporting my new level 10 Bartukian Warrior, I was feeling fairly
invincible. As I carved through enemies I was previously having
problems with, I slowly became aware that my in-game clock was seconds
away from hitting 23:00, a time that inspires fear in any player of style="font-style: italic;">Requiem. This
specific time signifies the arrival of the Nightmare mode; the sky
grows dark and larger and even more gruesome monsters spring from the
ground to rip open your innards. As I began sprinting for the nearest
pathway, a creepy, devil-baby sprang in front of me and – in
two hits – had dispatched me into the nether. I resurrected
at the nearest spawn point and opted to wait out the fifteen minutes of
Player versus player (PvP) combat also plays an integral part in the style="font-style: italic;">Requiem formula.
Although none of the servers were set to full-on PvP, players did have
the option of entering PvP battlegrounds to engage in 8-vs-8, 16-vs-16,
32-vs-32, or 96-vs-96 warfare. I certainly wasn’t of a high
enough level to engage in the more extreme PvP battles, but according
to the Requiem
website, “victors will be rewarded with special items that
are key to obtaining the rarest weapons and armor.”
The atmospheric city
Finally, it would be improper of me to do a thorough preview of
style="font-style: italic;">Requiem without
mentioning the DNA or Beast Possession Systems. As you progress through
there will be a number of ways to augment your skills and abilities.
Rather than creating a “Talent Tree” for characters
to progress through, the Requiem
developers came up with something called the DNA System, which allows
players to augment their characters however they wish. Whether
it’s through advancing statistics or giving bonuses to
certain skills, the DNA system certainly provides players with a way of
differentiating themselves from the masses.
The Beast Possession System also serves as a form of alternate
advancement in Requiem.
Once a player can possess a beast’s form (which happens in
later levels), that beast form gains experience along with the player's character. As players collect more than one beast form, they can then choose to distribute the experience gained between the two beasts. If a player chooses, they can make one beast earn all of the beast form experience, thus making that particular beast possession into a veritable bad ass. However, players will never stop gaining experience in their normal form, and the beast form leveling is on top of whatever advancement they earn in their normal class.
For the most part, Requiem:
Bloodymare seems to be a thoroughly localized version of a
very well thought out imported MMORPG. Although a few niggling problems
still persist in the translation and movement options, style="font-style: italic;">Requiem looks to be
one of the first imported MMORPGs to finally encompass both the Western
and Eastern mentalities when it comes to gaming. With solid
translations and appropriate movement options, style="font-style: italic;">Requiem should
appeal to gamers looking for a gritty, dark, and bloody world to rest
their gaming souls.
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