minutes, you're gonna need all of that armor... style="font-style: italic;">
CABAL is a
game filled with sharp angles, jagged edges, and a feel of desperation.
The graphical style adeptly communicates all of this while disguising
any faults in the graphics engine. Character models look rough and
angular instead of unpolished. The landscape looks desolate and barren
instead of incomplete or limited.
Character animations looked good for me, and even
my wizard relied somewhat on her martial arts to fell enemies. I also
thought character models had good proportions and decently smooth
One of the nicest touches in the environment I noticed early
on were gusts of wind carrying dust and sand just outside my starter
town. Environmental effects like that help fill a sparse landscape and
make it seem like a breathing space that is barely alive as part of the
developers' intent. The starting area, a desert town in an area with
sheer rock cliffs and meager foliage, really drove home the sense of a
society of people on the brink of annihilation. I was so impressed that
I thought the only thing missing was a aged film look, which I added to
the first nine seconds of my href="http://www.tentonhammer.com/node/43140"> style="font-style: italic;">CABAL gameplay video.
monsters I battled at first were a little silly. Most looked like
mutated rabbits or kangaroos. Just a few feet outside of town, the
monsters took a distinctly more ominous look, including what looks like
drakes, lizards, and giant man-eating vultures.
Online move swiftly.
The first thing I noticed when my character spawned in style="font-style: italic;">CABAL Online was
the speed at which my chat window was being forced to scroll because of
gold seller spam. The perplexing part was that the gold sellers were
peddling their wares not for CABAL
but for style="font-style: italic;">Rohan: Blood Feud.
Both titles have gameplay that centers on player-vs-player combat
(PvP), but I
was still baffled by advertising gold for one game in a second.
I tried vainly for about five minutes to find a way to ignore
the spammers. I even walked up to them in the center of town and
right-clicked them. I eventually had to resolve myself to the spam. It
did not ruin my experience, but I'd be lying if I said it had no effect
on my impressions.
After completing the typical "meet the villagers" quests, I
was sent outside to kill some of the rabbit-kangaroo things. As soon as
I stepped outside, I heard a guitar start strumming somewhat lazily.
But soon that guitar started grinding heavy metal riffs with drums
banging, too. I quickly found out that style="font-style: italic;">CABAL has one of
hardest-hitting soundtracks I have encountered, and the music did a
great service to establishing the desired mood. My heart was pounding
and I felt like breaking some heads!
Combat with my Wizard was a weird hybrid of spell casting and
arts. I could open with a spell to do a good chunk of damage, maybe get
a second shot in before the enemy reached me, and then finish up with
my fists. It took me a few minutes to recognize that I could attack at
a much faster clip by spamming the melee attack key and then about
thirty seconds to turn on auto-attack and forget all about it. For a
melee-oriented character, I could see it being a little bit more fun,
but not anything groundbreaking.
Soon, I was being pushed to go to nearest town and help the
people there, but that nearest town was actually quite a distance away.
And travel there took me though a field of aggressive monsters that I
was too weak to kill at level 5. Thus, style="font-style: italic;">CABAL revealed to
that the world is very harsh and that I need to do some grinding and to
travel in groups even at an early level.
I never got around to testing the PvP in style="font-style: italic;">CABAL,
which is supposedly one of its strong points. I can see where the
combat could be frenetic and fun. By level 10, I really felt I had seen
enough of CABAL Online
to make some judgments. First, I appreciate the mood in style="font-style: italic;">CABAL. Instead of a
world defending itself from encroaching doom, style="font-style: italic;">CABAL
presents a world where the doom has already come and people are
fighting for survival. I also was impressed by the way the graphics,
environmental effects, and music supported that theme. Character
animations seemed fluid, too. I was not impressed with the spell
effects at the early levels, and the early push toward mindless
grinding was bad. The general difficulty of the game will please some
while discouraging others. In the end, I think style="font-style: italic;">CABAL Online is
try for a person who is looking for a challenge and a game that dares
to be a little different.
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