|Dev: MAIET Entertainment|
|Pub: Perfect World Entertainment|
|Release: TBA 2011|
|Screen Resolution: 480p-1080p|
by Josh Wirtanen
Raiderz is a monster-hunting MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) developed by MAIET Entertainment of Korea. It will be coming to North America next year, thanks to publisher Perfect World Entertainment. Like almost all of the games that Perfect World handles, Raiderz will be free to play, presumably with a microtansaction store attached. During E3, I got a chance to sit with the folks at Perfect World and find out a bit more about the project, and I even played a little bit of the game.
In many ways, Raiderz plays a lot like a traditional MMORPG. You will use the WASD keys to walk, and you'll have a skill bar attached to your key numbers for attacks. But this combat system is a lot deeper than just this. Where you strike an enemy is often important. Many monsters will have a particular weak point that you need to hit or you won't deal any damage at all. Some monsters even have a grappling system that allows them to latch onto players.
Of course, there are plenty of trash mobs between boss fights—like goblins and trolls—that don't require as much precision. A large team will be able to spread out and bring down several of these non-boss monsters at a time without having to burn through a lot of heal potions or brain power.
During battles, things will often break or fall apart, and you'll be able to use the debris in combat. For example, you might find splinters of wood on the ground, and if you pick those up, you can use them as weapons. Whenever this happens, you will open a new combat menu with a different set of moves that support the item in your hand.
In one of the boss battles I got to take part in (with a group of fellow journalists, of course) we had to bring down a giant metal minotaur. The minotaur had a purple crystal on its chest, which was its weak point. After taking a certain amount of damage—it took a while since this thing could heal itself—the crystal shattered, scattering fragments across the ground. We were then able to pick up these crystal fragments and throw them at the minotaur, dealing extensive damage.
Another boss fight had us take down a large horned dragon. (It actually kind of looked like a fire-breathing rhinoceros with wings.) At one point in the fight, the dragon's horn broke off, and I was able to pick it up and use it to stab at the dragon as my teammates were shouting encouragement and supporting me with their own attacks.
Back in town, there was relaxing jazz music in the background. This felt a little strange at first, but it actually provided an interesting contrast to the fast action of the monster fights. In the town we were able to attack training dummies in order to practice our skills, and while I didn't look around much, I'm sure there were shops for potions and combat items.
There were green arrows on the ground to point us to the next monster fight, but I'm not sure if these will be part of the final game or if they were just placeholders so those playing the demo would have an easier time figuring out where to go. Since we were given a very forgiving heal system that we were told would not be in the final cut of the game, it's quite possible the guiding arrows won't make it either.
We were also told that there's no class system in Raiderz. Players will have the full gambit of skills to advance their skill trees in any manner they see fit. This opens up options that may not be available in most other MMORPGs, like a magic-using rogue or a stealthy warrior.
One of the taglines for the game is "Hunt together or die alone," and obviously it's not geared toward solo players. With boss battles in Raiderz being so heavily focused on strategy and teamwork, this is a game you'll definitely want to play with friends. Or you could make new friends in the massive online world, of course. Using debris and broken pieces of enemies as weapons adds an interesting dimension to combat, and the pacing of the battles feels pretty good so far. This is a title that should appeal to both MMO fans and those who love monster-hunting RPGs when it launches sometime next year.
CCC Editor/Contributing Writer