Monday, June 09, 2008

Requiem: Bloodymare

Hey all,

Its review time for one of this summer's hot games: "Requiem: Bloodymare", published by Gravity Co. and open beta started a few weeks ago. The website is located at: http://www.playrequiem.com/ but there is a caveat; the game will most likely be rated M or R and thus it requires you to be over a certain age to view the content (I believe its at least age 14). It is a P2P game.

So, now that we have the boring details done, what exactly is Requiem? It a MMORPG built on a horror theme, complete with flickering black loading screens, dark colors, blood, gore, and even a nightmare mode. The general premise is the same, be the best possible character in order to dominate in the PVP environment, more about this later. Lets get onto the actual review now:

The visual content of the game is as its name suggests, very gory. With each attack blood is sprayed in all directions and with each death body parts go flying while the corpse slowly falls to the ground and fades away. Not something that many parents, or females, would approve of but it makes combat somewhat exciting. Apart from the gore, the graphics are done in a very "dark" theme, and done well as you seem to get sucked into the moment when playing at night. I even looked behind my back a few times while playing, just in case something was coming to get me. . One note for the male players: Requiem puts a lot of uhh.."attention" on the bums/bosoms of their female sprites, they have gotten many compliments by players in game. Thats all I'll say about that.

The class system works much like the Ragnarok Online class system, with 6 base classes to choose from (two for each race) and then two specialized version of each base class (making a total of 12 specialized classes). If the past is any indication, I'd wager that each specialized class will have another upgraded class to change to in future expansions. I'd rather not list all of the classes, you can check the link for details though there is nothing unexpected, complete with warlocks, warriors, mages, and rogues.

The item and equipment system is done like most common MMOs, complete with randomized stat bonuses, a range of damage, an attack speed, and drop from random monsters. There is also an item enhancement system (much like crafting/upgrading) where one can add abilities, upgrade the damage/armor, or create new items. This works very similar to the crafting/upgrading system seen in other games, not much to talk about here. The only minor difference is that when participating in the large scale PVP battles you can win items/ingredients for use in this process. Overall I'd say the item system is slightly above average because of the wide variety of items, and the randomized nature of them; leading to a very active market place.

The skill system is somewhat unique in that you get skill points for each level, but you must use those skill points to buy a skill; not just select it from your list. This way its something like a cross between a WoW styled "buy this skill" system, and an RO styled "use skill point to upgrade a skill system". I do think this is the best way to do it, as it drains money from the economy, but does force you to think about which skill you want as you cannot get them all (you only have a limited number of skill points). The skill animations are well done and they appear to be balanced (although this can only be proved after a few months), so there isn't anything to criticize here. A bonus is that during the first 10 levels of being a novice character (no specialization chosen yet) the skills you use will be undone when you change jobs, so one does not have to worry about benefit of getting a skill now versus getting a stronger one later (like I did before I found this out).

One would think that since Gravity is involved it should include the key feature of their previous games (RO, ROSE): modifiable stat points. But, I was wrong, the game features no modifiable stat points, the only semblance of modification is in the DNA system (much like LOTRO's character traits system). The DNA system requires items to imbue into your DNA, which essentially makes it another piece of equipment that only affects your character. This was extremely disappointing because the game will, in the end, boil down to who has the best gear and thus who has the most time to play. But I cannot be all doom and gloom, the DNA is at least an improvement as it does offer some customization over your class (due to the wide variety of possibilities).

The "selling" or key features of the game revolve around its dark theme. The game goes through a daily life cycle in each game-day (shorter than normal days), complete with night time and day time. Certain monsters will only spawn in the morning or at night, but more importantly, at a specific hour the game world enters into "Nightmare mode". The screen will flicker black for a brief second, the music will get dark and mysterious, and then for the next while Nightmare monsters will spawn in various areas. These monsters are very very strong and require large parties to handle, but the spoils are quite worth it and thus during this time you'll see bodies of players strewn about the ground as they tried, but failed, to kill the nightmare monsters. The second key feature is the DNA system, in which you align your DNA helix(strand) to your liking, giving your strengths in certain areas, weaknesses in others, as you please. It requires DNA items and some in-game currency, but it can be quite entertaining.

The last key feature also deals with the bloody theme; it is referred to as the beast system, or possession beast system. Once you reach the required level, you can perform a quest that gives you the ability to transform into a nightmarish beast. The beasts strengths/attributes are determined by how it was created when you combined various pieces, or stones, of the beast system. There is a vast variety of possible combinations, and the combinations can fail; it is quite a lot of fun to play around with. Also the stones can be sold by other players, so one does not need to grind to eternity in order to find the neccessary pieces. Once you have the beast you want, whenever the hardcore gauge is full (fills by killing monsters) you can transform into the beast for a specified length of time.

The last topic on Requiem is the PVP system. It has an arena/WoW battlegrounds feel to it, as the modes range from 8 vs 8 to 96 vs 96 (massive). The winning team receives awards that are used in the crafting/upgrading system. It requires immense coordination, especially as you go from 32 vs 32 to 96 vs 96, to be successful. Somewhat related to this is the group/party system, where you and some buddies can enter an instanced group-only quest much like the dungeons in CABAL. I wasn't able to try this, so I cant say much on it.

RATING:
-- no status system
+ meaningful PVP system
++ beast system
+ nightmare system
- has a generic korean grind feel

7/10

ADVICE:
PLAY (if you like WoW or Lineage or those style of games)
AVOID (if you like RO or ROSE or those style of games)

-RF

58 comments:

Carl said...

Awesome reviews man, keep up the good work.

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its not pay to play any more and good job nice review

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