March 24, 2013


RaiderZ is an “Action”-Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game (MMORPG), developed by Maiet Entertainment and published by Perfect World Entertainment. After a rough closed beta which ended on August 20, 2012, it went live in November and has been going strong ever since. RaiderZ calls itself an Action MMO, with a combat system around dodging and combining skills together on the fly, in contrast to regular hot-key based MMOs which makes its players button mash. The inclusion of such a combat system makes RaiderZ truly stand out in this competitive market.

In RaiderZ, you are thrown into the kingdom of Rendal, fighting monsters awoken from the contamination of the Prime Stone. However none of that matters! In essence, you’re in RaiderZ to kill large monsters and gather materials to make better equipment. The core idea of RaiderZ is to make you a monster hunter and craftsman; by defeating large monsters you gain materials to craft into better weapons to kill more things efficiently. The combat system of RaiderZ is much different than that of other MMOs. Instead of standing in the fire with your healer yelling at you and eventually killing your group, you’re actively involved in the fight, dodging out of the way of the monsters claws, while attacking it’s sides and hoping to god that you don’t get hit from something and die. However, this just brings up the question, "How does the combat system flow?" Allow me to personally assure you that the combat flows smoothly, from one attack to another, and while dodging can be fiddly at times, it will always work in a pinch.

In RaiderZ, you have to keep on moving.

All this is controlled by mouse clicks and cleverly designed keyboard shortcuts, allowing you to dodge on the fly, and truly feel the adrenaline rush. In RaiderZ, you’re not mashing a hotkey to perform an action, instead actively moving with the WASD keys, dodging with the shift key and attacking with the mouse, combining your strikes and dodges. This all allows you to feel involved with what’s going on. RaiderZ is also controller compatible, allowing players to experience RaiderZ in a different perspective.

RaiderZ does not have a class system, per se. Instead of a traditional class system with talents, they have four class trees, the Defender, Bezerker, Cleric, and Sorcerer. While the classes seem very generic, you can split into different classes to make a hybrid class of your own choosing. When first making a character, you pick one of the four archetypes, but then after level ten, you can deviate from your chosen class and mix it up a bit.

RaiderZ also features a few dungeons, not as much as other games, but they’re still rather prevalent. The dungeon system of RaiderZ is nothing new. Your five man party goes into a dungeon, and clears mobs, until you progress to a mini-boss. Most of the dungeons are in a gauntlet shape, giving you only one way to travel, fighting mobs, and mini-bosses until you reach the final boss. Due to the simplicity of the dungeons, both veterans and newcomers of the genre will easily understand how they work.

The main feature of RaiderZ are the massive bosses strewn throughout the land. In RaiderZ, monsters don’t drop pants of +5 bed wetting or such things, instead dropping crafting materials. Which means that you have to scavenge the land and fight bosses to upgrade your gear. The big draw of RaiderZ would be its massive boss fights, where groups of players all fight one thing to get the shiny bit to make a new sword. The interesting thing about the boss fights in RaiderZ is that they have weak spots, parts of them that can be broken off, to weaken it. Sometimes, it can even be used as a temporary weapon. For example, one of the first bosses you’ll be facing is a massive frog with an oversized horn on its head. If you were to focus on a specific part of the frog beast long enough, eventually it will fall off and allow you to attack for massive damage. These little things build into a dynamic fight, where you’ll constantly be asking yourself, “What happens if we hit here? Will something break off?” Maiet doesn’t limit this to just boss monsters, adapting this system for the little mobs as well. Even some of the little mobs out in the field can give you special interactions such as a lizard who will drop its massive mace, for you to use and spin to win to your own pleasure. This all creates an idea of a dynamic game world.
That horn comes off, just so you know.
Lastly, there are the quests in RaiderZ. Or as I like to call them, my biggest problem with the game itself. The thing about the quest system is, that it seems very clinical, making you distant from the NPCs. Furthermore, all quests boil down to, “Collect 5 bear asses so I can give you cash and EXP,” with the occasional gathering quest and the dreaded escort quests. All the quests in RaiderZ feel generic and watered down, boring if you will. While it’s fun to stab things in the face, I want a reason to do it, not just because an old man offered me a shiny ring to do so. Also, the quest system is missing some quests I like to call, magic wand quests. These are quests that allow the player to do something they otherwise could not do, because of an item. These quests would have given the world a more dynamic feeling and allow the player to interact with the world during the questing experience.

However, the game is not just clicking, as it is very aesthetically pleasing, fitting the theme of a once Perfect World, now torn, shattered by the release of monsters into the world. The bright and cheerful colours really contrast the stark reality of the NPC’s fear of the future. This all allows the world to feel vibrant. The graphical power needed to run the game is minimal, as there are many settings to allow you to change how the game looks. If you have a low end computer, you can lower the graphical intensity so that the game runs smoothly, but it also works in the reverse as well. The game can also be cranked up for the high end users, allowing them to really get the full graphical experience.

Visually speaking, RaiderZ stays true to its core theme. However, with this semi-realistic look I doubt that the game will still look as polished after a few years. 
It is a really pretty game though.
RaiderZ is a great MMORPG, being easily addictive, but has many flaws as well. With RaiderZ, the combat system is entertaining and dynamic but repetitive, and  you feel as though you fall into a rhythm. The classes feel generic and the hybrids don’t work as well as a group of pure classes, which doesn't give the player a real reason to play a hybrid. The graphics do look great for the time being, but later on they may feel dated and therefore may not have the longevity a few years down the road. Overall RaiderZ is a great experience, it’s engulfing and a refreshing take on the formula with its action oriented combat system, however that’s its only selling point. You can’t find another game like RaiderZ however and I would say that we should all give it a try.

Download RaiderZ from Perfect World Entertainment.