RaiderZ PAX Prime Gameplay Preview -- Merciless Monster HuntingBy Leah Jackson - Posted Sep 07, 2012
Raiderz is the upcoming free-to-play MMO from Perfect World. The game has been in closed beta for a while now and its interesting combat mechanics and fantastic graphics piqued our interest. At PAX Prime 2012 we got a chance to check out some of the game's new beta content and got the opportunity to try our luck in the hunt.
Your adventure in Raiderz is set in the crumbled kingdom of Rendel. Our demo took place right along an area of the game called The Wall of Silence, which reminded me of The Wall from Game of Thrones (and the two are actually pretty similar). Basically, it'll be up to you and the other champions you'll be playing with to slay contaminated beasts who've climbed over the wall and want to claim Rendel as their own. That kind of means you're a member of the Night's Watch, if we're still talking Game of Thrones.
These beasts are a major part of Raiderz, and you'll have to defeat them in order to pick up items to craft new, powerful items and armor. Some monsters will be equipped with weapons that you can rip away from their hands, or armor that can be stripped from their bodies once they've been defeated. All of the monster designs are unique and fit in well with the overall fantasy tone of the game.
Raiderz has a classless progression system, but you do select a combat style to progress in that determines which weapons you can equip and the skills you'll have available. The styles are Defender (Tank), Cleric (Support and Healer), Berserker (Melee combat), and Sorcerer (Magic ranged combat). You can mix and match your specializations as much as you want, and every skill is open to every job but specializing in a maximum of two trees is recommended.
Combat in Raiderz is fast and dynamic. You can swap between two weapon sets at any time with the tab key and with each weapon you equip, your active abilities change, kind of like in Guild Wars 2. The catch is that certain abilities will only be available with specific weapons equipped, so you'll have to choose your loadout carefully. There are all sorts of weapons to equip, like swords and staves, but you can even pick up weapons you find off monsters. These weapons only last for a short while, but their associated abilities generally deal a lot of damage.
When in combat, you have to actively move around and dodge if you want to survive, and you've got to make sure you're in range of your enemies. It's always important to try to get in the best positions possible against them, especially against bosses who will constantly be moving around and trying to defend against your attacks.
Once we got the hang of the combat, we came upon a monstrous Behemoth who was cavorting around The Wall of Silence. He was a lot higher level than us, but he was a great sight to behold and he's just one of many strong enemies out roaming the game world for players to encounter. It would have required a team of players to take on the Behemoth, so we let him terrorize the city in peace as our demo came to and end.
I've always loved the Monster Hunter idea of going out and fighting monsters and using the materials you loot from them to create new gear. That's exactly what Raiderz does, on a grand scale with tons of customization and different ways to play. We didn’t get to check out too many character models or weapons, but what we did see was impressive and overall the game itself looks beautiful. With the cheapest entry price of free, we imagine that a lot of gamers will be eager to try out Raiderz when it launches later this year.