Minimum System Requirements:
· Intel® Pentium® III 800 MHz or equivalent
· 256 MB RAM
· 1 GB Available HDD Space
· ATI™ Radeon® 9500 or NVIDIA® FX 5200 series video card
· 16-bit Sound Card
· 56k modem
· Keyboard and mouse
NCSoft, the makers of Guild Wars, has released a free to download and play MMORPG (Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Game). You can choose one of three character types. The Fighter is your swordsman and can weild daggers, swords, hammers and axes. The Ranger is your archer, skilled in various ranged weaponry including bows and crossbows. The last, is a Mage who can attack with fire and ice, and can heal as well. Each class has a wide variety of skills and weapons at their disposal. There are plenty of quests to do, dungeons to explore, and weapons and armor to collect. This game caters to those who have no life as well as those who only have a little bit of time to play. Some dungeons are quickly completed, while others are more in-depth. You can always return to wherever you left off, which is quite convenient.
What are the advantages of paid membership?
You can become a member for five dollars a month, which is very reasonable since most MMORPG’s are fifteen dollars these days. Membership offers you special access to servers and weapons, storage banks for your loot, and stackable potions to help you conserve your precious inventory space.
What kinds of quests are there?
You can get quests from townsfolk and from people in dungeons and caves (which are hard to find and report back to). There’s a journal that keeps track of your active and completed quests in case you forget. The quests vary from killing a specific amount of certain creatures, recovering lost artifacts, defeating a certain leader, gathering loot from monsters, and many more. Upon completion, you are rewarded with money. In the case of a fighter, you can also get king’s coins, in which you can purchase really nice weapons and armor. Rangers and mages have their own special rewards as well. One disappointment is that if you complete a quest before receiving it you don’t get credit for your previous work; you have to re-do it to get your reward.
What kinds of enemies will I battle against?
The enemies get tougher as you level up. You level up with experience gained from killing monsters and completing quests. When you level up, you can allocate points to your attributes (strength, intelligence, and dexterity). Dungeons tell you what character levels they are suited for, so you won’t be caught off guard. Some dungeons allow player vs. player battles. With that said, you’ll start off fighting rats and wolves. Some of the rats look like big rats, while others are dual wielding swords so don’t underestimate them. Later on in the game, you’ll encounter orc like creatures, mages, fire and poisoned based critters, and others. There are various bosses to battle, but a word of advice: don’t battle them until you accept the quest to do so, otherwise you’ll be missing out on lots of gold! (Unless you want to battle them again for loot and experience.)
A sense of humor
Like many RPG/MMORPG’s there’s a wide variety of weapons at your disposal. You can find daggers, clubs, crossbows, swords, axes, and a few others. The starter weapons in Dungeon Runners are made from cardboard. Funnier yet are the speed descriptions as the speeds vary from grandma to ludicrous.
The graphics are dated compared with modern MMORPG’s, but still passable. Some levels have dreary colors while others are very vibrant. A few of the enemy character models are reused while the player characters are very detailed and unique looking. When you put on a piece of armor or change your weapon your character reflects that change. Armor comes in all sorts of colors so everyone looks unique. My main gripes with the graphics are that sometimes it is hard to see your loot, and that the camera views see through the walls occasionally.
The menu music sounds nice, especially while you’re waiting to jump onto a server. The characters speak with you so it’s not just reading text. They have various accents and dialects. The sound effects are decent when it comes to weapons and creature babbling.
To move around in this game you can either use the WASD keys or click with the mouse. This game prefers using the mouse. There are icons you can click on to drink health/manna potions and to use a waypoint scroll to take you back to town. The mouse isn’t as responsive as I’d like during boss battles. There is room for improvement in this department.
This game has many of the typical issues with RPG style games. There is a lot of fighting so violence is a given. On a positive note there is no blood or gore. Magic is not required but it will be used against you. Other than those two issues I find this game relatively clean.
This is a great pick up and play MMORPG. It’s great to see a game cater to both hardcore and casual gamers. There are many quests, though they are often repetitive and lots of loot is to be found. I like how this game can be free or if you do pay, it’s a minimal fee. I recommend this game for MMORPG and click and kill RPG game lovers.
Game Play: 18/20 Graphics: 7/10 Sound: 8/10 Controls: 4/5 Stability: 5/5 Appropriateness: 44/50 RPG Violence -3 pts Borderline magic (hard to tell if occult) is used by enemies, but not by player. -3 pts
Final Score 86%