Sunday, March 8, 2009

Requiem: Bloodymare Review

Requiem: Bloodymare is a gruesome game. Occasionally a title comes along that lets gamers live out their most violent fantasies. Put your grandmother in front of any of the Grand Theft Auto games, and she'll be running over fellow elderly, capping cops, and committing other disturbing acts quicker than you'd think. Requiem bills itself as a horror massively multiplayer game, but it's really more a showcase of the grotesque. And that's fine. Created by Gravity Corporation, the same developer responsible for Ragnarok Online, Requiem signifies a serious change in stylistic direction for the developer.

The game takes place in a time when humanity's quest for knowledge has pretty much ruined everything. Mutants of mankind's own creation walk the planes, and indeed the gamers themselves play as something not quite human. This is an apocalyptic future brought on by technology unrestrained. It's a world where biochemical giants have had their way for a few millennium too long.

Aside from the back story, Requiem is a pretty standard MMORPG. Players grind levels alone, with friends, fight above and bellow ground, and play as rough parallels to the more typical mage, melee and support classes we're all familiar with. The most noticeable shortcoming is really the way this all takes place. The leveling system is unintuitive, and sadly under explained. The games interface is a stark reminder of why games like World of Warcraft are so popular: they're accessible and intuitive. Requiem is not for those unfamiliar with MMO's, it has a learning curve that would simply be to daunting for those new to the genre.

Requiem is largely fun to play. Once you've surpassed the games learning curve, the classic appeal of MMORPG's kicks in. You want to level up, and when you do it's gratifying. Combat is cool, and the level of gore takes a while to become desensitized to. If you're playing this game, that means you enjoy this sort of thing. The lack of creative quest's is a lost opportunity, but it's still a fun ride.

Sound is largely ok. The game's music is appropriate, if somewhat subdued. The only sound effects that really stand out are those encountered in combat. The killing noises are probably best described as "wet." The unfortunate thing about all this is that for a game striving to be scary, spooky sound effects are imperative. Acoustic details like nearby breaking twigs, ethereal howls in the distance, and the wind screaming through the mountains are largely missing.

Graphically Requiem stands out. As an apocalyptic game world populated by the sort of creatures described by H.P. Lovecraft, this is a universe you haven't seen before. Gone are the fairy's and dwarfs we accept as standard for the genre. Done away with are the pretty color pallet's of Requiem's more popular cousins, this is a desolate world. A game sub titled "Bloodymare" has a lot to live up to, and gore abounds. Dispatched enemy's are reduced to jiggling chunks of raw meat. Trails of gore follow your every sword strike. More so, spell effects look great, and the steam punk settlements you encounter are impressive.

This is a cool universe, and as such you'll want to come back and explore it a few times. Unfortunately Requiem doesn't capture the addictive quality necessary for a really great MMORPG. On a more casual level Requiem is fine. As a free-to-play mmorpg, that's really what I'd hoped for.

I'm surprised by how well put together Requiem is. It's a creative, gory game, and we don't see that as often as we should. What won me over was the apocalyptic world, and I'm willing to over look its shortcomings in favor of it. For those who like their MMORPG's serious and stuffed with mature content, you could do a lot worse. Just don't expect to understand how Requiem works before you've done the legwork.

Play Requiem: Bloodymare Here

1 comment:

  1. I think Requiem is alright for a free-to-play MMO, I think it's worth to look.. Anyway, if you have time, take a visit to my Free Games website.