Release date: June 19, 2008
Published by: Gravity Interactive
Developed by: Gravity Interactive
ESRB: T (for teen)
Gravity Interactive has a good record of producing good, quality games within the MMORPG (massively multiplayer online role-playing game) genre. Unfortunately for Gravity, Requiem: Bloodmare isn’t among those who boast quality as a defining characteristic. With weak graphics and sound, in addition to confusing game play and a down-right horrible interface, the cons of this free title defiantly outweigh the pros. As the free-to-play MMO market expands, gamers will find themselves bombarded with other titles that have true innovation and quality written all over them.
Requiem is a free to play game that takes a good three to five hours to download, even with a good broadband internet connection. My experience with Requiem was mostly nothing new and quite brief. I only achieved level 13 and I didn’t buy anything to upgrade my character, as the player can find many items on their own by completing missions. One of the problems with Requiem is that the tasks are as mundane and nearly impossible to complete as a trying to train a cat to catch an airplane. Most of these tasks require you to “go kill ten of these creatures and report back for your reward” type scenarios, which can drag-on for hours as the NPC (Non-Player-Character) that gives you the task doesn’t really point in the right direction.
However, in defense of the mundane that is Requiem, I’ll attempt to point out the one and only strong (albeit gimmicky) point of the game: blood. As the title and screenshots suggest, Requiem is all about battles with foes resulting in a geysers of blood shooting all over the place. Blood, violence and partial nudity are integral elements of Requiem and the title is being touted as the first “adult” MMO to ever be released. Rubbish. There is more gore and violence in an episode of Happy Tree Friends.
The creators did very well on creating an environment that was creepy, but the graphic style just wasn’t something I could sink my teeth into. The sound of Requiem is downright crap. Weird non-sensible background sounds are all you hear. To boot, the text and icons are nearly impossible to see at high-resolutions, without having your face four-inches from the screen, a serious and fatal flaw in game design. There are still a few aspects I enjoyed about this game, but it just wasn’t enough for me to overlook its less desirable qualities. For example I kept track of how long it took me to level and since I was still in the early levels I figured the leveling wasn’t going to get any easier. I don’t mind it taking a long time in any game to hit the level cap, but I prefer the option to group or not if I choose. Sadly, Requiem does not deviate at all concerning tried-and-true MMO-style game play. Leveling-up, buying items with looted bounty and turn-based battles are all staples of the MMORPG genre, and I was hoping for a little more, something mix-it-up.
Although the game is free – with the exception of paying real money for digital currency, weapons or armor – Requiem: Bloodmare will not go down in gaming history as one of the best. I doubt if it will even last a year when up against other free-to-play games like Dungeon Runners (by NCsoft) and Maple Story (by Nexon). And due to the so-so graphics and sound, game play suffers a great deal despite all of the blood and gore. But in the end Requiem: Bloodmare is one big Beta Test for what not to do in a MMORPG.