MMORPG’s are complicated; filled with lengthy quests, multiple-branching skill trees and setting up group quests and guilds. Bullet hell shooters (on the other hand) are straightforward shooter mayhem with instant improvements as you play through each level.
Wild Shadow Studio and Spry Fox’s Realm of the Mad God brings the two genres together to create a very simple, and fun, online game.
It first ran as a beta back in 2010 and then was officially released on June 20, 2011. I know, I know it’s not very overdue, but in reviewing terms that’s a long time.
The game is massively-multiplayer, though not in the traditional sense. It stays incredibly rudimentary. This simplicity is also what makes it such a fun, time killing game to play.
You don’t have NPC’s or a main quest to follow. Quests are randomly generated as you explore the game world. A red text box with an image of a tough enemy is your way of being notified about the current quest.
Quests are completed simply by defeating those enemies. Your only real main quest you have to follow is defeating the Mad God himself.
There is no character creation in the game. You choose from a group of thirteen classes: wizard, priest, rogue, assassin, sorcerer, archer, warrior, knight, paladin, necromancer, huntress, mystic and trickster.
However, Spry Fox Wild Shadow studios are going to make you work for the majority of these classes. Starting with only the wizard, you must unlock the rest of the classes by reaching level five with a particular class. The wizard opens up the priest, the priest opens up the archer and so on and so forth.
While this method of opening up classes leaves you limited in choice at the beginning, reaching level five isn’t that particularly difficult. You’ll be able to open the rest of the classes in a timely matter. It also forces you to explore each class allowing you to find a favorite.
Another mechanic that separates Realm of the Mad God from other MMOs is the fact that your character is no longer a permanent entity that continues to gain levels. In other words if you die, you start back at level one, choose a new class and work your way back up.
You are still able to join up with several other team mates to tackle quests through a central, start-off hub. In the hub you’re able to enter into five different servers featuring the same game world in each. Servers can fill up fast, but for the most part there are usually open spots for you to get involved in.
You can explore the world from the moment you’re dropped into it, with certain areas being more difficult than others. For example, the shore contains relatively easy enemies while the forests enemies will tear you apart if you’re not ready for the challenge.
Dungeons often appear after killing a random enemy and replicate much of the same gameplay and exploration of the open world.
As for combat, if you’ve ever played a bullet hell shooter you know it involves endless streams of shots being fired from you and your enemies in a chaotic hailstorm.
Your shooting abilities improve as you find weapons specific to your class, either with more power added, or in true bullet hell style, allowing you to fire off multiple streams of shot. It offers a perfect blend of bullet hell shooter and RPG combat, creating some challenging and intense moments.
Each class has its own specific ability, like the priest being able to heal party members or the wizards spread attack. These abilities can also be improved by simply looting your defeated enemies for items that improve them.
You won’t be seeing any branching skill trees here. Given how the slate is wiped clean when you die, these types of skill trees aren’t really necessary since you just lose every thing regardless of what you do.
I’ve played plenty of bullet hell shooters and I’ve also played many, many RPG’s, but I’ve never played a game that mashed the two genres together. Not only has developers Wild Shadow Studio and Spry Fox’s Realm of the Mad God brought these two genres together and they have almost done it seamlessly.
Some may be turned off by the rudimentary gameplay, but for those who are looking for fun and slightly challenging time killer look no further.
You can play it for free through the main website or from outside sources like Google Chrome Web Store or Steam, making buying this game as simple as playing. Blast away my friends, blast away.