QJ.NET reviews GunZ: The Duel

GunZ: The Duel - Image 1What do you get when you combine guns, swords and Matrix-like moves in a game set in a semi-steampunk world? You get GunZ: The Duel, a game that turns players into a pumped-up-to-the-max action star with a predilection for running along walls and without the subtle philosophical and environmental lessons you usually get from a Steven Seagal movie. Hit the “read more” link below for QJ.NET’s review of GunZ: The Duel.

Originally posted on Feb. 15, 2008 at 1:13 p.m.

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We live in an age of outstanding third-person shooters like the Syphon Filter franchise and Gears of War (Xbox 360, PC). It also seems like more and more games that raise the bar on the whole genre are being released each year. Sadly, MAIET Entertainment and Ijji’s Gunz: The Duel isn’t one of these games.

Yes, it doesn’t do anything to raise the bar higher, but it does have an ace up its sleeve: GunZ can turn you into an action star (yeah, like Steven Seagal) only with a predilection for running along walls and without the subtle philosophical and overtly environmental lessons you usually get from a Seagal movie.

Okay, it’s more an anime-ified love child of Chow Yun-Fat and Jet Li than Steven Seagal, but you get the picture. Read on for QJ.NET’s review of GunZ: The Duel.

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GunZ: The Duel doesn’t really have a story. What it does have is a set-up. Basically, all the action takes place in a continent known as Astra, a modern society that collapsed in the wake of a war between the Republic and the Empire. Fifty years later, thrill seekers and treasure hunters fight it out for money and prestige.

Graphics-wise, the game looks a bit dated, even with all the settings turned up to maximum. Still, this lets gamers with slower machines run the game, so that’s a bit of a plus. Those looking for hyper-detailed and ultra-realistic graphics won’t find any here, though.

Character customization is also very limited. After choosing your character’s gender, you can choose between four hairstyles and four facial styles for your character. Aside from that, equipment’s about the only other way you can go to personalize your character. Early in the game, you’re bound to come across a lot of players using characters who look just like yours.

Speaking of equipment, there are quite a few armor items you can buy for your character using either the bounty that you collect by successfully hitting and killing people in deathmatches or real money. Yeah, the game is being marketed by MAIET and Ijji as “free to play forever,” but there are a few premium items that you can purchase with real cash.

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It’s also billed as a shooter-slash-RPG hybrid, but the only RPG element in the game comes in the form of the levelling system, which in turn only dictates what equipment players have access to. If you’re looking for a story-heavy shooter, you’d really be hard-pressed to find what you’re looking for here.

Gameplay revolves around one thing and one thing only: kill your enemies. Shoot ’em in the head, blow ’em up with grenades, or just run at them screaming and skewer them with a melee weapon – it’s your choice. What makes things interesting is that the game incorporates some Matrix-like moves into the gameplay. Characters can do wall runs and leap back and forth like someone who studied under Max Payne.

Gameplay types include the usual Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch modes. There are also a few variants such as Deathmatch + Berserker, the melee-only Gladiator, Team Gladiator, and Assassination. There’s also a Training mode similar to Deathmatch, but no experience or bounty is gained from kills.

The North American release includes all that as well as Team Deathmatch + Extreme, where teams of players compete against each other in reaching the required number of kills first, a 1 v 1 tournament Duel mode, Clan War, and Quest, where teams of up to four players face off against NPC monsters.

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Be warned, though. If you come into GunZ expecting nothing but a Deathmatch-type shooting game, chances are you won’t last very long. Of course, you can play it straight-up like Counter-Strike – the game uses the familiar WASD controls use in most first- and third-person shooters – but sooner or later you’ll come up against an opponent whose character appears to be having severe muscle spasms and moving very erratically. You’d probably think they’re glitching, and you’d be right.

GunZ is perhaps the only MMO title I’ve come across that accepts and condones glitching. This glitching technique – dubbed Korean-Style or K-Style – apparently started back in (you guessed it) Korea. This style of play hinges itself on cancellation sequences and gameplay glitches. The overwhelming number of K-Stylers eventually led to the general acceptance of the style.

Players using a hybrid of the usual shooter tactics coupled with K-Style will probably be the hardest people to overcome when you’re a beginning Gunz player, so it’s a good thing that the game itself has training rooms where you can spend time on polishing your skills.

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Overall, Gunz: The Duel is a pretty average game. Graphics, gameplay, and story-wise, It doesn’t offer much in the way of innovation. If you’re looking for a quick outlet for some pent up aggression, however, then this is probably the game for you. Of course, if you’re easily irritated by getting killed again and again that aggression could become an even bigger monster, but GunZ somehow turns it into fuel for another round of running around and shooting stuff up.

The game can become pretty addictive, something along the lines of those strategy games that make people play “just one more turn.” In Gunz, it’s more like “just one more chance at that guy who just killed me five times in a row.” Also, thanks to the game’s impossible physics, it can’t ever be accused of being a murder simulator. Unless you can actually, you know, run along walls.

Originally posted on Feb. 15, 2008 at 1:13 p.m.

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