Review by deathanchor
"Pwn, or be Pwned"
Gunz Online is not exactly the newest game, but it is surprisingly still going strong. Why? Simply because where else are you going to find a free online shooter with RPG like features? Gunz Online has both the heart-pounding, nerve-wracking, competitive qualities of an online shooter while keeping an addicting and rewarding aspect of an RPG.
From the very beginning when you first enter Gunz Online into the easier level 1-5 servers, you will quickly become accustomed to the controls that are quite similar to any other 3rd person shooter. Dashing, tumbling, and wall climbing can all be achieved with a quick press of a button or two to help you avoid enemy fire. The ability to switch weapons in a split-second simply by using the scroll wheel is also quite useful when you have just a moment of time to spare when duking it out with your foes. Headshots are also obtainable with a little bit of aim and a steady hand to obtain a critical hit. The weapon variety is also quite nice, each having it's own advantages. They include pistols, revolvers, SMGS, shotguns, rifles, rocket launchers, and machine guns. Some are best incorporated with fast sword or dagger attacks, other's are useful for more of a spraying tactic. As your level increases higher and higher you will be able to earn "bounty" to purchase more powerful weapons and armor to help you out. As soon as you reach level 20 you will start to notice that a vast majority of the players will be using quick sword attacks while almost shooting at the same time. These people are using tactics which are known as K-style or "Korean-style". These attacks are mostly slight glitches that will be able to give the user the ability to shoot while continuously dashing to dodge incoming bullets. This is not required to be good at the game, but it is highly suggested to learn some K-Style moves to give you an advantage in close-range fights where the sword attacks will be able to hit in addition to close range weapons such as the shotgun or missile launcher. At times though lag during some matches can affect your aim, other players may seem to stop moving and disconnect for a few seconds, so where you shoot is not always where the bullet will register on someone else's computer, a slight setback on the gameplay, but is usually not a problem if you kick higher ping players out of the room which the room leader may do.
Nothing special here, it's about what you would expect from your average free MMO game. Character faces are somewhat flat and terrain is almost grainy from larger pixels. Weapons and buildings however have some nice detail to them. The graphics may not be very well drawn, but they will defiantly not affect your gameplay, other players can be clearly seen way across at the other end of the map.
Music is quite catchy and is mostly techno or almost dance music that only gets annoying after you've been playing for multiple hours because it doesn't loop until about an hour and a half. And you can always turn it off and play your own stuff is techno is not your thing. Sound is fine, gun noises are sharp and clear, but it would be nice to be able to distinguish which gun makes what noise, because the pistols, revolvers and rifle play off the same sound file it seems. Sword noises are annoying and unrealistic though, the blocking sound rings in your ear and is very high pitched.
This is the true downfall of Gunz Online, the community. Here's the breakdown 10% of players don't know how to play, 20% spam up the chat box with flames against other players and complain about styles, about 40% are braggers who claim they "Pwn all teh n00bs" and usually have the skill to back it up though, 10% don't speak a lick of english, and become quite bothersome when they begin talking in other languages and fill up the chat. And finally the remaining 20% are fun-loving average gamers who are quite friendly and you can have a decent conversation with about the game if you wish to. So as you can see most everyone that plays the game is very competitive and the theme "Pwn or be Pwned" seems to be the focus of the game. This can be good and bad because on one hand it's very motivating to get better at the game to hone your skills, while on the other you can become quite frustrated when killed and cannot achieve the next level.
Overall Gunz Online is worth a fair try, its addictive, fun, and has a gradual learning curve where anyone can master it. It's free to play so you've got nothing to lose, and it won't be a waste of your time. This is perhaps one of the most tactical shooters out there as well, where your not going to die in one shot or be sniped as soon as you turn a corner. You'll have to play defense at some times and wait for your opponent to come to you, and at others you'll have to grab the right weapon and charge in for the kill. This game will have wanting more, and will provide a competitive game where you'll have to pwn, or be pwned.
Reviewer's Score: 7/10 | Originally Posted: 01/18/08
Game Release: GunZ The Duel (US, 11/29/06)
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