Review by xxLeo

"One of the best games available....assuming you can keep up"

Gunz the Duel is a fast, frenetic Third Person Shooter(TPS) with Matrix-esque techniques like wallrunning, shooting while tumbling etc. Once the action starts, it doesn't let up, giving you the satisfaction of a great game with a surprising amount of depth.

General info - The game uses a level system to determine which guns you can use. You do not receive stat points for levelling up, just the privilege of wearing slightly better armor and more damaging weapons.

At the time of this review ,there are 6 usable servers. There are levelled channels to avoid high level players bullying new players. There are also three "Free" channels per server for all levels to participate in.

You can create a clan at level 10, provided you have the necessary money and the necessary amount of people to start your clan with. As of this review, you cannot add an emblem to personalize your clan, but it is an upcoming update and should be seen in the near future.

The International version of this game is in open beta at the moment, but the release is currently slated for November of 2005.

Gunz the Duel has low system requirements, so a wider variety of players can enjoy the Gunz experience.

Here is my review, by category

Graphics - 8/10
The game runs smoothly for the most part, no pop-up, character models are done well, it caters to very fast gameplay. However, some map textures are overused and rather bland, gun models basically look the same, and many of the clothes are just downright ugly in design. Regardless, the game itself achieves what it set out to do, graphically.

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Gameplay - 1/10 - 9/10
This is where Gunz shines and stands above the rest, but also has a catastrophic failure.

Due to the Person-to-Person netcode style of the game, Distance/Bad connection lag plays an incredibly great role in the frustration of most players with Gunz The Duel. Due to the speed of this game, a "ping" to another player that wouldn't be an issue in a game like Counter-Strike becomes a monumental struggle to guess where your opponent really is and shoot the empty space where he will end up. This is very difficult to determine, and many matches end in random guessing and lucky shooting. This drags the game down very far and will result in people not wanting to play at all, due to lag issues. Gunz the Duel does not handle these issues well, which is surprising for an international version of the game. However, playing during the afternoon and evening of your time zone will result in fewer distance issues and a more enjoyable experience.

Many people also have many issues with the "Agent Error" problem, which basically means you do not connect to the other players when you enter a game, prohibiting you from playing in that room. Gunz is very picky about your router and network setup, and it turns off many players right at the start. This is the reasoning behind the 1/10. However, the majority of players do not have the "Agent Error" issue, which allows them to get into the game.

Once you get acclimated to the game, Gunz the Duel is arguably the best PC action game currently being played.....provided you learn the advanced techniques and are swift on the keyboard.

In the "FAQs" section, there are texts of how to perform these staggering, physics-defying techniques. Many are based on using the sword to cancel your movements into each other, in addition to the speed this makes the game a wild , flying roller-coaster ride to glory.

There is much depth in the advanced techniques, more than the original game intended, quite similar to the Street Fighter series. Being able to continuously move while shooting, rapidly attack and defend simultaneously and fly above opponents and shoot them in mid-air becomes Gunz's strong point.

However, as I stated in the title, it is physically demanding to rapidly press the necessary keys in succession to perform the techniques, and it turns casual players off. There is a clear division between the "Slashshooters"(The advanced style widely known as K-Style, it originated in Korea) and the "Tumbler" style (The original intent for gameplay).

Casual players or "Tumblers" think it is unfair that they have to learn advanced techniques to compete, but it is completely fair in reality. In fighting game tournaments, people who know combo strings and frame advantages will have a clear advantage over those who do not know these things. You either learn the advanced techniques or you deal with not being able to compete at higher levels.

Some players feel that it is a cheap advantage, or using an "exploit" to win, when in reality the developers took note of the techniques and built around them, condoning their usage and adding depth to them.

Although, this is not why the score is 9/10 instead of 10/10. When you become a user of the advanced techniques, it literally becomes an exercise to play and will often leave you sweaty and wrists hurting. It also is near impossible to pull techs off on some types of keyboards, I myself have ripped a laptop keyboard apart trying to play Gunz. The result is very good, but the necessary physical effort isn't, so it doesn't receive a 10.
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Audio - 5/10

The sound effects are done well, gunshots and grenades are properly pitched and fit to the gameplay, dashes are audible and distinct. The background music, however, is an uninspired loop of music that lacks any emotion or use to the game. Besides one track in particular, the background music is universally disliked and the majority of players turn it off within an hour of starting to play the game. I gave 4 out of 5 points for the sound effects, and one point out of 5 for the one track that's worth listening to. It would be 4/10 otherwise.

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Replayability - 10/10

You just have to keep coming back. You can't stay away, it's just too fun. The gameplay was very well developed and most players enjoy the need for skill and technique to win battles, instead of stat points. As of this review, the maximum level is 99 and equipment stops at level 50. You will be playing for a while, trust me.
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All in all, this may be one of the best shooter experiences you will have for a VERY long time. There hasn't been many, if ANY, games that can pull off the sheer fun value of Gunz. This is a game that will keep you up at night often, and will inspire you to become a better player in other similar games. Gunz the Duel will always be one of the best gaming experiences I've had in my life. I hope you can appreciate the game as I and many other happy players do.

~cloudstrife8(xLeo)


Reviewer's Score: 9/10 | Originally Posted: 10/24/05


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