Review by thadarkman78

"Definitely a game that is worth your time"

Gunz: The Duel is relatively new to the English speaking scene. Developer of the game MAIET is based in South Korea, so naturally, they released the game in Korea first. After the Korean version had been tested and bug tested and updated enough, MAIET finally decided to release Gunz in English. It was an instant hit. Servers were full, people were raving, and everyone was just having a blast playing this game. So for those who have not played the game yet, they are wondering "what is all this fuss about?" Well, Gunz: The Duel is not just a great game in beta, it's innovative as well.

Graphics: 6/10

Nothing really special in the graphical department here. Until recently, most game developers in Korea haven't really been focusing on cutting edge graphics anyway, only recent games like Lineage 2 and games like RF Online decided to push the edge graphically. Since they only require a TNT card as a minimum, you can not really expect much anyway. There are shader options and texture levels to edit, but really, it won't make the game graphically astonishing. Graphics are not everything to a game though.

Sound/Music: 7/10

Sound was done pretty decently. You will be able to hear the bullets streaming fast, and through the different guns available in this game, you'll hear different sound effects for each type, which is a bonus, instead of hearing one monotonous bullet sound effect each time. I particularly enjoyed the music, the tracks are pretty enjoyable to listen to, and the few tracks that they have provide a variation from each other. The real downside to the music part is the lack of tracks. They have I believe only three tracks to listen to, so it does get a bit repetitive to listen to the same track over and over again. Fortunately, you can always turn the music and sound effects off and just kick up your favorite MP3s or Internet radio.

Game Play: 9/10

This is without a doubt the best part of Gunz: The Duel, and great that the best part is the most important part, the game play. Once you create your account and pick your server, you start out with picking your character. There are a few different classes to choose from, and the only difference between the starting classes is what type of guns and melee weapons you get. It really won't affect you later on in the game, so choose whichever one. Some say that picking the Doctor is the best because you can sell the medical kits in the beginning, but it does not make a big deal. So after you choose your character, you enter a channel. Inside these channels people make games. The beauty of the channel system is they separate it by level, so when you start off if you enter the entry-level channel, you won't be playing against level 30s right off the bat.

There are five different types of modes of game play within Gunz. These are Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, Assassination, where you attempt to kill the target of the opposing team, Gladiator, which is a duel by melee weapons only, and Team Gladiator. Unfortunately there are only 5 types, and while some may feel outraged that there aren't some more popular types of games you would see in an FPS, keep in mind Gunz is an action oriented game, as well as the fact that the maps are too small to be able to play games like Capture the Flag, Assault, or something like that. However, use your creative technique to make up a game, like don't touch the ground and duel, or something like that.

So the point of the game? Simple, level up, and defeat your opponents for bragging rights. As you level up, you will be able to buy better guns and armor to help you in game. There are three different types of melee weapons: Daggers, Swords, and Kodachis. There are six different types of guns: Pistols, Revolvers, Shotguns, Sub Machine Guns, Machine Guns, and Rocket Launchers. There are weaknesses and strengths to all guns, so it's up to you to decide which gun is best for you. The higher the level the stronger the gun you will have. There is also armor to help boost up your AP, which is your defense, as well as rings, which can boost your HP, which is your hit points, your AP, or your maximum weight, which is 100 without any boosts. There are no stat points or anything like that, it makes the game much more balanced and less of an RPG, which is what the game is not.

While you are in-game, you can perform a variety of moves to help you out in-game. A lot of these moves are very matrix-like, just like what the description of the game on the main site says. You can run up walls, dash all across the stage with a sword, wall jump to the top, tumble around while you shoot, and more. These moves provide a fun experience, which combined with a bit of unrealism it provides a lasting and different experience from most shooters.

One of the greatest parts of this game is learning different techniques to out maneuver your opponents. There is the widely popular "Korean" style, aptly named because the Koreans were naturally the first to discover these techniques, because they had the game first. These techniques, while some consider to be exploits, are indeed legitimate moves as defined by the MAIET team. People then try to make anti-Korean style moves designed to counter these people. It becomes an intense level of strategy, skill, and determination as you make your way up the level ladder in this game. It provides a lasting experience to this game.

For those not happy with killing other people, when the game is released (MAIET is trying to release sometime in November), there will be an additional mode called quest mode, where you battle NPCs and try to finish high level quests to unlock goodies like high level enchantment items, which let you add elements like fire or poison to your weapons. Also, when this game is released, there will be no monthly fee, instead, premium items will be optional to buy, and while they look cool, they will not upset the balance of the game, you can still very much compete with people who have premium items if you do not have them.

Miscellaneous: 6/10

Really disappointed with one thing in this game. The network code in this game is totally client to client. In normal shooters and online games for that matter, you play against other people or with other people in a server, centrally located, to reduce some ping issues that you would find playing with someone across the globe for instance. However, in Gunz, you connect directly to each other, as a result, playing with someone across the globe can result in some high latency issues, even if they are playing on a good connection. Also, it makes it incredibly hard for 56k users to play this game, due to the client to client connections. Playing low player games might make your ping decent from what I've heard, but you can't play a 8 or 16 player game by any means.

On the positive side, MAIET is a pretty good group of people, and they come with updates fairly quickly for a beta, and they have dealt with hackers in a very strong way. They continue to ban and level reset many hackers, which shows they are committed to anti-hacking.

Overall: 8/10

Gunz; The Duel is looking better and better with each day going by. The team has so far been very good, and with release coming, more and more features will become available to the international edition. If you haven't seen the phenomenon that is Gunz: The Duel, I suggest you come and check this game out.

Reviewer's Rating:   4.0 - Great

Originally Posted: 08/24/05

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