With great RPG success with sequels like Zenonia and ILLUSIA, GAMEVIL is here to entice their fans with more role-playing action. It is nearly impossible not to be reminded of Battleheart while battling through the campaign; however, GAMEVIL has more up its sleeves to make this game hard to miss.
Epic Raiders has incorporated a mutli-class strategy into its battle system, allowing players to configure a 4-men team before attempting each daunting level. Players start off with a classic tanker-healer combination before recruiting more versatile characters with coins or premium credits. Each character comes with a unique set of skills where players can choose which skills to perfect based on the desired role players assign to their characters. This exponentially diversifies the permutation of possible team dynamics. Non-skill centric upgrades are available by spending real cash giving your characters both visual and attribute boosts. Being transparent about the upgrades makes the deal very hard to resist, especially for RPG fans that will most likely spend beyond 10 hours on this game. Strong peripheral motivation can be expected from the catchy tune and well-polished graphics.
Battling through increasingly challenging stages, players are promised EXP and gold, with amounts dependent on completion. Controls were substantially refined, although I did have my fair share of selecting the wrong characters by accident. The issue arises when you command your party to a single action, which is a pretty common command to use.
The strategy is an obvious element in this game; however, it can easily be overlooked if your character were clad with charming equipment attained from micro-transactions. To balance out between pure F2P players and players who are willing to fork out cash is something Epic Raiders need to work on. Even so, players who are for freemium play will find the stages well crafted to match their growth. The level designers at GAMEVIL had perfected the art of creating levels challenging enough to keep players intensely engaged and also manageable enough to reinforce players' mastery.
Epic Raiders supports PVP that requires players to use dungeon coupons in order to slug it out with teams orchestrated by another player. The combat, however, is controlled by Artificial Intelligence. Killer-class gamers may feel disgruntled by as such mechanism cripples social bragging since the performance of their opponents depended on programmed limitations. Hand to heart, I have pondered over the value proposition of having such a PVP system and could only derive with a weak reason that players may want to find out how their setup performs against another player. Then again, this is a self-defeating proposition considering that the meaningless PVP system ultimately makes Epic Raiders purely PVE.
To sum things up, this game is a great companion if you have to travel alone for 5-7 hours and didn't feel like reading. Though it is very likely that you will enjoy the game even without spending any money, premium content is still strongly recommended. One thing that Epic Raiders has to work on is the relevance of the PVP mechanics. Having computer-controlling opposition just wouldn't cut it for hot-blooded players who are all out to triumph against others.
Great interface and well-structured levels mitigated the notoriously vicious learning curve for those who are trying multi-class strategy RPG for the first time. Though the experience wasn't epic, it was a pleasurable stint.