Hi everyone. I just joined NooBTooB today and was sort of bored and now have decided to make a Game Review as I have never done one before and is something I would like to start doing. I didn't cover EVERYTHING as there are a lot of minor things and I didn't want this review to be more of a guide but if anyone wants me to write a guide hehe...
The game I am going to be reviewing today is "Shadowbane" for the PC.
Shadowbane is a free MMORPG that was made by WolfPack Studios and published by Ubisoft for both Windows and Mac. Wolfpack has turned into Stray Bullet Games as of June 2006. The game was released on March 25th 2003 and is still going incredibly strong even after 5 years. It is a fantasy based action roleplaying game and is one of my favourites. There are so many aspects of this game that I love and that many adore. It used to be a pay every month type of deal but as of March 16h, 2006 the game is free to download and play and includes all expansions (Rise of Chaos and Throne of Oblivion). It is now payed through ads.
Shadowbane is a decently aged game so the graphics are definitely not top notch to nowadays. In my personal opinion though, I ALWAYS have preferred gameplay over graphics, why else do people still play this game and others like CS 1.6. You have lots of options for turning down graphics if your computer is old (Like mine) or turning them up if you have a humungo powerhouse. That being said, if you want to get the most out of banes (Wars which will be explained later) then you are going to need a decent computer. You have all the basic options like Terrain size, resolution, 16 bit or 32 bit colour etc. As with most PC games now too you can head straight to the files and change up the settings in there although I highly suggest knowing what you're typing in before you save that userconfig file >.< . There's not much I can say about the graphics other than they are pretty basic. There isn't a vast world that you explore but it is REALLY big even though 90% of it is flat plane with trees and lakes here and there. The models can be polygonish but considering how old the game is some of the things can look decent when you turn up the graphics in the options.
The audio in this game is pretty much what you would expect in a game like this. You have the ambient type music on the menu screens and war drum type of music in other areas but I might suggest putting on your own tunes if you don't mind hearing a repeat of the same few songs every time you enter a new area or the song ends. The fighting noises are also basic with grunts here and there when getting hit, the "Wooshing" sound when you dodge an attack, and the clash of swords when you parry. When casting spells or chanting you have a warbly female or male voice chanting un-comprehensible words. Those things being said, in a game like this you shouldn't be concentrating on the audio xD.
Ahh gameplay, the thing that determines the game (For the most part). I should state that first off this game has NO single player. So no quests, no nothin. There are only monsters that you kill for experience. This is a pure PvP game and all it's PvP goodness. In my opinion this game has THEE best PvP I have seen to date on a PC game. Wow uh where should I start, this game has tons of things that I love about it. This game has so much political crap going on in it (About the game, not actual politics) that it makes it so much fun. There are 3 servers which are composed of Malog, Saedron and Thurin. Saedron is a Loreplay server and a loreplay server is where you can only join a nation/guild if you meet the race, level, and gender requirements for that guild/nation as oppose to an ARAC (All Races All Classes) server where anyone can join any type of guild or nation. This game isn't noob friendly. After you hit level 22 you get disbanded from the starting noob guild, Starkholm. After that you can stay on noob island until you log off or join a guild/nation. Now, after that noob island it's a no-rule zone basically. You can get PKed (Player killed) right off the get go from any level. There are only 3 safe-house guilds which compose of Erking Holm, Aeldreth, and Sea Dogs Rest which cannot be attacked or baned. Any other city or town is liable to be baned or have people attacked inside the city.
The world of shadowbane is surprisingly big. There are different continents that are seperated by oceans and rivers. Travelling through the world can require some patience as lots of the time you are going to be running. There are places called "Runegates" placed throughout the map the can be accessed by anyone but only someone with the "Traveler" rune can get to all of them without the requirement of running there first. In every town there is someone called a "Runemaster" that will allow you to transport to any city on the map you are connected to so if you are not guilded to let's say guild "A" and guild "A" is allies with guild "B" but not "C", then people from guild "A" cannot transport to guild "C"'s city.
Now let's discuss races. There are many different races to choose from. You have all the basic ones plus some less obvious ones. I won't explain them all but I will list them. You should play the game to find out more .
Every race has a certain advantage and disadvantage wether that be stat spread, discipline choice, class choice etc. and that's another reason why this game is so great, It's ability to make almost EVERY SINGLE character different big or small and that there are tons of combinations of Classes, disciplines, genders is a great aspect this game has.
Now this game is highly political and is all about PvP and demolishing your opposition. Play to Crush. Now, when I first played this game back when you had to pay-to-play I thought this was a great game. You know, sit back have some fun killing monsters and such. Well there is more than meets the eye. Remember my saying it's not noob friendly? Well after dying a CRAP LOAD from PKers and such I decided I should join a guild. Now when you first start playing you're going to be thinking "Oh, this ain't fun, I die too much" or "WTF, I lose all my things when I die?" and yes you DO lose everything in your inventory when you die except on Noob island and unless you go back to your grave and hope no one stole anything, you lost it man. BUT, when you join a guild THAT'S when the real fun begins. Since the game is focused on PvP, not questing or anything you can get to the max level (75) in one day if you have a guild. Guildmates and nationmates help you so much in this game so if you are going to play it I highly recommend getting a guild as soon as possible.
Now in Shadowbane you can go around PKing anyone you want but when in a guild or nation you have something called "Banes". "Banes" are basically wars against other nations or guilds. When someone gets ahold of a bane scroll and banes a city or town, the town/city has a few days to get prepared for a war. These wars are surprisingly big. When did my first bane I was stunned at how much people show up. There can be upwards of 150 at one places fighting. Gaining territory and demolishing your opponents is all this games about.
Now, even though Shadowbane is an amazing game, there ARE problems as it IS 5 years old. The biggest one is probably going to notice is the lag. As TONS of people come onto the server the server can get REALLY laggy especially at bane times. Now, most people complain the Asians for that as they basically Zerg everyone and now the game is basically CN/KR vs EU/NA. Another small problem is getting stuck. There is a /stuck feature which allows you to unstuck from somewhere in 10 seconds without entering combat or moving but it doesn't always works and that will make some gamers angry. Another minor problem is melee sync. You can find modified weapons or make your own which have speed modifiers making your weapon swing more etc. but if you do it too fast (i.e. with Un-Armed weapons/Daggers) you can really mess up how you hit and it might make you lose a fight or two. My last problem with the game is probably most peoples problem as well. This game is a grinder. Now, since there are only monsters and there are no quests you are going to do a LOT of grinding. Your goal in the game is to get to max level, then proceed to kill things and take over the land with your guild/nation but that's not for everyone so if you are looking to do quests with your friends in dungeons and stuff I suggest to stay away.
Shadowbane is definitely worth the download and I give it as many thumbs up as possible which is...Er two. I would give it more if I could though. The game definitely brings things to remember and definitely delivers one of the best PvP games out there. Being free and all I suggest ANYONE who's looking for a GREAT PvP MMO to download it. It's free so might as well give it a try right? If you do decide to download it, hit me with a PM and I can help you on your feet in-game.
Thank you to anyone who read the thing all the way through and I definitely will make more reviews. Please leave comments and tips/pointers so I can make my reviews better. Also, If you feel the need to give a noob some "Noobies" that'd be fine too xD.
27 views and no comments?... My first review guys, I'd like some critique be it bad or good.
unfortunately thats how the review section works for the most part. Doesnt mean it was a bad review.
Originally Posted by YeeM
All in all i found it to be a good review but maybe add a few more screen shots next time and have them link to what your talking about to help people get an idea for what your describing.
Keep at it tho
Ok cooll, I'll do that next time. Thanks for the feedback.
Great review! Just enough information and screenshots for me. Hope to see more from you in the future
Haha thanks. I sorta removed some stuff since I was making it more of a guide and how to play lol but there is a lot of stuff I couldn't cover.