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6.5

In all honesty, the fact that this game is called "RaiderZ" should have been the first warning sign. It should have been the first indication that this was a game to be avoided. But no, I chose to ignore it, to soldier on in hopes that I'd find a few redeeming qualities mixed in with the digital offal. Surprisingly enough, I did find a few - though they weren't anywhere near enough to rescue the title from itself. As I so often do, I'll start with the good - slim though it may be. 

The strong point of RaiderZ is definitely the combat. Mechanics are crisp and responsive, animations are relatively smooth, and the leveling and loot system are relatively unique, allowing players to build their characters through whatever means they see fit. Wanna be a greatsword-wielding sorcerer who rains down holy fire on his foes? You can do that. Thinking of being an assassin who happens to hit like a ten ton truck? Yeah, that's definitely possible. All of this taken together is a welcome change from most traditional MMOs, where you're more or less stuck along a class tree once you've selected everything. 

Also of note is the musical instruments system, where players can learn to play instruments such as guitars and join with other players to create impromptu orchestras and weave together beautiful songs. It's an awesome mechanic, and I feel as though more MMOs should at least attempt to incorporate it. More music is always grand, right?

Alright, we've dealt with the good. Now for the bad. Fair warning, there's a lot of it. 

First of all, the aesthetics of the game somehow manage to toe the line between blandly generic and eye-poppingly gaudy. Everything about the title is animu to its core, right down to the grossly impractical and skimpy female armor. Not only that, character customization options as far as appearance runs the whole gamut of cliched anime protagonist, from the square-jawed samurai to the droopy-eyed, sarcastic thug. The monsters admittedly look really cool, but that's nowhere near enough to save the game from its own visual fumbles.

Oh, but it gets worse. Both the writing and voice acting in RaiderZ basically feel like they were outsourced to a bunch of bored teenagers hanging out by a 7/11; there's absolutely no pride behind any of it - it feels like it literally exists just to make money (more on that in a moment). Character voices are painfully acted, the text is poorly written, and the whole thing demonstrates an almost vehement distaste for quality. Not surprisingly, everything about the narrative and the world is boring. I did find a bit of humor in the fact that there were Christmas trees and lights decorating the entire game world...in February. 

What's more, the game is so poorly optimized that even high-end systems might encounter framerate issues, and the lovely inclusion of nProtect GameGuard as a piggyback program means that, while you're playing, any other processes on your system will be effectively unusable. Toss in a few borderline pay-to-win elements, server instability and botters and you've got yourself a surefire recipe for failure. 

As an action-MMO, RaiderZ had a great deal of potential. Unfortunately, it's abundantly clear that the developers don't give a fig about either the game or its players beyond how they can use them to line their pockets. Long story short? Avoid the hell out of this game. If you want a good free-to-play action MMO, go play Tera. If you want a good monster-hunter game, wait for Monster Hunter Online.

As for me, I think I need a stiff drink. 

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Reviewed by: Nicholas Greene