PAX East 2012: RaiderZ hands-on

Perfect World are no strangers to the Free to Play scene. With their absolutely terrific game Rusty Hearts and others, they know how to make a successful game built on the free to play model. RaiderZ comes from the team behind GunZ: The Duel, and focuses largely on monster hunting.

There were four classes available to choose from, the Berserker, Defender, Sorcerer and Guardian. We were told however that choosing one doesn't lock you into it, and you can later expand into other roles as well. Similarly, one class isn't tied down to just a single weapon type either. Sorcerers are more than able to pick up a two handed sword if they choose to do so, except don't expect to know any skills until you actually decide to become that hybrid class I mentioned before.

RaiderZ ditches tab targeting and instead relies wholly on action packed gameplay. What I mean by this is that instead of targeting your enemies by clicking on them and then running around pressing hotkeys, you will actively have to swing, dodge and aim your attacks if you hope to take down your bounty. The best example of this would be TERA which uses a very similar battle system that doesn't rely on tab targeting.

If anyone is familiar with the Monster Hunter series, then you will feel mostly at home with RaiderZ, since it uses a very similar formula. The main goal here is to hunt giant monsters throughout the land with the help of your friends. We were told that the game won't lack in the difficulty department and most definitely will require some sort of teamwork when taking down these monsters. Once taken down, you can then use the material gathered from them in order to craft new items, weapons, armor or upgrade your equipment for future battles.

The battling mechanics themselves also largely resemble Monster Hunter, though granted RaiderZ does have a lot more abilities that players can use to defeat their foes. One important aspect however is Stamina. Like in the MH games, dodging is extremely crucial to ensure survival. Dodging however drains your stamina, so it's always important to think strategically, instead of just charging in and slashing away at enemies.

One of the monsters I was given a quest to defeat was a giant frog. After dispatching its minions, I then had to learn the frog's movements, jump patterns and attack patterns in order to successfully dodge them, or at least prevent major damage, and retaliate with some heavy attacks.

We were also shown that players won't have to wait long to feel like they're awesome. For example, at an early level, you will be able to purchase and ride a mount, which looks just as bad ass as you would think a high level mount would look like. What's more, is that you'll actually be able to use this mount for combat, and initiate an attack, that will then unsummon the mount, and let you finish the fight on foot.

The game itself looks absolutely gorgeous, and gives other free to play games a run for their money. For players who are eager to get their hands on RaiderZ, they will have to wait a bit longer, however Closed Beta is definitely happening this year, so anyone who wants to have a shot at being accepted should head on over to the official RaiderZ site and sign up. You can also make sure to check back on GameZone for any beta key opportunities that might be coming up.