Requiem: Memento Mori review
Requiem: Memento Mori is a Web-based MMO on Gravity Interactive’s Warp Portal service. The game has been available on the open Web for some time now, but has recently launched a Facebook-specific server and a Facebook canvas app through which to gain access. The game makes extensive use of Java frameworks rather than specialist cross-platform engines designed for Web games and consequently is not available for Mac users at this time.
Requiem: Memento Mori aims to be a mature, horror-themed massively multiplayer online role-playing game. It sets about accomplishing this goal through a gritty graphical style full of muted colors and blood-splattered combat sequences, but at its core it is a very traditional MMORPG. Players control their character from a third-person perspective, wander around the game world accepting quests from static non-player characters and engage in quasi-real time combat against monsters by triggering various skills from a “quickbar” at the bottom of the screen. It’s possible for players to team up with one another to take on more difficult challenges, to trade with one another or to play the in-world economy through an auction house. Alternatively, players can simply hang out in the game world and chat with one another in real time.
There’s a considerable amount of content on offer in the game world, including an “overworld” with towns and villages to explore as well as challenging dungeons, some of which are only available to “premium” members who pay a subscription fee. Even non-paying players have plenty of content to work through, however, and usually have a selection of things to do at any one time rather than being shunted down a linear storyline.
The game’s plot, such as it is, revolves around the player’s rebirth as a Temperion, a sort of cyborg treasure hunter who is tasked with protecting the world from all manner of horrors. Several races and character classes are available to choose from at the beginning of the game, and as the player progresses through the experience levels they unlock additional capabilities by spending earned skill points on a skill tree similar to that seen in older RPGs such as Diablo II and earlier versions of World of Warcraft. Players also discover or purchase new equipment as they progress, ensuring that they always remain competitive against the new challenges the game world is throwing at them.
The game’s presentation is a mixed bag. The visuals and audio are very impressive for a browser-based game but suffer from occasional lag as animations or sound effects are loading. The real problem is the text, which has clearly been hastily translated without any real proofreading or consideration as to how it will appear on the English interface. Almost every text box in the game features wrapping issues, where words either cut off or are split in the middle across two lines; certain aspects of the interface, including the character creation screen, feature overlapping text boxes, meaning it is impossible to read either passage; and the text itself is riddled with spelling and grammatical errors so frequently that it, at times, becomes difficult to understand what is being said.
That said, those familiar with the conventions of the MMO genre will be happy to deal with this, letting the plot take a back seat to the enjoyable experience that is battling monsters, finding treasure and gaining strength for their character. The textual issues do not spoil the game as such, but they do make it feel rather amateurish and unpolished at times.
In terms of monetization, the game features an “item mall” where players can spend hard currency to purchase various cosmetic and booster items to customize their character and save time. Booster items are consumable, while most cosmetic items are mostly sold on a “rental” basis, and must be repurchased for every month the player wishes to continue using them. An optional subscription — also purchased with hard currency rather than directly debiting the player’s account — allows for an increase in earned experience points, higher chances for item drops, lower death penalties and the facility to chat to a whole region at once rather than just the local area. Two tiers of subscription are available — Basic is cheaper but offers smaller rewards, while Premium provides significantly larger bonuses.
Requiem: Memento Mori is an impressive example of the complexity of games it’s possible to squeeze into the Facebook canvas. One could argue that it makes relatively little use of Facebook’s strengths — all friend requests and interaction are handled via the game’s proprietary network, for example — but it serves as a practical example of how deep, “core” games have as much a place on the platform as more casual titles.
As a new release, Requiem: Memento Mori does not appear to have recorded any specific user data as yet. Check back shortly to follow its progress with AppData, our tracking service for social games and developers.
Butchered text aside, this is a decent free-to-play MMO and evidence that deep “core” games have a place on Facebook as a games platform.