Preview

Nadirim Preview (PC)

You know I really liked Imperium Galactica growing up. Well, Imperium Galactica II anyway, never played the first one. I'm not quite sure how I came about it, was just one of those random PC strategy games that took my fancy, and it kept me going during the years where we couldn't really afford a top of the range PC. The developers, Digital Reality, are veterans of the PC gaming scene, and have been around since 1991 when they were called Amnesty Design. Now, after their last title, War Front: Turning Point, they're back and this time they've set their sights on the browser MMORPG market.
 

Go on, you're just a little but 'ooo'ing right now arn't you?
It's an interesting direction for a company whose history is firmly rooted in the strategy genre, and a bold move as the market could be conceived as over-saturated. On the one hand, you have games like RuneScape which is like the genres own World of Warcraft - a heavy weight that won't be toppled easily. On the other, you have games like Evony, which due to recent events could have given browser MMO's a bad name. Not to mention all the stuff in-between - browser based games are so easy to make, and for that reason there are so many of them. Just look at Facebook.

Still, Digital Reality are here, and in co-operation with the recently formed Twisted Tribe publishing company, they plan to take on the market with Nadirim, an MMORPG with a distinct Arabian Nights theme. Think Aladdin, just without Disney. The back story is actually fairly rich, so kudos to the developers for putting a lot of effort into this game. The art-style is also very pretty, especially considering it's essentially 2D. There are many elements of this game that hark back to the old school days of PC Gaming and role-playing, although this is mainly done through narration in quests, and the sheer volume of back-story content that they want to provide.

Like all games of this nature, most of the gameplay revolves around quests. There's the main quest line that you follow throughout the whole game and what takes you through the story - although each character class has their own unique take on main quest tasks. There's also quests that are tied to the particular zones you can travel through, class quests, and 'player' quests as well, although details on these later variations are sparse.
 
Looks very Age of Empires doesn't it? Just with more detail
A key concept in this game seems to be 'energy'. Everyone has an energy meter, and (so far) you need to spend energy in order to accept quests and enter combat. Every quest has an energy requirement that you need to have in order to accept the quest in the first place, and we assume that every time you enter combat, some set value will be detracted from your meter. Your energy refills in real-time (again, the rate isn't set yet) but you can spend real money in order to buy energy potions in order to refill quicker. These kind of micro-transactions seem to be the main way Nadirim is going to generate revenue, by carefully controlling play-time but offering up incentives to spend money in order so that you can play for longer. Interestingly enough however, you can get invited to participate in someone else's battle for free, so there's still ways to play and progress even if you have run out of energy for the day, and this also provides incentives to work together.

Speaking of combat - Nadirim operates a turn-based combat system that revolves around the use of cards, except these are in fact 'skills'. You and your allies square up against your enemies, a turn order is worked out, and you plan your moves from there. You use your skills to defeat your enemies, and if you have friends with you, you can also use combos and tactics to take down stronger foes. Players also get a 'minion' slot so that they can summon in a helper should they be going at it solo.

There's a lot about Nadirim that hasn't been revealed yet, and a lot of other minor features that have but it's hard to give a decent analysis on something we haven't experienced for ourselves, so we'll leave it for now. The main revenue model is going to be micro-transactions, so there will be premium items, but Nadirim will be limited so that you can't unlock uber weapons just because you throw money at the game - you can only purchase premium items that it makes sense for you to have at your level. There will be PvP, crafting we assume as well as other yet to be revealed content.
 
The skill tree is said to be very extensive, with more class-specific ones than generic
Artistically, we've never seen a game as rich as Nadirim, but in an age where even Runescape is trying to provide a 2.5D experience, will it be enough? So far there's only a smattering of details available, and whilst it looks intriguing, only time will tell whether there's enough here to make it stand out from competitors. Keep an eye out for the closed beta that's due towards the beginning of October, and we'll bring you more complete impressions once we've had some hands-on time. The game is currently slated to be released sometime towards the end of 2010.

Most Anticipated Feature: Too early to tell at this point.

Comments

By bosnian_dragon (SI Core) on Sep 10, 2010
bosnian_dragon
I'm looking forward to this game. The trailer was amazing, and I just can't wait to play it :)