Realms of Ancient War, also known as R.A.W., released yesterday on the XBLA and it is one of the worst games I have ever seen. Let me reiterate, DO NOT BUY this game. Remember the flop from last year, D&D Daggerdale? I honestly would rather 100% that game then spend one more minute with Realms of Ancient War. “Come on, it can’t be that bad,” you say. Oh, get a load of this…

Upon starting the game, you’ll realize that you have been kicked offline. “That’s probably just in the trial. Once I buy the full game that will go away, right?” Wrong. While playing Realms of Ancient War you cannot be on Xbox Live. No parties, no time-stamped achievements, nothing. So I’m sure that already answers the next question that always arises with action-RPGs, is it co-op? Yes and No. Yes, there is 2 player couch co-op, but no, there is no online co-op and there never will be. Not that your buddy would want to play with you after learning that Player 2 cannot save their character data nor earn achievements. How Microsoft can let something like this be released just baffles me. No online co-op? That’s okay, I’ve had a blast with lots of couch co-op games (Scott PilgrimLara CroftTMNT). Some of these games even incorporated online co-op later. None of them however flat-out disconnect you from the online service altogether or completely shaft Player 2 in a cooperative game

If only this water was a little deeper… Is there a drown function?

“I don’t even have Xbox Live Gold, so that doesn’t matter to me. The game is at least fun, right?” I wish I could say yes, but I would be a filthy liar. The atmosphere is so unoriginal it hurts. You can choose between three classes: Barbarian, Wizard, and Rogue. Who you choose has little-to-no effect on the story. Oh yes, the story. “Realms are at war. Kings are in trouble. You are their only hope.” Yawn. Been there, done that. As an RPG, you would expect it to at least have lots of loot and skills. Games like Borderlands 2 and Torchlight II are perfect examples of how loot makes the game, whereas Realms of Ancient War should be embarrassed of itself. On top of there being almost nothing to collect, all the items have names like: “training sword” and “leather cap”; leaving us with no epic-purples to be found anywhere. The skills are shallow and all consist of upgrading through three stages of good, better, and best. I could even let that slide if the skills were fun to activate but combat in this game is just frustratingly unsatisfying. Enemies spawn randomly, always come in packs, and the difficulty curve is off the charts. Far too many times have I cut through easy mob after easy mob only to randomly have a pack of spiders spawn that annihilate me in a moment. Why are the spiders so strong? Does someone in your studio have arachnophobia or something? Anyway, there is also no hit-detection to tell the player they are smashing in goblin skulls. You can literally close your eyes, mash the attack button and hear not a single thing. It’s like fighting a pack of ghosts who you only know have died once they drop their coin. That’s right, coin, singular. Sometimes enemies will drop coins instead of gear, but don’t expect more than one or two at a time. You’ll need these coins to purchase respawn stones because when the pack of spiders comes to strike you down, you have to use one of these stones to respawn. All out of stones? Then it’s back to the beginning of the level for you after forfeiting everything you gained before dying: experience, coins, gear, etc.

Can I just stay in my bubble? I don’t wanna play anymore.

I could go on about the many shortcomings of this game, but it all reinforces the point of: DO NOT BUY THIS GAME. Now, if you are awkwardly standing there with your points card in your hand saying, “Well, what do I do with all these points I just bought?” I have the answer. Stay tuned for the review of Mark of the Ninja coming soon, a game more than worthy of your 1200 msp.

Did you pick up Realms of Ancient War and want to vent your frustrations? Maybe you really liked this game and think I’m an idiot. Either way, leave your thoughts and comments in the section below!

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Written by What's Your Tag?

We do the games and the comics and what-have-you.

9 comments

  1. ” Far too many times have I cut through easy mob after easy mob only to randomly have a pack of spiders spawn that annihilate me in a moment. Why are the spiders so strong? Does someone in your studio have arachnophobia or something?” Lol! Gold. Gold wet with blood and tears.

    So… Borderlands 2?

  2. I don’t think you’re an idiot, but I object to your hardcore gamer slant. This is my FIRST hack n slash dungeon crawling game, and I LOVE it. For experienced player, “been there done that”, i understand, but for me, a casual gamer who never played this genre, I haven’t! I don’t care of there is no voice acting (most games voice acting is terrible anyway to point i’d rather mute than listen), or if skill tree and leveling is shallow. As a noob, i don’t want it too complicated or overwhelming. This game is a PERFECT gateway game into the genre for noobs and casual gamers. If you want more quality games out there for yourself, you need people like me to purchase these games.
    All I’m saying is qualify your blanket statements. This game is a perfect introduction to the genre for causal and rookie gamers, you should WANT us to buy this game and support this genre.

    1. To each their own I suppose. I’ll admit after reading your comment I went and rebooted RAW and was pleasantly surprised to find myself online which was the biggest flaw it had upon release and is now fixed. I’m glad that your enjoying it because at the end of the day people worked hard on this project and I’m sure they didnt intend it to be bad, it’s just not my cup of tea I suppose. If you’re solely interested in the single player, maybe give Torchlight a try?

      1. There are so many other great hack n’ slash games in a similar price range that are far better. Diablo 1 and 2, Torchlight 1 and 2, Titan’s Quest are just a few examples. Before you so boldly defend RAW, I would highly recommend checking out some other titles in the genre. I absolutely love hack and slash games and I know they’re are better ways to enter into this style of gameplay.

      2. Unfortunately a lot of the all-time great hack and slash games are on PC. I was browsing through my PS3 collection to see if anything came to mind, but it’s a lot less common on the consoles.

  3. RAW is a terrible game. I think it placed number 5 of my top ten worst games of 2012. Your review pretty much describes how I feel about the game. My wife and I had no idea player two’s progress couldn’t be saved. We played for like 3 hours saved the game and all her stuff was gone. Stay away from this game if you’re considering a good coop game. This and Dungeon Siege 3 had the worst coop. Torchlight is a lot better.

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