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 Real Life Beta Review

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Darxzero
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PostSubject: Real Life Beta Review   Tue 14 Apr 2009, 1:06 pm

Methinks it's time to review one of the most awaited games of all time. So, here it is.

When it came out into closed beta, the critics applauded Real Life, calling it one of the best games ever made. They cited the graphics, the sound, and the open ended gameplay as reasons for their choice. Hence, when the game came into public beta, there was great fanfare about it. Millions rushed to join up as soon as they could. Was it worth the wait? I'll tell you.

Graphics - 8/10

The graphics of Real Life are superb, as they should be, considering the amount of money poured into developing it. The world shows no seams, and loading times are non existant. Everything is photo realistic, from the majestic thunderstorms, to the apocalyptic natural disasters that strike the world. So, why then, did I give the much adored graphics an 8 instead of a 10? Because of a terrible design decision by God Corp™. They decided to code a feature into the game whereby many characters start off with a penalty to the graphics, or develop it as they grow older. The two most common of these status effects are "Myopia" and "Hyperopia". Myopia causes the draw distance of the game to reduce, making everything past a certain point into a blurred mess. Hyperopia causes those graphics close to you to blur, the opposite to Myopia. These status effects can only be cured by one of two methods - buying the ingame items "Glasses" or "Contact Lenses", which have a chance of damaging your stats, or by the obscenely expensive permanent cure of "Laser Eye Surgery". There is also a third status effect that affects the graphics, that cannot be cured as of this build of the game. This status effect is "Blindness", and prevents your character seeing anything at all, greatly increasing the difficulty of the game. Hopefully, God Corp™ will remove these terrible detriments to the game at a later point.


Sound - 8/10

Like the graphics, the sound of Real Life is exquisite. Every detail, from the rumble of traffic passing by, to the subtle chirping of crickets, is presented in Surround Sound, making you feel as if you are truly there. Some sounds overshadow others, but that is of course to be expected. You don’t expect a train to be as quiet as a mouse now, do you? However, once again, God Corp™ has made a terrible decision. Leaving things up to the frightfully random character generation and growth system, certain characters suffer from one of two status effects. The first one is “Hearing difficulty”, with makes the sounds of the game quieter, and therefore harder to hear. This effect varies in magnitude, from “Slight” to “Extremely Severe”. This is yet another “One Cure Only” effect, requiring the “Hearing Aid” item to cure it, yet another expensive trinket within the game. The other status effect is “Deafness”, whereby sound is completely muted, leaving the player with nothing to listen to. This effect cannot be cured by any means currently available in the beta.

Gameplay – 3/10

This is where Real Life truly falls down. The gameplay. The core of the game. The metaphorical cheese on the pizza. First things first, Real Life allows you to have one life. That is correct. Die once, and you are dead forever. And if you die, you can never make another character, or another account. That is correct. Die, and you are out of the game, never to return. And there are many ways to die in this game. The aforementioned “Natural Disasters”? They are completely random, and often kill hundreds of players at a time, without as much as a slight warning. There are also players who make it their business to kill as many others as they can, just for the hell of it. On top of this, there are other freak accidents and problems, like being hit by traffic, or getting electrocuted, or burning to death in a fire. Sure, these things can be avoided, but this is almost impossible in most cases, due to the unpredictability of the game engine. As well as the unforgiving “Dead means Dead” mechanic, Real Life is one of the largest grind fests I have encountered. It is not unusual to hear of players spending years simply to buy one expensive item within the game world. In addition, character classes and stats are generated randomly, meaning that some career paths are cut off to you from the start, on the whim of God Corp™. Want to become a member of the Army? Too bad, you aren’t strong enough. Want to become a doctor? Sorry, you don’t have the intelligence for that one. Some people, due to this system, are forced to work the most basic jobs, which pay very little of the game’s many currencies. That’s right. Many currencies. The game has over 100 different currencies, each only usable in a few areas of the game, and each worth different amounts to each other type. These currencies can be converted to others, but this requires you to spend some of one currency, leaving you with less than you used to have. And almost everything in this game costs money. To even continue living, you must purchase food and drink items. Without these, you will soon die. Don’t like this aspect? Too bad, it’s here to stay. And as one final parting shot for this review – Random Death. That’s right. You can die for NO REASON. No warning, no way to stop it, just “Boom. You’re dead. Hahaha.”

In conclusion – It sounds good, it looks good, but the fundamental game is flawed beyond belief, leaving many a player torn and broken, after dying to one small problem, after years of play. My advice to any potential subscribers? Don’t do it. Maybe you’ll get lucky and become a well known, well liked member, but the chances are astronomical, and do you really want to waste your time?

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War_Wrecker



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PostSubject: Re: Real Life Beta Review   Wed 15 Apr 2009, 12:28 am

Maybe if they modified the 1 death and you are out rule to something like say, you can only have 1 character at a time, 1 death and they are dead, and maybe a long period between character creation (or maybe something like childhood)
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