Release Date: June, 2012
Publisher: N2PG, Proficient City, R2Games, 7Road (ALL From China)
Genre: City Builder, MMORPG
Wartune is browser-based fantasy game with hybrid gameplay revolving around city building, single player training, multiplayer-based campaign exploring, and dungeon brawling. As the lord of the city, you need to expand your city, develop your economy and raise powerful armies to defeat demon hordes.
The game, originally published in China, is developed by 7Road, the maker of DDTank and It will be published in North America by R2games, a China-based gaming company behind anime RPG Crystal Saga.
Pros: Great graphics, tactical semi-real-time based combat, in-depth and complex gameplay.
Cons: There are too many game mechanics. If players want to stay competitive in the game, the game will eat up a lot of time.
To be honest, I have never been as immersed in a Chinese game as I did in Wartune. Most of Chinese games lack diversification and variety and they could barely arouse my interest. I pick up the game the moment when I caught a glimpse of its screenshots released on official site. Upon entry, the game did not fail me with its nice artwork: the detailed 2.5D isometric layout of scenes, vivid visual effects like flapping clothes and hairs, various monsters from cute-looking mobs to ferocious bosses.
Basically, I navigated my character around the screen using simple point and click manner. When I
ran into a wandering mob, then I was thrown into the combat scene. Wartune adopts a unique semi-real-time system, which adds the twist of timing-based strategy for executing commands. Compared with the old turn-based system, it is much faster and allows characters to take actions simultaneously. In the combat, players control the commander character while other combat units act in accordance with their AI. When players take an action, they need to tap on a skill icon from the quick slots to execute a skill. A maximum number of 5 skills can be registered in the quick slot.
The combo system is an engaging feature that enables players to coordinate attack with AI controlled units by issuing timely action commands to the protagonist, or hero as the game suggests. The system encourages players to perform consecutive attacks in order to earn more damage and EXP bonus. However, I found that timing is pretty difficult because of the introduction of the skill activation time. And it’s weird that skill activation time cannot be noted from skill description. Moreover, there isn’t any action gauge indicating how soon characters are going to act.
Another breakthrough feature in the game is that, skills consume rage instead of mana. Players build up Rage by hitting and killing enemies. Generally, rage is generated from normal attack, while skills consume rage.
Players need huge amount of resources to maintain military spending. Resources gained from quests rewards and plunder may not always enough. In the game, they have a new alternative choice. The game features a full-fledged virtual farming simulation with ample bells and whistles. The Farm unlocks when players reach Lv.11. They can plow plots of land, seed them, and harvest what grows.
This simple three step mechanic is at heart of the farming system. Resources that can be yielded from Farm are: XP, gold, daru and kyanite. Daru is used to upgrade the level of combat units, while kyanite is indispensable in technology researching.
Once players finish their daily crop planting duties, the game also tries to make sure it still has plenty to offer to keep players entertained. Players can also access friends’ farms and help them with watering, killing pests and weeding, which earn them with Farm XP to level up their own farms in order to unlock more empty plots. Needless to say, players will have enough friends to make it happen. This may annoy those who don’t play the game very often.
Tree of the Ancients
Farming isn’t the only social aspect the game has to offer. From the Tree of the Ancients window, players can visit their friends’ farms by clicking their names in Friends List. The Tree of the Ancients is a symbol of life giving resources that sustain and nourish people, and it requires energy to keep it activated. Players can click on friends’ trees to give them energy in order to get them activated and vise versa. Once the required numbers of friends (which increase along with the Farm Level) have helped to charge the tree, players need to wait for 24 hours before they can click on it to claim gold, kyanites and vouchers (ingame currency).
The abyss mode is a new feature which I have barely seen before in other games of the same genre. The abyss is unlocked in city when players reach Lv.20 and it is a single-player survival mode built of 100 levels. Defeating the guardian of each level will allow players to challenge the next one. Players can exit any time during a scenario. Completed scenarios cannot be replayed unless players press the reset button to clear out the abyss challenge data. Computer-controlled enemies progressively increase in strength. So, if players fail to clear a scenario, they can’t challenge the scenario again until completing the objective. I loved the Abyss system, because it allowed me to get into the action faster, and provided with intense gameplay in shorter sessions.
Despite of the fact that it seizes every opportunity to promote and make a fortune, Holy Song excludes typical annoyances in Chinese MMORPGs, while incorporating comprehensive gameplay and adopting semi-real-time group combat and diversified currency systems. Overall, it is a game you should never ignore.