E3 2011: Raiderz – probably the best-looking free MMO ever created

Continuing its publisher Perfect World’s tradition of providing quality MMOs for free, Raiderz is sticking to the fantasy MMO formula. In our brief hands-on we were treated to the party combat and some raid-like battles with bosses at the end. It all looked stunning though, because this one uses the Unreal Engine 3 to great effect.

True, Raiderz has a feel and visual style similar to that of many other MMOs. Spells and special abilities are tagged to the numbers on your keyboard and other conventions remain mostly the same. However, in an interesting deviation from traditional MMOs, character classes aren’t chosen at the beginning, or rather, at all. Instead the game relies on skill trees to determine how your character develops ensuring greater character customization.

The raid we played with a number of other players included a whole mess of different enemies and a monstrous boss at the end. Hacking through the low level baddies was easy enough, but it quickly became clear if we didn’t work with our party we wouldn’t be able to defeat the much larger and stronger boss. After hacking at a certain defensive crystal and sacrificing ourselves a few times, our party was able to whittle down its defenses and bring it down quickly thereafter. It was fun, and did a great job of emphasizing the team mechanic.

For a free title, Raiderz looks absolutely worthwhile. With a small amount of polish it could be a serious competitor in the MMO market. The closed beta starts in the first quarter of 2012.

Jun 17, 2011