Developed by Black Eye Games, Gloria Victis is an atypical MMO project whose development started back in 2012. Despite a disappointing Kickstarter campaign (only 270 backers), the developers did not wish to abandon a project that had such a high significance to them. Based on a story written by Jacek Komuda et Maciej Jurewicz to whom we owe the script used in The Witcher, players will embark on a dark and mature adventure that does not disappoint.
Schematically, Gloria Victis is a realistic medieval MMORPG. The game proposes an alternate universe located between the tenth and fifteenth centuries. Drawing the reality to feed the fiction, it incorporates our own geography but somehow reinvents the history. The game is meant to be particularly realistic in its mechanics and seeks to place the player in a credible context. Inevitably, with such a setting, an austere atmosphere will be hard to avoid, but the gameplay offers sufficient opportunities to challenge fans of the genre and beginners alike.
A World Full of Perils
From their first step into the game, players are immersed into a brutal world where they can not only be targeted by wild animals, monsters and human NPCs, but also other players. Their survival will also greatly depend on the choices they make in the game, and how the different NPCs will react to them. Killing peasants, for example, will lead to them growing a hostile attitude towards you, attacking you on sight. Add to the the dangers of the day/night cycle, and you will soon realize how treacherous the universe of Gloria Victis can be. However, exploration is not without its benefits, allowing players to discover ancient secrets forgotten treasures.
In terms of character progression, while Gloria Victis does not necessarily innovate, it does introduce players to certain interesting features that have proven themselves. First of all, you will get to build your character from scratch. As players level up their different professions, they earn stat points that can be used to raise their attributes in any way they see fit. Secondly, the crafting system itself is rather well developed, allowing players to create the items they need through their own abilities, be it armor, weapons or health restoring food. The success of each craft will also depend on your skill level, as well as some luck, each craft having a success percentage that goes up as you level a profession. Moreover, all crafting materials, and the majority of the recipes, can be obtained in the wild, either by defeating NPC’s, or through basic foraging actions (harvesting, mining, logging).
No Combat Hand Holding
Under the major points, there is also the reactive combat system (no auto-targetting, you will need to carefully aim at your enemies for successful attacks, be it when using ranged or melee weapons) and the equipment based on a medieval times fashion (the parts that your avatar can wear and use are what one could find in the Middle Ages). It can be compared to the recently available Tree of Life, requiring players to hit monsters (or other players) within a set hitbox to deal damage.
On the player interaction side, the game possesses a deep and rich social system. The guilds aside, players can pretty much create their own feudal society, working towards developing its army and economy, and slowly spreading its influence by conquering new territories. The PvP features will also not leave many indifferent, the map having practically no safe zone, and players being able to loot their defeated opponents.
Gloria Victis is certainly a promising entry in the MMORPG market. Regardless of its pre-alpha status, the Black Eye Games studio seems particularly passionate and eager to offer a fresh and innovative game where others are content to capitalize on stale formulas.