Broken Ranks Impression
The effort that the creative team has put into carefully designing Broken Ranks’ story and combat system is noticeable and pays off.
RPGamer had the opportunity to talk to one of the members of Polish studio Whitemoon Games during PAX Online about the upcoming release of free-to-play MMORPG Broken Ranks. Additionally, RPGamer was given the chance to play a beta of the game, which has an innovative battle system and a welcome focus on the story and its dialogues.
Broken Ranks is inspired by games such as Baldur’s Gate and Path of Exile and is a new and improved version of The Pride of Taern, the studio’s first game that has been successfully running for more than 10 years. Players take on the role of refugees who have been forced to flee their homeland due to an invasion. The main idea is that players go from zero to hero. Hence, they begin as common citizens with almost no fighting skills, but they end up being the ones who shape the future of this medieval world. The game is story-driven, with players finding themselves in many dilemmas in which they’ll need to make decisions. To boost its story, the game features a mature and grim mood, shown through visuals that include gory images such as fighters being sliced in two.
Exploration is important, with the world of Broken Ranks having many cities and locales that deserve to be visited. The map marks quests and places of interest to make it easier to traverse. Quests, which include a required level in order to be undertaken, are carefully planned out. Most quests include choices, with players having important consequences for their actions. For instance, players can either help someone hide a crime and have a new ally, or tell the autorities and gain money and a new enemy. One of the studio’s main goals was to make most quests meaningful, instead of having dozens of dull fetch-quests. Additionally, character interactions have a considerable amount of dialogue, aiming to give context to the world in which players are trying to survive.
The most significant differentiator of the game is its combat system. It is a cross between a passive and an active battle system. During each turn, players have only 10 seconds to decide a strategy and select their actions. Players can choose up to five abilities within the time limit. After the selection is made, their warriors perform the actions. When the players’ characters have finished their actions, it’s the enemies’ turn. While it may seem hard to understand, it turns out to be intuitive, challenging, and full of promise. With all the classes, abilities, and the combination of different characters’ powers, it promises to keep players interested for many hours.
Broken Ranks promotes playing cooperatively with others and chatting with them. Although players can try to beat the game on their own, higher-level bosses are almost impossible to beat solo. Besides offering a fantastic environment, one of the purposes of the game is to bring people together. The studio even has conventions where players can meet in the flesh, creating a strong sense of community. The game includes in-game purchases, but the idea is that players can enjoy it and beat it without the need to spend real money.
Fans of MMORPGs should pay attention to Broken Ranks since it looks like it can offer many elements that they could desire from a game. The effort that the creative team has put into carefully designing Broken Ranks’ story and combat system is noticeable and pays off. No release date has been announced yet, but the game should be available by the end of year. It is planned to launch on both PC and mobile platforms.