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The Battle of Red Cliff
Have you seen Red Cliff? If not, it’s a great movie; an excellent movie, in fact. It's based on historical events that happened long ago. And for those of you don’t know, there’s also a game out by the same name, featuring a lot of history-oriented quests and dynamic combat. The game also happens to be a free-to-play MMORPG that recently entered open-beta for gamers the world around. So how much of the movie did they manage to incorporate into the game, and does the game stand on its own two legs as an epic history adventure? Keep reading to find out.
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What Is Red Cliff The Movie About?
Ancient Chinese history tells of a battle between a power hungry warlord named Cao Cao who wanted to control the southern Wu territory of China during the end of the Han Dynasty in 208 AD. Cao Cao met resistance by a group of rebellious and savvy tacticians and warriors fighting to retain the Han name and maintain freedom in their land. A massive battle erupted in the southern territories at the Red Cliff that marked the end of an era and the beginning of the legendary three kingdoms. John Woo’s 2008 adaptation of this epic battle of 800,000 versus 50,000 is told through a very lengthy and excellently crafted film featuring Cao Cao’s incorrigible ambition going head to head with the battleground smarts of Liu Bei, Zhou Yu and Zhuge Lang.
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What Is Red Cliff The Game About?
Cubizone has designed an MMO game in a similar vein to the movie that was adapted from the history books. The game recreates the events leading up to Red Cliff with the players taking on the roles of fictional characters who must choose a destiny that eventually marks them as a hero of the old.
Red Cliff Online features a sparse but relevant create-a-character and an impressive list of character classes that players can choose from and evolve into a proficient warrior. Each of the styles are associated with specific character attributes that players must utilize to the best of their abilities as they venture throughout a land that is going through the ravage of revolutionary change.
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What The Game Gets Right
If you seen the movie and thought to yourself, “Hey, I want to play a fast-paced martial arts game like this!” You’ll probably find yourself enjoying the mindless button mashing of Koei’s Dynasty Warriors. However, if you thought to yourself, after seeing the movie, “Hey, I want to play an MMO like this!” you will find only moderate similarities in Cubizone’s Red Cliff Online.
One of the things that the MMO does not do is glamorize the fantasy aspects of the Red Cliff history. While magic plays a part in one of the character classes, the game measures in a weighty deal of semi-realistic elements to the gameplay. This means that what players won’t be doing is running on rooftops like Perfect World International or riding on a various assortment of fantastical creatures like in Rohan: Blood Feud.
The realism factors in Red Cliff Online are quite similar to Min Communications’ Ran Online, which is another free-to-play MMO that relies more on realism than overt fantasy. The combat is paced more-so on the line of featuring a lot of technical maneuvers rather than fireballs or flying, mid-air twirling attacks seen in most of the kung-fu classics. In this regard, Red Cliff will give gamers a very similar experience to the movie; just don’t expect to battle hundreds of enemies at once like Dynasty Warriors.
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Measuring Up To Epicness
If there is a downside to Red Cliff the game in comparison to the movie, it’s that the game won’t see players storming the beaches or burning hundreds of ships in epic naval battles in quite the same way as the movie.
However, the game’s realism and equally gorgeous environments are about as appealing as the movie’s aesthetics…or rather, as close to it as this generation of gaming will allow. While players will start the game as a lowly warrior-wannabe, the progressive climb toward cementing one’s name into the annals of the game’s fictitious history books is nearly good enough to make up for the slow start.
Gamers impatient at being able to down hundreds of enemies with a glaive right from the beginning may lose interest if that’s what was expected from Red Cliff. However, the game’s top-notch story telling and character development will be sure to enrapture a lot of gamers who enjoyed the movie for the very same reasons.
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Playing The Game And Watching The Movie
By now you’re either convinced that the game is worth trying out or that it isn’t your cup of tea and would prefer to experience the Red Cliff battle in the fashion of an arcade game like Warriors Orochi, Samurai Warriors or Dynasty Warriors. However, if developing a hero from scratch that gets thrust into the rising conflict emerging between Liu Bei, Cao Cao and the Yellow Turban resistance is more to your enjoyment, then Red Cliff Online surely won’t disappoint.