Parabellum Online: Hands-On Beta Preview

Parabellum Online: Hands-On Beta Preview
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Parabellum Online MMO - Measuring The Parabellum

Acony’s Unreal Engine powered Parabellum has been talked about around the gaming block since 2006. Originally, the game was planned for release on PC, Xbox 360 and the PS3 as a next-gen, online-based MMO. However, the game was delayed multiple times and eventually went dark. Nevertheless, Parabellum finally seems to be on track to make its debut this year for PC gamers.

K2’s GamersFirst Network is currently running some testing for the North American version of the game; featuring only two modes to play and some minor player and weapon modifications being made available for gamers to try out during the very low-key closed beta. Nevertheless, you can find out how the game works, what’s different in this game than others, and what will be available in the final game.

Getting The Basics In Order

The rooftop stage in the game

Many times the one thing that makes an FPS fun is weapon selections, map designs and the balance of playability. It’s obvious that during this testing phase that Parabellum is being checked and balanced for all the aforementioned qualities, especially balance and playability.

What’s been presented in the beta, so far, is all the standards necessary to make the game one of the best free-to-play shooters out there. The weapon balance is decent, the response timing isn’t bad and the maps are spacious enough for intense deathmatch bouts.

What’s more is that players can even choose between a male or female at the beginning of the game when creating a character; characters of a different gender are usually reserved as cash shop items in some FPS titles like Mercenary Wars or Sudden Attack. So the developers are not only ensuring that they’re nailing down balance and playability, but it appears Acony is accommodating features for a broad player preference as well.

Outlining The Modes

Taking fire in Team Deathmatch

Only two modes were accessible during the beta, including a standard team deathmatch and a demolition mode. Deathmatch was everything you would expect; lots of furious running and gunning and plenty of headshots. The demolition mode was the real highlight of the game, though, as it’s actually a series of missions that takes place across several different maps.

The objective in demolition is for one team to plant explosives, win on a map and progress to the next checkpoint, while the opposing team is set out to stop the demolition squad. It’s a nice twist on the typical demolition modes, which usually sees players repeating the process of planting/stopping the explosives in one scenario. Having the bout take place across several maps where players are tasked to take out or protect specific objectives adds some nice depth to the gameplay.

Weapons, Modifications And Customization

Weapon list from Parabellum

The starting characters are rather basic, for now. Players choose a gender and a skin color and then hop right into the madness. There are alternative hair styles, shirts, shoes, gloves, pants, armor, and accessories to outfit one’s character with as a player gains levels and credits. For the most part, a player who has a very distinct look is a player who has been putting in plenty of play-time.

Customization doesn’t just end with a variety of shirt colors or pants variations; there is also a fair selection of weapon mods present, too. Given that the game is still a work-in-progress there were only a few alterations available for the guns present in the game. However, the final product included categories for silencers, triggers, stocks, scopes, laser sights and more. Yeah, the game has some really in-depth options present for modifying a weapon. Not only that but both main and secondary weapons can be modified to the player’s content. In other words, Operation 7 will have a serious competitor for its proprietary Weapon Modification System.

Gameplay And Shooting Mechanics

Standard machine gun on display

Parabellum’s gameplay is probably best measured on par with Alliance of Valiant Arms gone fair. So far, the stage designs prompt for two kinds of action scenarios, involving both run-and-gun gameplay as well as tactical shootouts that require the environment to take cover.

What’s more is that reloading is handled quite nicely with a sort of mini-game flair similar to the likes of Gears of War. Players have to press the reload button at the right moment to perform a quick reload, otherwise the clip could get jammed or some fumbling happens when trying to fire the weapon. It’s a great way to add extra intensity to the already fast-paced matches.

Even more than that, the environments showcases some light destructibility. Windows can shatter, boxes can break and under the right conditions, bullets can pierce through objects to hit a target. This creates a lot of constant stop-and-go, teamwork and suppression fire techniques, which could make Parabellum a strong contender in the ever growing market of free-to-play online shooters.

The physics-based gameplay, sharp animations and rag-doll reactions also add to the overall intensity of the game. The graphics seem to be coming along nicely, as well, although it’s unfortunate that no screenshots could be taken of in-game play during the beta. If things continue to shape up for the game the way they are, FPS fans will definitely have something to look forward to with Parabellum.

For further information regarding Acony’s next-generation FPS, be sure to visit the Official Website

If you’re looking for more action games in the MMO genre be sure to check out the MMOFPS Directory here at Bright Hub.