Renaissance Heroes – Brief look at Closed Beta

[Game website] Since the days I skipped school to play Counter-Strike 1.6, the shooter genre has came a long way, with current blockbuster hits such as Call of Duty, Modern Warfare and Crysis. Along the way, the online-only shooters started sprouting, and Renaissance Heroes is the one I am giving a brief writeup about. Developed in Korea (and not even in CBT yet there) and published for the English market by ChangYou, Renaissance Heroes reminded me of Quake, a classic, in many ways.

Powered by Unreal Engine 3, the game is designed with the Italy’s Renaissance era has backdrop. If you are not sure what this period is actually about, read up a “tiny” bit here (link). Just think of it as the “artistic era” in Italy’s glorious history.

A quick look at Renaissance Heroes’ lobby in the video below, with the cash shop selling various items from power-ups (diminished after each round) to temporary emotes (yeah, temporary) to new weapons. The symbol on each item’s left side signals the required level to purchase it, hence not all items are available off the bat. All weapons can be accessed by all characters, which is pretty convenient.

Since this is the Closed Beta phase, the items here are all purchasable using in-game currency. The current build doesn’t give a sense of how cash points will be used, but I am suspecting new characters. Below is a screenshot of the weapon upgrade interface, which I missed out in the video above. In traditional MMO format, weapons can all be upgraded, but in this case players may choose which aspects to upgrade. Not something we see in online shooters everyday, and a feature which I very much appreciate.

There are currently 5 mass PvP maps in the game, along with various game modes. Normally, online shooters are limited to 4 Vs 4 or more, but Renaissance Heroes offers right down to 1 Vs 1 and also special duel maps (which I have not tried). I also like the fact there are bots with different difficulties to choose from, as there is a large group of “carebear” players such as myself out there who prefer that mode most of the time.

Remember, this is just the first Closed Beta phase for Renaissance Heroes, and things are sure to change as it gets closer to launch. I see some minor tweaks and UI upgrades needed, such as unable to see the difficulty of the bots before and after joining a room, but these are the easy parts. I am hoping to see more modes in future builds to keep gamers occupied and interested in the game.