- Release Date: April 05, 2012
- Publisher: Clapalong
- Developer: Clapalong
- Genre: Strategy
Redfire is a WWIII-themed strategy MMO launched by ClapAlong, a China-based gaming company hosting games such as Batheo, Castlot and a few RPG titles. The closed beta of Redfire was launched at 21:00 on April 5, 2012 in North America.
The deteriorating relations among world’s superpowers, coupled with a severe shortage of resources, force you to take up arms among unbearable chaos and incessant conflicts. Since Redfire is set in the near future, you will have access to a wide variety of avant-garde weapons which make the battle scenarios all the more thrilling. What’s more, you can also take command of thousands of courageous generals, each of whom boasts his / or her unique skills and special powers. Having sworn allegiance to your favorite side, you dauntlessly plunge into flames of war and choose a preferred combat mode from several options, like City Battle and Oilfield Battle. But you should always keep in mind that a bustling economy is vital to your final success. So, it is advisable to build a fortified city with profitable mines, educational academies and high-tech refineries, etc. Besides, you can also make USDs (the virtual currencies in the game) by levying taxes on your citizens.
Red Fire is a military strategy game set in the fantasy-based “World War 3” background. Nowadays, Chinese game producers keep rolling out new games, many of which become international launch titles later, but then they are quickly taken offline. Because in contrast to their “huge user bases” they boast of, there are actually too few active players. Poor and careless localization is just the minor reason for this phenomenon. But what they did was simply duplicating each other’s successful game ideas, making everything look the same.
RedFire actually doesn’t blaze any new trails. In fact, I amazingly found out that the game bears too much resemblance to another recent China-branded game – Checkmate Online.
The visuals and audio effects are just OK, so let’s save words for the game mechanism. RedFire tries to innovate itself by incorporating something new in the base-building part of the game. Constructing or leveling up buildings in both RedFire and Checkmate Online doesn’t take any time at all. They are done in a blink of moment. Instead, the game introduces the “reservoir” system: upgrading or constructing each one will gradually accumulate the “builder cool-down”, which varies with each building. The overall builder cool-down can be stacked up to 4 hours. So it means if the cool-down timer exceeds a total of 4 hours, you will not able to build or upgrade anymore. From my point of view, this new construction mode poses both merit and drawback. The merit is that you can time the upgrade properly by doing simple mathematics. If you are going offline, for example, you can upgrade buildings that cost small CD and keep pushing the timer until it becomes close to 4 hours, then you upgrade the “larger-CD” building, so it will go over the limitation. The drawback is that, since you can not extend the overall builder-CD cap, you may find out that you can only level up one building every time, which is a vast contrast to things you experienced in the beginning.
Combat part of both games presents players with a crude animation with the rough drawing of battle units, which reminds me of these old days when I played with Nintendo FC. Battles are simulated, like most sports management games, you just sit and watch, see whether everything goes according to plan. But it still gets boring without even pressing a button. Things you can do before engaging combats are also amazingly same. You assemble an army of mixed troops and a hero is required to be assigned with each troop before it can enter the battle. Heroes have primary attributes that give troops ability boosts in different aspects; they have equipments slots in which equipments can be placed in to boost their primary stats; you can enhance your equipments to increase their existing function or socket them with gems to add extra bonus…
As far as social aspects of the game go, I cannot find anything interesting to do but keep raiding weaker players. It also gets boring very quickly to me, because it’s just the replication of NPC battles. I joined an alliance, but things I can do are still very limited. Different from Checkmate Online, RedFire does not have a “ranking system”, which allows the alliance leader to promote and degrade members. Instead, it introduces the “donate” system, which allows alliance members to donate coins to contribute wealth to their alliance. As alliance level goes up, new “alliance technologies” that give benefits to all members will be unlocked.
Anyway, RedFire gives me a feeling as if it is a prequel to Checkmate Online, with its deteriorated graphics and diminished social elements. So I won’t recommend it to anyone.
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