By now most people who have used Facebook applications for any reasonable amount of time knows that the RPG genre of games is very stagnant. Regardless of whether or not you are in a mob, an enchanted forest, or if you are an elf, vampire, or zombie, they all use, more or less, the exact same game play functionality.
- Create Character
- Do Quest
- Use Energy
- Buy New Gear
It will be a red letter day when the core mechanic of these games begins to change from the norm, but until then, creators of these types of games must look for ways to appeal to the masses in a way that the other RPGs do not. The game of the day is Hammerfall, and while the basic functionality is the same, it does incorporate the element of story telling as well as some extras into its game that does make it interesting.
In a nut-shell, you start out on a little island known as Summervale, but strange happenings have been occurring in the Kalamar Empire. It is a typical “hero’s journey” type of story, but it’s interesting, nonetheless, to do the quests and watch it unfold. However, while a good story does not necessarily make a good game, for the type of casual game Hammerfall is, the story is quite compelling. Furthermore, while it contains typical Facebook RPG elements, it does have some very nice additions to it.
When you start out, you have health, energy, and stamina. Stamina is your typical limiter for doing quests, and you have to let it regenerate passively in order to do more. As you play, you have to balance your stats between said stamina as well as health, power, energy, and toughness. Game play also forces you to carefully budget your different stats in order to proceed, meaning you have to make sure you have not only enough stamina to complete an action, but enough energy to actually defend yourself should you find yourself in some hot water.
The first bonus that is great is that there is an actual map of the world. It seems so minor, but having one gives the player a sense of the overall environment and even though games like this are not highly visual it does help in invoking a user’s imagination and lets them better see the world they are delving into.
Of course, it wouldn’t be a Facebook game without some social prerogative. Like any RPG, you can invite friends into a guild that can reach up to five members when you first start. When you make a guild, however, you have to ensure that everyone is well equipped and prepared for raids. This is where the biggest social aspect comes in as raiding allows you to compete with other guilds. Unfortunately, this is a double edged sword, because if you can’t get enough people, you can easily become stuck. Regardless, there is still more “toys” to behold.
The coolest part about Hammerfall is the bosses. Yes, bosses. Unlike other RPGs where the results are always automatically generated, you can actually influence the outcome of a battle like in a traditional platform RPG. In fact, there is even a leaderboard that shows who defeated what boss in how many turns.
While it does emulate your typical Facebook RPG core mechanic, Hammerfall is definitely a very captivating game. It does have some issues, but what game doesn’t? The new features based on the standard core mechanic are great additions and the story is quite compelling. That alone makes the app worth checking out. Furthermore, there is a great deal of chatter about the game going about on its front page, and if the developers are listening in, then if there is a Hammerfall II, it ought to be truly great.