GunZ 2: The Second Duel

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GunZ 2: The Second Duel is a sequel to the original 2003-2005 third-person shooter created by MAIET Entertainment. GunZ 2 features fast paced and vertical acrobatic action which has only been seen in hollywood movies.

63391  320x240 gunz 2 the second duel poster

Publisher: MAIET Games
Playerbase: Medium
Graphics: Medium
Type: Third person shooter
EXP Rate: Medium
PvP: Yes
Filesize: 2+ GB

Pros: +Streamlined gameplay compared to GunZ 1, various available classes, several weapon types
Cons: - Really laggy matches.  -Limited customization. -Can be viewed as pay to win.

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Overview

GunZ 2: The Second Duel Overview

Features:

Unique movement: In GunZ 2, a wall is not an obstacle. You no longer have to hide behind walls when you encounter your enemies. You can rather climb up the walls, take to higher ground or move into enemies’ blind spot to launch vigorous assaults.

Class system: Various class types are available to suit many different play styles, including Silent Avengers, Gunslingers, Shield Troopers and Shadow Dancers.

Improved PvE: Play campaign mode to fight against the notorious mega corporation with super-national power. Experience battles against massive bosses that requires players to climb and scale in order to attack their weak spots.

Streamlined gameplay: With the removal of techniques such as K-Style, GunZ 2 has an improved control system so players can boast skillful movements with relative ease.

Off the wall: The environment is your ally! Seamlessly incorporate your surroundings into your movement for off-the-wall moves. Run up walls and strike down hard to destroy your enemies!

Take on the world: Whether you want to jump in and out of a quick match or organize within professional clans, with controls that are easy to pick up but hard to master and a matchmaking service that pits you against players of your own skill level, GunZ 2 caters to all your gameplay needs.

Team up: Turn friends into enemies in frantic PvP modes or team up to fight the malicious Adam Corporation in a cooperative campaign mode. Find the right strategy to defeat a continuously growing array of powerful bosses.
Three different character classes with unique gameplay and handling: Be an impenetrable wall as the Shield Trooper, let a hail of bullets (and grenades!) shower down upon your enemies as the Gunslinger or attack so quickly that your foes won’t even know what hit them as the Silent Avenger. This cast of playable characters will continuously be expanded to offer new gameplay challenges to dedicated players.

Be as unique as deadly: Power up your arsenal with an intricate enchant system. No items will go to waste as you take them apart and combine scrap parts for new gear. Stack up buffs for the perfect combination that fits your style of play.

GunZ 2: The Second Duel Screenshots

GunZ 2: The Second Duel Featured Video

GunZ 2: The Second Duel – First Look

Full Review

GunZ 2: The Second Duel Full Review

By Michael Sagoe (mikedot)

 

“Ever wonder what it would feel like to pull off exciting stunts, just like in action movies such as the Matrix or Equilibrium? Well wonder no more, because GunZ: The Duel is here to turn those action movie dreams into a reality.”

That was more or less the tagline presented for the original GunZ way back in 2006, and it still remains very much the same for its sequel: “GunZ 2: The Second Duel”, which was released back in February 2014. Since then, the game has received several updates, including new playable classes, balance changes and more, but without the inclusion of techniques from the first GunZ known as “K-style.”

Without the inclusion of K-style, does GunZ 2 have enough style in order to stand up on its own? Well after several months of play, GunZ 2 definitely has some style, but sadly, many of the game’s design choices, available features and technical issues prevent it from achieving greatness.
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Controls

The control scheme is very typical for a TPS title, with WASD movement and dashing, spacebar jumping, mouse look aiming, etc. and it all works out as well as it should. But along with this straightforward control scheme, GunZ 2 comes with advanced control s which allows players to perform spectacular action movie movements, fast and easy. For instance: players can run up walls, hop off ledges and dash in quick session in order to maneuver in and out of combat. Players can make use of every inch of the battlefield. It’s all very intuitive and there’s never a moment where the player will feel like they’re not in control of their actions, except when dealing with enemy attacks, of course.

It’s one of the key features that helps make GunZ 2 easier to pick up and play when compared to the original, but due to these changes in control, the pacing of the game feels significantly slower. Personally, this is all well and fine, as it allows for a more balanced and maintainable gameplay environment, but diehard veteran players of the original GunZ will have to make some adjustments.
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Gameplay and Features

Compared to the original, GunZ 2 contains a lot of barebones options and features for players to engage themselves in: There are only four game types available, including Team Deathmatch, Team Elimination, Team Gladiator and Time Assault. TDM is exactly as it sounds, Team Elimination is just like Team Deathmatch but with no respawns and Gladiator is just like Team Elimination but with melee weapons only. Time Assault is an Attack & Defend mode where players take turns attacking three sets of destroyable objectives, and while this mode requires certain team compositions in order to succeed often enough in, it doesn’t play out much differently from what players would expect from Attack & Defend modes in other FPS/TPS games.

The core gameplay for GunZ 2 is all about speed and style. Players will have to run, jump, aim well, shoot fast and think even faster if they want to keep up against their opponents who can attack and kill other players from just about every direction possible. The intuitive control scheme lends itself to create some intense, high flying action movie moments that gamers would not typically see in TPS titles similar to this. Ascend the walls on that building and ambush foes from above is a typical offensive strategy. Players can camp on a chandelier and snipe enemies down below. Or just go full Rambo and face your enemies head on, guns blazing. There’s so many ways to approach a fight and all players will be able to find a play-style that suits their preferences, no matter which class they choose.
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Also included in the control system are active skills that are unique for each character class, such as melee attack knockdowns, juggle attacks, stealth clones and more. Most of these skills are dictated by the Z-Meter which can be filled by killing enemies, blocking attacks with melee weapons or by picking up Z-canisters around the map. This leads to an interesting mini-game of meter management, since Z-meter skills have various uses to turn the tide of battle in an instant.

So with that said, while the gameplay manages to capture a unique style all its own, at the same time it manages to completely botch the fun factor due to the game’s netcode. While players may have been able to deal with Peer-to-Peer connection systems in the past, that same kind of system simply doesn’t work well in GunZ 2, and due to the game’s faulty matchmaking system, it will set up connections improperly by selecting players that have the worst connection speeds, making all other players warp around and blink during battle. It will also give the host player a huge connection frame advance by several milliseconds or more, so there will be times where a host player will be able to kill other players even before they know what hits them.
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As mentioned before: The overall gameplay of GunZ 2 has a slightly slower pacing when compared to the original, due to the removal of K-style techniques. For those that don’t know what K-style is: Imagine the wavedash and move cancel techniques that players created in Super Smash Bros Melee, then throw it into a TPS. That’s (more or less) K-style in a nutshell, and while it helped to give the original GunZ a unique flavor all its own, it also managed to unbalance the game in dreadful ways.

So in GunZ 2, excessive animation canceling has been removed, which disallows players from creating any game breaking techniques such as K-style. That’s all well and fine, but the problem with this removal is that MAIET did not include many new and “built-in“ advanced techniques to keep the high skill ceiling present that gave the original such replayability. As mentioned before, for most veterans of the original, GunZ 2 will feel slow as molasses in comparison, since players cannot dash as fast as they can input their movement commands, or switch weapons whenever they want in order to create instant kill combos. While this helps MAIET to create a more fair and balanced game environment, the flair of the original simply is nowhere to be found here.

GunZ 2 is far less focused on solo performance and far more focused on team work and coordination, hence the game’s character class system has been included instead of the open weight system from GunZ 1, and there’s a handful of classes to choose from, such as Elena the Gunslinger who excels in mid-range firefights, Max the Shield Trooper who focuses on disruptions and crowd control, and Wayne the Strider, who I like to call “GunZ 1 Classic – Personified.”
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Each class has their strengths and weaknesses, so teams will be able to form many different strategic compositions. However, some character classes can hold their own much better than others, such as Ivan the Silent Avenger, who is supposed to be a Jack of all Trades type, but is actually a master at MANY combat situations: A katana with long reach for close quarters, an SMG for mid-range and a sniper rifle for long range makes Ivan too balanced for his own good. Players can go in with an entire team of Ivans and do fine, but trying to go in with a team of only Max or Wayne? Not so much.

When you’re not playing the game competitively against others, GunZ 2 also features a Campaign mode that spans across 9 missions where players can team up to fight against impressive bosses, such as a gigantic, “Metal Gear- esque” tank that player must scale and run up on in order to defeat. It’s a great campaign to play through the first time around, but it offers absolutely no replay value. They could have easily added things such as droppable items and cosmetics that players can attempt to farm in order to increase replayability, but as it is, there’s almost no reason to play through the campaign more than once.
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Customization

GunZ 2 features a surprising lackluster amount of character customization options when compared to the original title. While some of the removed customization options from the first game has some justifiable reasons to them, GunZ 2 adds very little to replace those missing options. Unlike the first title, players cannot select their own weapon loadouts based on a weight system. Instead, players can only pick between three weapons types specific to their character class. So for all those old school players that were expecting to rock a dual shotgun or dual revolver + katana combo, prepare for disappointment.

GunZ 2 also lacks many cosmetic customization options like in the original, as well. Granted, the first GunZ has had several years of cosmetic items built up so that players can mix and match apparel to look unique, but the amount of cosmetics that players have in GunZ 2 is so lacking that even the original GunZ 1 had more customization available when it first launched. Players cannot even choose between different face and hair types like they could in the original, so players will have to deal with battles against clones of themselves within each and every match.
GunZ TSD image 7
GunZ 2 introduces a “Gear System” that allows players to increase their character’s stats through Max HP, Max AP, increased critical hit and increased direct HP damage from ranged weapons. While not completely mandatory, boosting your character’s stats to fit your play style does help in a pinch, but the process of increasing your stats can be a nightmare for players that aren’t dedicated or do not have deep pockets. Upgrading gears in GunZ 2 is entirely determined by luck/RNG, and the amount of in-game gold that players will need to dump in order to get perfect stats can rise towards the hundreds of thousands.
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If it wasn’t for the daily bonuses that gives players free gold, gears and crystals just for logging in, and the supply crate system that gives players a random set of crystals to use in the Tesla Shop, GunZ 2 could easily be seen as a Pay-to-Win game. While many players will still see it as such, these systems do a fair enough job to allow players to earn items in the game without having to reach for their wallets in order to compete.

 

Visuals, Sound and Presentation

Thanks to MAIET’s own in-house engine known as Realspace 3, the visual quality stands up well enough compared to many other F2P and retail titles currently available, with moderately well detailed environments, character models and visuals effects. However, the optimization for these visuals is less than stellar, especially for foggy visual effects, which many players may notice on stages such as Oil Rig and Colosseum.

The sounds of weaponry are all appropriate and each has a distinct sound effect and feel to them. The voice over work for each of the character classes is fairly hit and miss, especially the voices for Wayne and Rosie, which are all completely done in Korean. The half English, half Korean voice over work seems out of place, honestly random at best, and likely a sign of sloppy corner cutting to save some cash. (However, Rena’s voice is also in Korean, but since she has a very obvious Asian complexion, I’ll let that one slide…)

Now personally speaking, the music of GunZ 2 is perhaps the weakest aspect of the overall presentation, because besides the opening login music, GunZ 2’s music doesn’t have the dramatic action movie vibe that the original GunZ had. Instead of heavy rock and techno beats, they’ve gone with more funk and 90s rock, which just doesn’t have the same tension.
GunZ TSD image 9
Overall: Good

In its current state, GunZ 2 presents a lot of great ideas that have rarely been attempted in third-person shooters, let alone F2P ones, but the lack of a proper netcode/dedicated servers, customization features, optimization and overall available content really drags the entire experience down. If MAIET could possibly get a working dedicated server system in place, then GunZ 2 could be worth a recommendation. Until that happens, only the most dedicated GunZ fanatics and MAIET supporters will be able to handle the issues that plague this game.

Previous Review:

GunZ 2: The Second Duel Steam Preview

By Michael Sagoe (mikedot)

After several years of waiting, MAIET Entertainment has finally released their high-action multiplayer shooter for (most of) the world to enjoy on Steam’s Early Access program.

GunZ 2: The Second Duel is an online third person shooter about killing stuff with style. Players can run up walls, pull off acrobatic movements and switch between gunplay and melee combat on the fly. It’s a sequel to the original GunZ: The Duel which came out back in 2003-2005.

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For those that do not know: One of the biggest changes in GunZ 2 compared to its predecessor is the removal of K-Style and D-style: Two popular play-styles that significantly changed the overall flow of gameplay by allowing players to jump, dash, block, slash and shoot all at the same time. While this made the gameplay a lot more intense and exciting, it also brought weapon imbalance, made latency issues more apparent and even brought about health concerns from prolonged performance of these techniques, such as Carpal Tunnel.

MAIET thought long and hard about wanting to bring “style play” back for the release of GunZ 2, as shown in the game’s alpha footage: Players were able to perform moves including shot-slashes (rather than slash-shots), light steps and more. But in the end, MAIET came to the conclusion that it was too much of a hassle to bring it all back if they were going to achieve a more balanced shooting game.

With my extensive time spent playing the South Korean, Europe and Taiwan versions of the game (as if I couldn’t get enough of this game in my life…), it was now time for me to jump head first into the Steam Early Access for North America, just to see if there has been any significant changes made, as well as being able to play against others in my region of world.

First bit of disappointment that I had with the Steam version was that MAIET still has not included any initial character customization when selecting between the four available classes, which for some reason all have names attached to them unlike before. The Silent Avenger is now called Ivan, the Gunslinger is called Elena, the Shield Trooper’s name is Max and the newest class, the Shadow Dancer, is named Rena. Between these four classes, they each have many different strengths and weaknesses, but you still cannot select different hair styles or faces for them, unlike the original GunZ.

The character I decide to start off with Rena, who has the ability to create shadow decoys of herself in order to confuse enemies. Plus she also comes equipped with dual daggers and dual pistols, so she plays out like some kind of ninja out of an anime or action movie.

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While a lot of people would claim that splitting core gameplay up between different classes would be limiting, I did not find these classes to be limiting at all, as I will explain later on regarding some of the bouts that took place.

In the original GunZ: The Duel: Instead of different classes, players had access to a weight system, where they could select any weapon they wanted just as long as the player had enough weight space available to hold them all, and this was all dictated by the armor each character wore, so if a player had good armor, they could carry multiple weapons or heavier weapons. However, this proved to give a false sense of customization in the later levels due to the use of K/D-style limiting most loadout options.

Once I selected my character, I went through the tutorial which hasn’t changed very much since the EU and TW versions. After completion, one noticeable change was the inclusion of crystals and ores which can be earned from unlocking achievements, opening supply crates every hour and from dismantling equipment. These ores and crystals can be used to earn weapons and equipment from the tesla machine, which is basically a fancy gachapon/gambling system. And as much as I dislike gambling systems, the tesla machine is actually very fair in comparison to other gachapon systems, mainly because it actually shows a global number of chances to win each available prize. Once you understand how the tesla machine works, it’s quite possible to wait patiently for the prize list to drop as low as possible for going for the main prize, which are usually permanent weapons or special costumes.

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The three modes that are currently available in GunZ 2 include Team Deathmatch, Team Elimination and Time Assault: While Team Deathmatch is fairly self-explanatory; Team Elimination is similar to Team Deathmatch except that players have one life per round. If you die during a match, you cannot respawn. Think of it like a typical round of Counter-Strike with bombing run or hostage capture mode, except that there’s no main objective other than defeating the enemy team… and that people can jump around the environment like something out of a Cirque du Soleil show.

The other available game mode is Time Assault, which is very much a straight forward Attack & Defend game mode where one team defends one of three target points on the map while the other team tries to destroy those targets. This mode and Team Elimination mode is where the gameplay truly starts to shine, as teamwork plays a vital role here. Of course, it’s hard to engage in teamwork when the thought of trying to be a nonstop, badass, one-man army kind of action hero is so tempting, but it usually pays off.

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As to whether or not GunZ 2 takes skill to play compared to its processor, I would answer that by saying: It’s debatable. Gameplay is now more focused on team play rather than solo performance, although it is still very possible to hold your own in solo situations, no matter which class you choose. As I’ve seen time and time again where players have been able to carry entire teams on their backs or have been able to clutch it out during a 1-on-4 situation during a team elimination match. These intense moments really show that quick wits are now what GunZ 2 is all about, rather than repetitious muscle memory and a shallow overarching strategy of “spot an enemy and K/D-style them as hard as you can.”

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There are some animation cancel techniques possible in GunZ 2, such as reload shot and guard cancels, but they are nowhere near as game breaking compared to GunZ 1 and only a few of them give players a slight edge over their competition. And overall, some of the older techniques from the original have been rendered as completely obsolete: There’s no need for slash cancelling in order to shoot and dodge in midair since players can dash while firing all weapons now. There’s no need for wall slashing to scale walls since they’ve included more initiative wall running mechanics, and so on and so forth.

Also: Despite the class system used in GunZ 2, the three weapon types each character has available allows for some varied play styles. I’ve seen Ivan players that prefer to use nothing but their katana to rush down enemies, Max players that like to pester snipers using their mini-guns and much more.

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Personally speaking: After a few matches in normal mode, and having the opportunity of playing with people in my region, I would have to say that Gunz 2 is actually more difficult to play than Gunz 1. Without the crutch of insanely high mobility, I was forced to make decisions more quickly. I found myself dying a lot in Gunz 2 because of the difficulty of adjusting to the more team-based and snap decision making nature of gameplay. Some battles do get pretty mindless (especially up against grenade spamming Elena players and aggressive flamethrowin’ Max players), but usually when you’re up against a full premade group, you really need to focus.

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The biggest issue with the Steam version of GunZ 2 is most definitely the lag issues. It seems like MAIET didn’t get the memo that peer-to-peer connections do not work well in online video games outside of South Korea, since not every country out there is the size of a small state, and not everyone has access to T1+ internet connection speeds. Unlike most modern shooting games that use dedicated servers, GunZ 2 randomly assigns one player as the “host” before a match begins, which means that if the host lags, everyone lags. And even if the host has a decent connection, they will still have a major advantage over enemy players due to hitscan detection and registration time. If a player is not selected as the host, they will need to lead their shots constantly; otherwise they’ll be missing a lot of hits. This is especially noticeable when using Ivan’s sniper rifle, where it can take up to half a second or more for a shot to travel from point A to point B, and by the time the shot travels across the map, a target would have already moved from their position.

Overall, in the game’s current state, it shows a lot of promise with many new classes, game modes and a new campaign in the works. Even with the direct removal of K/D-style, it still managed to give me the same thrill and excitement that the original GunZ gave me. If they can manage to develop some kind of netcode that can compensate for the latency issues before adding new content, then I could see GunZ 2 having quite a long life span. I’ll be sure to give a follow-up review when GunZ 2 is declared as an finished product by MAIET, so stay tuned.

Screenshots

GunZ 2: The Second Duel Screenshots

Videos

GunZ 2: The Second Duel Videos

GunZ 2: The Second Duel – First Look

Links

GunZ 2: The Second Duel Links

Official Game Site

System Requirements

GunZ 2: The Second Duel System Requirements

Minimal system configuration:

OS: Windows XP
CPU: Intel Core 2 DUO E2160 or AMD CPU of same level, 2 GB RAM
GPU: DirectX 9 compatible video card, GeForce 8600GT
Internet: 56k Internet connection
HDD: 2 GB hard drive space

Recommended system configuration:

OS: Windows XP/Vista/7
CPU: Intel Core 2 DUO E6550 or AMD CPU of same level, 4 GB RAM
GPU: DirectX 9 compatible video card, GeForce GTS 250
Sound Card: DirectSound compatible audio hardware
Internet: Broadband Internet connection
HDD: 2 GB hard drive space

GunZ 2: The Second Duel Articles

  • GunZ 2: The Second Duel Full Review - Posted on October 27, 2014
    Without the inclusion of K-style, does GunZ 2 have enough style in order to stand up on its own? Well after several months of play, GunZ 2 definitely has some style, but sadly, many of the game’s design choices, available features and technical issues prevent it from achieving greatness.
  • GunZ 2: The Second Duel – Now Officially Launched - Posted on April 30, 2014
    Today, MAIET Entertainment has announced that they've pulled GunZ 2 out of Steam's Early Access program and has officially launched the game.
  • Gunz 2: The Second Duel Beta Preview - Posted on February 28, 2014
    After several years of waiting, MAIET Entertainment has finally released their high-action multiplayer shooter for (most of) the world to enjoy on Steam’s Early Access program.
  • GunZ 2 now available on Steam; Technical difficulties abound - Posted on February 18, 2014
    As of February 17th, GunZ 2: The Second Duel has been released on Steam's Early Access program, featuring several new additions to the game, including a new playable class, two new maps and a new game mode.
  • Steam release for GunZ 2 confirmed for February 17th - Posted on February 12, 2014
    The waiting has finally come to an end as the Steam release of GunZ 2: The Second Duel has been confirmed by MAIET.

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