Rakion is a fantasy game but focuses on fast paced action rather than the typical RPG grind. Rakion has a lobby where players can host or join rooms hosted by others. There are 5 pre set characters to chose from, each with ranged and melee attack modes and a different distribution of six key stats. There are also six game modes ranging from free for all to cooperative dungeon stages where players must fight their way through hordes of AI controlled enemies. Below is a short description of the game’s five classes, for more on Rakion please read the full review:
Warrior - Warriors use a longsword in close combat and throwing knives from a distance. They are considered the most balanced class and make an ideal choice for beginners.
Archer - Archers are equipped with a gladius which is useful in melee combat but the archer’s specialty is firing her bow from a distance. She has the most powerful ranged attack in the game.
Blacksmith - Blacksmiths are large, powerful characters armed with a giant war hammer and throwing axes. They may move slow but pack the greatest punch.
Ninja - Ninjas are armed with a jitte, which is a fast dagger like weapon. They fire shurikens from afar and have powerful combo attacks.
Mage - Though they have a staff and wand to stave off opponents, Mages are the most fragile class. They posses powerful spells that can freeze enemies and inflict heavy damage.
Rakion Featured Video
By Erhan Altay
Originally developed by the Korean studio NetCraft back in 2005, Rakion has since been operated by a different Korean company called Softnyx. Veterans of free gaming should be familiar with the name Softnyx, the original publisher of Gunbound and current publisher of the MMO FPS WolfTeam. Rakion may be several years old but for a game that’s only 400 mb large, it still has decent graphics and fluid gameplay.
Ninjas and Blacksmiths!?
Rakion is more of an action game than a RPG so I can’t fault it too much for its lack of character customization. Players simply select one of the five available classes and are ready to go, no hair styles or outfits to fiddle around with. Even the gender of the classes are locked; Warriors, Blacksmith and Mages are male while Ninjas and Archers are female. Each class has a different distribution of six key stats; Attack, Speed, Defense, Grip, Creature, and Rage. The play style of each character varies significantly, I found the mage clumsy to control but had a much easier time with the Ninja. Be sure to pick the character type that matches your play style and you shouldn’t have much trouble.
I often recommend new players to complete tutorials whenever available. This has less to do with learning the game mechanics than it does with the rewards that are usually given out at the end. Rakion’s optional tutorial has no such incentives. What’s worse, the tutorial itself is incredibly slow paced and takes far longer to complete than it should. I was jumping around in circles waiting for the sluggish game text to give me my next set of objectives for most of the time. To save you a bit of time, I’ll go over each of the steps covered in the tutorial. Firstly, movement in Rakion is done through the keyboard with the mouse controlling the camera and attacks (left click.) The mouse wheel allows you to zoom in, shift is your block key and the space bar causes your character to jump.
Hack ‘n Slash
All characters have two attack modes; a melee and ranged attack. Hitting ‘q’ will switch between modes but be careful, it takes a moment to make the switch leaving you vulnerable to enemy attacks. The melee attack is usually repeatable for short combo attacks, the number of combos varies by class — the Ninja can make 5-6 attacks while the Mage can only make 2-3. The potency of ranged attacks also varies by class with the Archer having by far the most effective one. The Mage’s fireball lob is also powerful but most of the rest are weak and rarely worth using. There are two special components to combat in Rakion; pet (also called cell) summoning and rage mode. When a small bar at the bottom right fills, pressing ‘c’ will activate a special rage mode for a short time. Each character transforms into something different during rage mode but suffice it to say all are very powerful. Creature summoning is explained in the tutorial but very poorly. Players are told to hit 1, 2, or 3 to summon the appropriate pet appearing below the character status bar on the top left but are not told that they must hold ctrl as well. So the proper way to summon creatures is ctrl + 1, 2 or 3. Summons come in many forms, some call forth single powerful monsters while others bring forth a swarm of weaker creatures.
Rakion has a cooperative ‘stage’ game mode where you can fight against AI controlled monsters alone or as part of a team. There are in total 59 stages that vary in difficulty, level requirements and maximum party size. These stages can be entertaining and are a good way for beginners to gain some experience. I would suggest beginners scroll down the list of available stages and find one that can be played alone, the game’s low population make it difficult to find others to play stage games with. Even with some solo play features, Rakion is a competitive game that only shines when playing against other players. Luckily there are far more variations in the competitive game modes. There are a total of 4 competitive game modes, some of which will be familiar to FPS veterans.
Fight it Out
Death Match and Team Death Match pit players against each other to see who (or which team) can get the required number of kills first. In Boss War, one player on each team is designated as the Boss or VIP, if he dies the game ends. The objective being to kill the other team’s boss before they kill yours. The final mode and the most unique one is called Golem War. Each team has a Master Golem which serves the same function as the Boss in Boss mode but is significantly stronger than other players. Somewhere on the map is an AI controlled Golden Golem, only the player who slays the Golden Golem can deal significant damage to the opposing team’s Master Golem. Additionally, players do not respawn when killed in Golem War matches. Players gain additional stat points either by leveling or through the cash shop but an optional ‘basic mode’ can be applied to a match so that all players are treated as level 1. This is similar to the ‘avatar off’ channels in Gunbound.
Of Lag and Shops
The biggest faults with Rakion are the persistent lag and balance issues. Like many lobby based games, all players in a room are actually connected through a peer-to-peer network rather than through any official server. If one player in a room has a bad connection or is geographically very distant from any of the others it messes things up for everyone. An auto kick feature is implemented but this is usually counterproductive. I’ve been kicked from rooms even though I don’t lag simply because someone who joined before me has high a high ping with me. There are separate servers for many geographic locations; USA/Canada, Africa, Europe, Middle East, Australia, etc but most of the servers are empty meaning if anyone in those locations wants to play, they will simply jump onto the American or European servers and cause lag regardless.
The game’s cash shop is another common complaint. Like in most free to play games, players can purchase items with either in game currency or real money, with the real money items being more powerful. In Rakion, players can purchase additional stat boosts which make the difference between a free player and a paying player more and more pronounced each level. Towards the higher levels, it becomes very difficult for someone who wants to play completely free to compete. This isn’t a problem if you play with friends though and since the game’s population is not very impressive, there aren’t many hard core players to compete with anyway.
Final Verdict – Fair
Rakion is a small, simple game that still manages to have enough content to entertain. Anyone who’s looking for a mix of fantasy and action gaming should give it a try. Its age, technical issues, and slow leveling make it a difficult recommendation for the average gamer.
Rakion Gameplay Footage
Rakion Dungeon Trailer
Rakion Character Creation & Tutorial
Rakion Archer Gameplay
Rakion Combat Video
Rakion System Requirements
OS: Windows 2000 / XP / Vista
CPU: Pentium Celeron 1.2
RAM: 512MB Memory
HDD: 500 MB Free
Graphics Card: Geforce MX 4000 / Radeon 9200
OS: Windows 2000/XP
CPU: Pentium 4 2Ghz
RAM: 1 GB or more
HDD: 1.0 GB Free
Graphics Card: Geforce FX 5700+ / Radeon 9600 +