By Jason Van Horn from mpogd.com
There are a lot of browser-based MMOs out there with different premises, but RiotZone is the only one I've ever played that's centered on the world of mercenaries for hire. You'll train your mercenaries to be the most savage squad of killers imaginable and then send them out on a variety of missions and PVP battles in order to show everyone that your group is the roughest and toughest bunch around. The premise of the game is solid, but the execution leaves a little to be desired.
Your personal character is a jack-of-all-trades as they're not pre-set to be one of the three classes, as you can give them whatever weapon you wish to instantly switch them into that character class, though they'll start the game out as a Gunner by default. As you gain levels, you'll also be able to distribute points into five different categories in order to make your mercenary a super-soldier. The five stats are Precision (how precise you are with your weapon), Skill (shoot faster), Speed (how difficult it is to hit you), Stamina (how much health you have), and Success (the chances of you hitting an enemy and dodging their attacks). Besides spending skill points whenever you level-up, you can also purchase stat points using in-game gold, though the price continues to increase every time you use this feature.
Another way you'll outfit your character and make them stronger is through their equipment, as you can not only give them a weapon to use, but also equip four different pieces of armor matching up to various pieces on the body. You can always buy new weapons and armor if you so choose, but you can also use money and other currency tokens in order to tune your gear, raising their usefulness and stat values, though much like the ability to buy stat points each time you tune a piece of gear the more expensive it becomes to do so. You start out by only having to pay with peso, but once the rarity of your gear starts increasing you'll not only have to pay with peso but Stars, which are obtained by completing assignments and mass battles.
RiotZone even features a crafting aspect, which is accomplished through your group's personal camp, where you can have four different structures up and running. There's the Workshop (produces resources needed to upgrade camp structures), Laboratory (produce different crates of supplies), Prison (produce peso), and Shooting Range (produce different ten minute buffs for your squads to use in battle). One thing I really like about RiotZone's crafting/resource system is that at the max you only have four different resources needed in order to upgrade a structure, but the only thing it takes to get results from a structure is time; a ten-minute buff only takes ten minutes of constructing time to be ready for use and there aren't any costs associated with it.
RiotZone is a fun game, but I find it rather limiting in the things you can do. Why can't players have more direct control over their squads in a battle? Why can't missions give you an accurate number as to how many people you're going to have to fight? Why can't you tune the equipment of your other mercenaries? There are a number of problems that detract from the overall experience, but in the end if you can get around those limitations and make them work for you, RiotZone is a pretty good browser-based game to occupy your time.
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