Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Gunz The Duel: (2006-2013)

Gunz the Duel was a massive multiplayer online 3rd-person shooting game created by a company called MAIET Entertainment.  It was first released in the US in November 2006.  Gunz was unlike any shooting game that previously came out before it.  Players could run on the side of walls, block bullets with their sword, and tumble around the map like a gymnast.  Best of all, the game was free-to-play, although there was an online shop where you could spend real money and buy fashionable clothing sets and weapons.

These outfits cost real money.  But the fun was for free.

Surprisingly, what made Gunz widely successful and popular was due to a glitch in the game.  People were able to exploit the sword mechanics in the game, and thus "K-Style" was born.  K-Style, which stood for Korean Style, consisted of advanced keyboard combinations using a sword.  The discovery of K-Style allowed players to learn highly effective moves and combinations that greatly increased their skill and chance of killing their opponent.

The Online Shop in the game where you could buy items and dress up your character.

There were many game modes available to play, such as Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Assassination.  But by far my favorite mode was the Quest Mode.  In Quest Mode, you team up with your fellow players to defeat monsters and collect treasure chests, which contain items inside.  Players would sell the items for money, which is used to buy new weapons and clothing. 

Aneramon Boss in Gunz, the one I hated the most.

On rare occasions, you would find a boss item inside the treasure chest.  By combining certain boss items and sacrificing them, you were able to face Bosses.  The Boss Battles were always a lot of fun, even if you lost.  There were certain bosses that were extremely difficult, such as Aneramon, shown above.  Only experienced players with good communication skills were able to emerge victorious at the end.

The Boss known as "Lich".

What made Gunz the Duel fun to me was because it was a unique aspect on a genre.  There have been plenty of shooting games that have come out, but there hasn't been anything like Gunz.  Gunz takes the shooting aspect, and adds a Matrix-like dimension where you can perform moves like running on walls.  It was a shooting game on steroids.  The discovery of K-Style added a whole new element to the game that took everyone by storm.  If you didn't learn K-Style, you feel behind and became easy fodder.  Below is the original trailer for Gunz the Duel.  This is a small sample of what is possible in the game. 

Gunz is a game of Mastery, a game with a steep learning curve that requires patients and hours of practice.  This can be a turnoff for some people, but it was motivation for me.  There was a period of time when I was addicted to the game.  I remember coming back home from school and going right to my computer to play Gunz.  Homework could wait, there were more important matters at hand.  There were some days where my parents had to yell at me to get off the computer because I was playing Gunz.

A personal screenshot of mine I found online.

However, I have to point out one of the negatives about Gunz: Hackers.  Hacking was prevalent in Gunz.  Oftentimes, while in a game, a hacker would join and ruin all the fun.  It's not cool facing someone with super speed and infinite health with the ability to kill you in one second.  Thankfully, there were options that allowed you to kick the hacker from the room.

A Hacker using the "Lawnmower" Hack.  If you touched the yellow orb you automatically died.

Despite all this, Gunz was overall a very fun game to me, and I spent hundreds of hours playing it.  Therefore, I was saddened when I found out that the game was to be cancelled at the end of May 2013.  It is currently March 2015, and it has been almost 2 years since I have played Gunz.  There are some private servers available where people recreated the game, but I have not joined any.  I think it is for the better.  I do not want to get addicted again, not when I am about to graduate in two months.

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