DRAKERZ-Confrontation: Half-Chimera, All-Game

By Ben Barrett on June 3rd, 2014 at 3:00 pm.

There are days in the business of playing games and then writing about them where you’re taken by surprise, where something new and exciting grabs the proverbials and raises an eyebrow. Be it a hauntingly beautiful isometric robot-destroyer or a first person teenage-maturity-em-up, there’s quite often something new around every digitally distributed corner. On other days, like today, something is so very video games that even its name makes an unwitting statement.

The all-caps, subtitle-appended, z-ended DRAKERZ-Confrontation goes whole hog and combines our latest passion for trading cards with the fantasy battles between giant, mythical creatures. It’s quite tactical, the small battlefield meaning the placement of your avatar – a “Drakos” – is key for flanking attacks and resource management. It’s actually already playable, if in a woefully translated and somewhat buggy beta form, on Steam. The hook of the Kickstarter, meanwhile, is to integrate augmented reality with the free-to-play game and sell real-world cards for use with it. Hmm.

If you’re thinking “well that video was slightly boring and most impenetrable” we’re on the same page. It was interesting enough for me to go jam through the tutorial and have a shot at the first proper battle, however, and the game is much better at explaining itself than this. It’ll be immediately familiar to anyone who’s played a TCG before, featuring spells of immediate and permanent varieties, moments to respond with counters and limitations via slowly growing resource pools. The movement element adds significantly to the formula and is deeper than it may first appear. Mindlessly attempting flanking maneuvers is a good way to waste resources and set yourself up for more wily opponents moves. My defeat, captured forever above, came from allowing resource-providing mana orbs to build up on my sides. This let the AI (I’ll never live the shame down) grab them all and unleash a devastating attack.

Games are slow, but that’s no bad thing with the natural variance of a card game and the skill-testing nature of the movement. It does seem like the “Fury” system, a secondary resource that builds naturally and funds better attacks, means drawing the right cards at the right time is vital – but maximising the chances of that and minimising your opponent’s becomes the talent, one I rather spectacularly failed to leverage. What I’m not so convinced of is the need for an AR element. Don’t get me wrong, it’s rad as all get out and the sort of thing we’ve all been rather dreamily imagining since we first watched Yu-Gi-Oh‘s ridiculous holograms, but they already have a solid game here. There’s massive potential for expansion of the ideas, mechanics and themes, so I’d rather they put $30k down towards that than a gimmick that will wear thin in short order.

They’re claiming it’s the first of its kind, which seems a little odd given they reference Eye of Judgement in their own Kickstarter outro, plus the other attempts at AR games currently undergoing development. Not to mention, you know, somewhat bigger-than-cult hit Skylanders. I’d definitely recommend giving the beta an hour of your time if it sounds like your bag and investigating a little more into the Kickstarter if it proves fruitful. The pitch video, which is so unbelievably bad I’m not positive it isn’t parody, is embedded below for your lampooning needs.

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12 Comments »

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  1. Maxheadroom says:

    It ‘seems’ like it would be something that would float my boat. (I’m quite enjoying Hearthstone although my beard isnt nearly long enough to get much out of Magic The Gathering.)

    Tried the free, cardless version on Steam but couldnt seem to do anything other than spawn my monster and make him move forward though. I had virtual cards but they were all blank

    Maybe it’s buggy or maybe im missing something. I’ll have another look when it’s properly out

    • The Random One says:

      You don’t need a long beard to enjoy Magic, just that it be on your neck.

      • Phasma Felis says:

        There’s nothing funnier than a site full of ardent video game fanatics accusing other people of being nerds.

        • dE says:

          Wizards, grumpy. He’s talking about wizards. And wizards very much require a neckbeard, regardless of gender.

        • Vinraith says:

          Amen, Phasma. It’s surprising/amusing how often you see it around here, too.

          • Ben Barrett says:

            As an avid magic player, I basically assume they’re all joking.

          • The Random One says:

            I certainly was. I would never accuse someone of being a nerd, as that makes as much sense to me as accusing someone of being a baker.

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      Martel says:

      Try out Infinity Wars. I had been playing a bit of Hearthstone for the occasional TCG fix, and then I tried Infinity Wars. It’s F2P, so definitely worth giving it a shot and if you do the campaign and tutorial stuff you get a boatload of cards to help you get going.

  2. Phendron says:

    I vaguely recall a game like this being used to sell the eye toy (or maybe it was the ps2 camera, my sense of time is spotty) a few years ago, and it crashed a bit. Lots off oddly specific motions on a playmat under the camera and poor detection or something.

  3. Kitsunin says:

    With AR, how does the game deal with your deck, and drawing cards? I’m going to have to assume that it won’t have matchmaking, because I can’t think of any ways that don’t involve either the honor system or sapping the fun out of physical cards, like, the game tells you which ones you drew, and you search your deck every time,

    Eh, I dunno, the game looks like it might be good, but I don’t see too much appeal to this idea. If people like it, that’s cool, and I do hope the Kickstarter is a success.

  4. DanMan says:

    YES! Make the game exactly like that (creatures and all), but without the AR nonsense. I’d buy it.