After the world of Remnant Knights is devastated with asteroids and a strange enemy rises from the broken land known as the Skalari, the people who dwell on the rebuilt land of Kasmari. The constant struggle against the invaders led to the belief that it was necessary to take them on and schools rose up to train new warriors, however a schism evolved that split two schools of thought into the Dragon Academy and Owl Academy.

The Dragons went to technology and science to answer the question of the Skalari; focusing on the intellect and discipline of the body fortified with technology to help them march and defeat the invaders. The Owls look to the mysteries of magic, and the forces opened up by the rupturing of the interdimensional realms during the asteroid impacts. They use magic and their capabilities to control and conjure those energies to solve problems.

Remnant Knights is published by GameSamba and is a free-to-play 3D MMORPG with a strong fantasy motif—and following in the vein of literature like Harry Potter also follows a university or school aspect. Players are students who have joined the two acadamies and are seeking to save their world from the invaders, they join Clubs (the game term for guilds) and find themselves at odds with their rival school in some instances, but wed in their goals to save their world.

Graphics and Audio: It’s not the prettiest game ever; but what it has it works with well

Like many 3D MMORPGs, Remnant Knights goes with a somewhat cartoony effect that ties in the fantasy school theme quite strongly. According to reviews, it runs excellently even on low end systems and ran nicely on mine. I noticed that many of the textures are a little downgraded, but there’s lots of options for tuning up or toning down—making this game a good one for players who might have an older generation of computers who still want a good looking game to play.

The avatars are detailed enough to tell who you’re running with and there is a certain amount of customization for characters. I even noticed some who had different colored eyes (that’s called complete heterochromia iridum if you ever wanted to sound smart) but like games such as World of Warcraft much of a character’s look is formed by their equipment.

In battles, the attacks and effects all work out nicely. They have obvious areas of effect, splashes, the magic throws out ice and freezes people in place, guns have a spray and sometimes crater and thump glows on the ground. During the game I played as both an Elementalist and a Dual Gunner and I’ve seen quite a few animations for attacks that fit them quite nicely.

The music in the game is subtle and not at all needed to turn down or turn off and its loops are long enough that I didn’t notice it ringing in my ears like certain other MMOs that I’ve discovered caused me problems. In fact, the music itself became something I enjoyed when I visited an Egyptian-themed instance that had its own sound track that had elements that sounded somewhat Arabic.

Sound effects also seem fairly well done, with jumping grunts, booms and zings with magical effects. The animations are nicely connected to their sound effects, even the bosses seemed to have their own sounds. It’s also not overwhelming here either, even a huge fight against a boss or PvP, I could still tell who was shooting and doing what by listening.

The sound effects didn’t stand out, but they also didn’t fall down, so I’m going to say that the game did a good job of actually paying attention to what needs sounds for atmosphere and why.

Gameplay: School is in session, it’s time to grab your books and your weapon and hit the fight

Last week, I got a chance to play alongside one of the developers of the game and he showed me the sights and sounds of the game (especially the higher levels) in both PvP and PvE regions of the game. As a result, I have a bit more of a rounded idea of what the audience can expect from this game. I must say that it’s definitely a good show coming out of GameSamba.

For the most part, the game is a WoW-like MMORPG that uses WASD movement and jumping to enable players to move around the world, the camera is also largely free moving. The game presents a skill bar with button presses to trigger numerous abilities and many of them are targeted. There are three archetypes (or circles) each of which have two classes each: Gun, Fight, and Magic.

The Gun Circle contains Heavy Launchers—who have high range, high attack power, and good defense; but poor attack rate and low critical—and Dual Gunners—who have a lot of crowd control, AoE, and high crit; but poor defense. The Fight Circle contains Strikers—who have high attack speed, massive crit rate; but the lowest attack range (melee)—and also Crashers—who look like tanks with high HP, high defense, and threat generation; but they have low attack speed and low crit rate. Finally there’s the Magic Circle with Elementalists—who have a high attack speed, good range, and a lot of crowd control; but very low defense and poor health—and finally there’s Priests—who look a lot like healers with a high attack rate, life stealing, healing, and resurrection; but low defense, low health, and less offensive skills than others.

The game has numerous quests that take students through the various schools to fix problems in the countryside in almost the form of assignments. They also take students out into the world to fight big bosses and baddies in dungeons and instances. One of those instances that I visited had a strong Egyptian motif with a lot of nods to ancient Egyptian mythology and even loot drops for players that would give them a very ancient Egyptian effect.

Much of the instances run a great deal like every other MMO: there’s trash mobs, rooms to move through, bosses to fight through with phases, etc. However, there’s also a part of the game that links to a puzzle effect. In the Egyptian instance, our team had to jump across a moving floor over a deadly field of electricity below—this MMO had a real-to-life jumping puzzle for the team to get across that actually felt a little bit challenging. In some ways it was quite fun because it broke up the trash mob clears and the boss fights.

The current PvP is split up between every 10 levels (presumably to enable players to find players in their capability.) The type that I am now most familiar with is called Marble Battle. In this game it’s a form of domination—players go in 5v5 (they also come in 1v1 and 3v3) and must capture three different points on the battlefield by clicking on them and waiting a few seconds without taking a hit. For every point captured on the battlefield the dominance of a particular school increases until a cap is met and the game ends.

The battlefield itself was split up into several regions (or labs in the school context) where the points where situated and one major point in the center. As a result, battles and skirmishes would break out around each of the capture points as the two schools attempted to control the battlefield. More than once, I found myself rushing into massive battles trying to capture a point out from underneath the enemy while they were distracted by my team.

There were also some mobs wandering around in the labs (golems in fact) who once killed would drop a crystal that generated some temporary buff from speed, extra damage, some extra resistance to damage.

Freemium: Standard GameSamba virtual item mall as seen in many free-to-play games

As a GameSamba game Remnant Knights is supported by a virtual item store; players purchase Sambas as currency with money and in turn that’s used to buy items from the virtual store.

The item mall contains everything we already expect from a virtual store including aesthetic costume items, experience boosters, mounts, and even items that permit revival in place after being killed in the field. There’s also MP and HP potions available in the store for players who want more up time during battles. For those decorators, there’s also furniture and items that can be placed in the dorms of the players—it is, after all, a university student game.

Fortunately, none of the items sold in the cash shop appear to affect the balance of the game much, if at all. As this is a major concern for any cash shop, it’s good to see GameSamba made sure not to place items there that could cause accusations of play-to-win.

Conclusion: A go-to-game if you’d like a casual MMORPG experience with PvP and instances

Remnant Knights is a light hearted fantasy game with a fairly nice experience gathering system. The addition of numerous instances to the game (with more on the way) means that there’s always something to do. I noticed that there was a notable population and gathering a team to go into an instance didn’t take very long and it was quite enjoyable; and to note getting into a Marble Battle PvP took less than 2 minutes of wait time to gather a team and jump in.

The graphics and sound are solid and it runs very smoothly even on older computers; this in of itself means that as a game it’ll probably be good for a very large number of players.

Between the Marble Battle and the ancient Egypt instance, and knowing that there’s a lot of other instances in the game, it’s obvious that this game has a long way that it still can go. The WoW-like loot drops, the equipment changing the character, and the other elements also mean that it is easy to pick up and play with a very quick learning curve.