After having a rip roaring good time with Path of Exile, a free to play RPG that is challenging and rewarding, I decided to give another free to play RPG a go. Panzar is the name of the game and, like Path of Exile, is made by an independent developer. However, the similarities end there.
Where Path of Exile targets what I presume to be the more mature market with darker graphics and sombre storyline with characters and settings in real dire straits, Panzar goes for the World of Warcraft crowd. There’s a great sense of fun in the game where bright, colourful characters are the norm with exaggerated proportions and movements as well as a silly sense of humour. The game is also not too difficult with the typical WASD movement keys and two attacks, normal and heavy plus a blocking move.
In effect, Panzar is a third person shooter/smash-’em-up where you join a guild and war with or against other guilds or if you so choose, play against the environment and storyline. This sounds great, but I couldn’t get past the feeling that it’s a glorified mobile game in its presentation of its menus and the number of ads the game carries for its online store. This is definitely one game that is pay to win, not play to win. I know it’s literally free to play, but I don’t really want to suffer looking at big ads about microtransaction items. Ironically, even the mobile gaming developers are aware how distracting it is and try to bury that sort of advertising in some way.
The problem with Panzar has nothing to do with its gameplay or graphics. It has everything to do with the overt advertising of its in game wares that you can purchase from its microtransaction store and its overall presentation, which seems to reflect a game that’s been designed or ported from the iOS App Store or Google Play. These aspects of its design are such dead weight against the great visuals and sense of humour that the bad outweighs the good and ruins what would otherwise be a very enjoyable experience.