Raziel: Dungeon Arena Gameplay | Gritty Hack and Slash RPG

Raziel: Dungeon Arena Gameplay

Welcome to Raziel: Dungeon Arena, a new game that is available right now to every hack and slash fan. This is a free-to-play action RPG developed by Indrasoft for Android and iOS – this is the studio’s first game and quite a terrific introduction to its abilities. The guys who developed the game were kind enough to offer us an early access opportunity and check out the Raziel: Dungeon Arena gameplay before launch. And now, let’s address the gloomy and bleak elephant in the room because I know exactly the words that you are thinking – Diablo Immortal. Yes, the comparisons are inevitable, but this game is already out there showing its strengths, while Blizzard and Tencent’s RPG is nowhere to be seen. You can download Raziel: Dungeon Arena using the link in the video description and enter the grim, ravaged, and detailed world as its prospective savior.

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So, I’ve played the heck out of Raziel during the last few days and I have quite a few things to say about it. The first one is that this is a real hack and slash game where you truly control all your character’s actions. Mobile gaming is often associated with auto-play, a much-maligned feature that is often designed to keep the grind going and players with deep pockets reaching out to their wallets. In the case of Raziel, there’s no auto button whatsoever, it is an action RPG that requires your undivided attention, skills, and twitch reflexes. Personally, I was extremely pleased to find out that there was no way for the game to play itself, and that I had to make… you know, choices and decisions. Never underestimate the value and significance of giving players control over their actions.

Anyway, Raziel is set in a world where doom and gloom reigns. It’s a gritty, depressing world in need of a hero… or two, because there’s a dual-hero mechanic where you can switch to your secondary hero in real-time. This is more important than it seems at first, opening up new avenues for tactical gameplay and for approaching enemies and bosses in various, inventive ways. Trying and testing is crucial, as you find out if your Ice Priestess is more effective than the Knight in taking down that colossal demon, or if you’re going to struggle until you level up that Ranger. A handy hero wheel allows you to recruit the two heroes for the upcoming mission, and each one earns experience points for advancing, even the one that sat on his butt the whole time while your main was doing all the heavy lifting. Not bad when you want to level up your secondary class, although it will need to get its hands dirty for the real experience points.

You start off your adventure by choosing one class out of the three available: Alina the Ice Priestess, Rock the Beastmaster, and Vilsack the Dead Ranger. He does look a bit beyond the expiration date, to be honest, but he’s cool anyway. My first choice fell upon Alina Stewart and her chilly long-range icicles, but progress in the main story and side activities eventually expanded my roster up to five very distinct heroes – the aforementioned classes, plus Bison the Knight and Isadora the Puppet Master. Raziel is likely going to feature 11 classes thanks to future updates.

Raziel: Dungeon Arena Gameplay

There are 10 chapters, each one comprised of six levels, usually ending in a tough boss battle. The bulk of the action consists of exploring each non-linear region in search of the main objective, which could be defeating some dreadful creatures or removing a few obstacles. As soon as that is carried out, you can summon a portal to conveniently return to the hub city, which is called City of Being. However, you are free to continue exploring the map even after accomplishing your goals, ransacking chests, kicking pottery, and desecrating coffins for gold coins, while collecting extra XP from the remaining enemies.

The City of Being is the place where you go between missions to take a breather and access every option that you need. This hub isn’t just filled with choices, it is a lively place where you and other players hang around, where kids play tag with a disconcerting disdain for the looming end of the world, bards entertain a few guests in the deceptively cozy inn, and the characters react at your presence, always offering you some kind of deal, shady or not. But don’t let this distract you, there are demons to be slain and urns to be kicked.

For that to work, you must level up your heroes by every means possible. This includes equipping each class with the latest pieces of gear, enhancing it, and inlaying gems that provide different buffs to your skills. There are outfits as well, and you can switch each piece of gear to give a new look to your hero. Stylish and shiny? That’s an offer I can’t refuse.

The skill system is kind of ingenious, in a somewhat tragic way of giving with one hand and taking back with the other. Each skill comes with three varieties, which means that you must experiment and decide on the build that you find more suited to your playstyle. It’s a minigame in itself, as you focus on leveling up one skill at the expense of another, spending your valuable gold in a bid to… well, to not regret and cry yourself into a corner when all is said and done.

Raziel: Dungeon Arena Gameplay

Alina’s ice skills are my definite favorite, with the standout being the chilly laser beam of doom. Well, its actual name is Freezing Beam, but I thought that would be a lot cooler. I just love the way that it fries everyone on its path – or should I say frostbites? –, draining their energy for three seconds, with the added bonus of Lifesteal. The crackling sound that it makes feels like music to my ears. Another favorite of mine is Rock’s brutal Gravity Jump, which is a bit like Hulk smash, but with more dual axe thrown into the mix. Isadora comes with a promising skillset, but since she was the latest hero to be unlocked, I haven’t used her to the fullest. However, color me intrigued by her demon and ghoul summoning abilities. Vilsack is the Legolas of the team, with high mobility and a resourceful use of arrows and traps, while Bison is a heavy hitter with a prayer skill that heals himself and nearby allies. There’s a talent tree to fiddle around as well, which you can micromanage or let the game pick the best path for you.

Pets are a mainstay in hack and slash games, so you can find them here as well. Ranging from cute birds to downright creepy demons, among many others, these fellows will boost your hero’s stats in several ways and can be awakened by consuming pets of equal rarity. However, my favorite bit about pets is just how they are trained to pick up every piece of gold, gear, and items that your crushed foes leave behind. It spares you from the busywork and keeps you focused on hacking and slashing away, but there’s a tradeoff – you must keep them well-fed so that they don’t slack off. Work for food? I guess that’s the least that I can do for the little critters.

Besides the main campaign, there are a couple of cooperative game modes supporting up to four players. Land of Hell is one of those, a relentless crusade against endless waves of foul creatures, ending up with a confrontation against an end boss. There are several floors of increasing difficulty and it goes without saying that having the support of a few other players is invaluable for the best performance in these challenging dungeons.

Raziel: Dungeon Arena Gameplay Isadora inventory

The Tavern is another location where you can test your skills alone or in a team. You enter a large map where several NPCs are waiting for brave heroes to come by and lend them a hand. You can complete quest chains and earn some cool rewards in the process. Other missions are straight-up boss battles, you just group up and attack a poor creature, such as a creepy Rock Fish that would make Cthulhu fans proud.

Raziel plays very smoothly and I’ve had no control issues whatsoever. Skills are activated as expected, but you must pay attention to cooldown times so that you don’t get frustrated for all the wrong reasons. The graphics are pretty good, some of the best that I’ve ever seen in a hack and slash game for mobile, with tons of bells and whistles to liven up the environments, if that’s at all possible in such a dreary and despaired world. Every beam of sunlight, every river flowing into the sea is a clear sign of care and attention to detail from the development team.

The gameplay that you’ve been watching isn’t representative of the best graphical settings. I could play without any issues with the maximum settings and that is where all the lighting and special effects truly shine, but sadly that wouldn’t allow me to play and record the game smoothly, so I had to find a compromise. Right now, you’re watching footage with higher settings that should give you an idea of the visual capabilities of the game, so don’t mind the occasional hiccups here. Raziel is quite a looker and every area has its own details that add to the atmosphere – in the desert you’ll notice minor sandstorms, the forest has falling leaves and butterflies, snowy peaks have this chilly wind effect, sparks fly and fires burn in hellish dungeons, and mist is faintly visible in higher regions. With the help of great sound effects and the occasional bit of spoken dialogue, Raziel rates highly with its substantial production values.

Raziel

The downside is that you need to free up a few gigabytes to run the game, but it is completely worth it. After all, this is a free-to-play game and the countless hours of enjoyment that it has provided me with were absolutely worth it. Raziel features the usual means of monetization such as a gacha system for costumes and pets, but I have no way of knowing right now how friendly it is – or isn’t – for free players. You’ll be the judge of that after trying the final release of the game.

As a fan of hack and slash on PC, I haven’t really found many games of indisputable high quality to play on the go. Raziel ramps up on the dark themes and supernatural lore and delivers a great experience that is accessible both to diehard fans and newcomers alike.


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