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PC Game Review

Tabula Rasa


Format: PC
RRP: £29.99
Age Restrictions: 16+
Available 02 November 2007


Download a trial version of the game by clicking here.

In the far flung future great powers have arisen to compete for control of the universe. The most advanced race, the Eloh, had shown their beneficence by sharing the power of the Logos with lesser races, but when the Thrax used this gift to attack the Eloh, the race was torn asunder. The faction which wished to continue to spread their wisdom was brutally attacked by an alliance of their previous brethren, now calling themselves the Neph and the Thrax, together they formed The Bane with the sole object of making sure that they remained the superior race. The Bane laid waste to the Eloh home world before turing its attentions to other worlds... and in particular one blue/green planet known to it's inhabitants as Earth... Earth never stood a chance and millions died, but the last remnant of mankind were able to utilise some Eloh technology and open wormholes to other planets. Banding together to form The Army of the Allied Free Sentients they bring their force of arms to rid the galaxy of the Bane...

Tabula Rasa is a massively multiplayer online role-playing game (MMORPG), a genre of computer game where numbers of online gamers battle it out in a virtual world. Against a background story players take a class of character and, through trading, fighting and questing, hope to make their character stronger, gathering more equipment and usually new abilities. For many years this type of game has been the pinnacle of PC gaming experience.

The game was easy to install, including the update which took more than an hour. Setting up your account is more complicated than it needs to be... Oh, and be careful, although you get a free trial this is after you’ve given over your credit card details, so if you forget to cancel the account it will keep billing you.

MMORPG’s tend to have a certain number of features which are similar across the genre, such as a way of increasing your character's stats, the ability to choose different professions or races which come with their own propensity towards specific abilities. Each game tries to do this a little differently and Tabula Rasa is no different in this respect.

Rather than having these choices at the beginning of the game every player starts as a raw recruit. What follows is a tree like structure which you can progress up towards your chosen specialty branch. The game also caters for the player who changes their mind. So, with every branch, you also get the chance to save your character. This means that if you want to try a different path you can.

There are some variables that you can change, such as the general look of your character; the problem here is that the desire not to project yourself as a balding weakling leads to a uniformity in character design. You can add paint to your armour so expect some wacky designs as players get used to the system.

Everyone starts at Boot Camp, and this short introduction mission introduces you to some of the more common commands. The subsequent mission to retake an outpost furthers your knowledge, including an introduction to the Logos (essentially magic) which has been left behind by the Eloh. Understandably, this introduction mission restricts the player's choices, but following this the game becomes a lot less linear. This is actually a bonus as you can ease your way into the game without more experienced players killing you off just for fun.

One of the first things that you notice about Rasa is that it is more of a first person shooter, than many of its contemporaries. The balance between running around and killing things and the overall story arc is well managed, though that does not stop you spending many hours killing everything in sight to gain experience point. Should you be unlucky enough to get killed you character just respawns at the nearest hospital.

Visually the game has some impressive elements, though possibly not up to the standard of the pre rendered splendour of a Final Fantasy game. This is a problem I’ve found with most of these games. Whilst the PC is generally more versatile than a console, the graphics are generally not as good.

The sound, both ambient and vocal, comes over nice and clear - once again I didn’t notice any lag. A word to the wise here, I spent forever listening to what I had to do only to discover that I couldn’t do it. Its not enough to listen to the instructions you also have to hit the very tiny accept button before the mission is activated.

Overall this is an enjoyable game for those who are looking for a sci-fi adventure. As the game progresses more interesting options become available, include the ongoing narrative, and should destroy many of your free hours. At the moment the game is only on four servers which contain two allied planets, hopefully this will increase over time. Each planet is broken into a number of sectors, travelling between which sparks a reload. That said, it’s fairly quick. In-game experience includes the ability to chat to your fellow players and to form clans.

The game is well worthy of a free trial, just watch your account if you decide it's not for you.


Charles Packer


Download a trial version of the game by clicking here.

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