Berserk: The Cataclysm
Berserk: The Cataclysm is a free-to-play, browser-based collectible card MMO set in a fantasy world with some strategy elements. As the owner of a sky-island, players collect cards and use them in battle to protect, dominate, and capture other sky-islands to expand their territory.
|Publisher: IDC Games
Type: Browser MMO
Release Date: August 12, 2013 (International)
Pros: +Unique mix of card battling and strategy. +Free-to-play. +Browser-based.
Cons: -Cash shop sells cards. -Card battles are automatic. -Many campaigns must be purchased with cash.
Berserk: The Cataclysm Overview
Berserk: The Cataclysm is a free-to-play collectible card MMO available on internet browsers. Build squads that serve as your card decks and then bring them into battle. Gain rewards that allow you to expand your sky-island, upgrade your tower, and acquire more powerful cards. While its core gameplay is inspired by Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering, the card battles are not controlled by the player, making it primarily a card collecting and deck building game.
Berserk: The Cataclysm Key Features:
- Browser-based – browser based card collecting game with strategy elements.
- Multiple gameplay types – from PvP to single-player campaigns
- Rapid paced simple combat – card battles are done automatically, making deck composition important.
- Strategy-based Land Domination and Defense – protect your island from invaders and conquer enemies in MMORTS fashion.
- Reward Progression System – gain rewards that allow you to expand you sky-island, upgrade your tower, and aquire more powerful cards.
Berserk: The Cataclysm Screenshots
Berserk: The Cataclysm Featured Video
Berserk: The Cataclysm Review
By Margo Sikes
Berserk: The Cataclysm is a free-to-play, browser-based collectible card MMO game developed and published by Bytex LLC, a Russian game developer. The game launched on August 12th, 2013 and is available on Facebook and other websites. The game has many elements in common with Hearthstone and Magic: The Gathering, such as card collection and battling, but at a much faster pace. Card battles are controlled primarily by the card’s attributes, ultimately meaning that squad composition is more important than the ability to strategize in combat.
The game begins abruptly with a tutorial window addressing the player as The Mighty Ungar, asking the player to summon their army for combat. The player is tasked with fighting enemies along a map with glowing arrows and pop-up messages to send them on their way, through quest-style progression. These messages introduce squads, which act as the decks of Berserk, and briefly explain the combat field. Initially every battle rewards heroes with either Imperials, the in-game currency, or Ounces, the game’s premium currency. Heroes can be used to create new squads, which may be combined when facing larger groups of enemies. The player is then briefly introduced to their sky-island and tower, which is being attacked by barbarians that they must battle. By the end of the tutorial, the player has three squads and enough Ounces and Imperials to buy more cards from the shop.
The core gameplay of Berserk: The Cataclysm is based around the combat system, which is controlled by draw order and the card’s turn count prior to entering combat. The story and campaign of the game take the backseat to the 1-on-1 card battles in this game, which are versus players or computer-controlled opponents. Unlike Hearthstone where the player can strategically hold onto and play cards, Berserk automatically plays, attacks, and defends while the player passively watches. This offers a less strategic, simpler card game for trading card game beginners. Before the battle begins, the player is shown the enemy squad’s elemental affinities, and is given a chance to select from their own squads, paying special attention to their own squad’s elements. Elemental affinity affects both the player’s own cards, as certain elements work well together, and their strength against opposing cards. The combat speed can be adjusted, so the player can either slow it down and watch every move or speed by in anticipation for the result.
Cards place themselves on the board based on their battle order and draw order, giving battles an element of randomness. Cards only attack the enemy in front of them, and if one of the player’s cards has no card opposing them, they attack the opponent. Bringing the opponent’s leadership level down to zero is the goal, and determines the winner of the battle—much like Hearthstone. Some hero cards have the ability to equip weapons and terrains, and offer a higher level of customizability than the Hearthstone Heroes. However, the lack of interactivity in combat makes this difference feel less significant. The user interface also makes it harder to understand what both player and opponent cards actually mean as the text is small and only expands when the game pauses.
Berserk features many different types of battles to gain rewards quickly, both PvP and PvE based. The first type of battle that the player experiences are the player vs. computer-controlled opponent campaigns, which are straightforward, map-based battles that move towards a final opponent and large reward. The individual battles reward experience and Imperials. The second type of battle that the player is introduced to serves to conquer and acquire other players’ land for the keeping. Players must fight Barbarians off opponents’ land, as well as their posted defenders. Once the land has been conquered, it can be moved to their own island after a period of time where the opponent can fight back.
A more advanced form of the campaign exists with greater reward. However, this campaign must be purchased with in-game currency or premium currency to start it. Rewards include rare cards, pieces of land, significant amounts of currency, and trophies that can be displayed in the player’s tower. The price to purchase these campaigns is often hefty and is much cheaper for premium users, adding in a play-to-win element. Other types of battle include player vs. random player for daily rewards, and player vs. friend. Battles can be fought even when the player is not in-game, as they can be randomly selected as an opponent or fought by friends. There is also a vacation mode that can be purchased which defends your island from attack for a set amount of time.
To participate in Clan Wars, another form of battle found in Berserk, players must join a Clan. Typically there are level restrictions and other criteria that must be satisfied in order to join. Players also have the option of creating their own Clan, which can be done at level 15. Ten Clan members are required to participate in Clan Wars. Once Clans meet the requirement, the leader selects a gateway to deploy from on the Clan Wars map and announces an attack on an unoccupied, connected city. They then attack and capture the city, claiming it for their Clan. The system cycles on and Clans can expand their reach, and at the end of each era, the top 10 clans ranked by influence are awarded premium and regular currency prizes, depending on their placement, divided individually by player contribution.
The backbone and main reason to keep playing Berserk are its cards which are primarily bought from the game’s shop. Most of its booster packs have both in-game and premium prices available. However the bigger, more powerful packs that contain rare cards are only available with premium currency and a subscription to the game. Players that opt to pay real money to buy their cards are at a significant advantage over players that must grind through games to receive in-game currency.
Even without premium currency, purchasing small card booster packs at regular intervals is possible due to its very quick combat. Furthermore, the games a player has lost can still reward a bit of currency and experience, so changing up a squad if it is not successful is not difficult. Another aspect of this game that is found in many other online TCG is the ability to fuse, evolve and enhance cards that are no longer useful, powering up the cards that are useful. This is done using the player’s Laboratory, using the in-game currency and experience gained from your island’s land, which accumulates slowly over time. The laboratory can also be used to research new, unique cards that will then become available in the shop to buy.
Berserk’s cash shop is dealt in Ounces, the game’s premium currency, and has a variety of card packs to purchase; from randomized decks to entire, pre-built squads. Randomized boosters are cheaper, while buying a pack that contains cards of one element are more expensive. A game subscription is available that allows access to premium purchases, extra money rewards and experience, and card discounts. Ounces can be acquired without spending money and players are given a taste of their usefulness at the beginning; however they become increasingly rare and take a long amount of time to require without purchasing.
Final Verdict - Fair
While Berserk’s card battling system is refreshingly simple, having no say in how the card battles pan out makes the game ultimately feel more like a gambling game than a strategy game. Island capture serves as a more strategic, player-influenced element of the game, with long timers that give users a reason to keep playing. Overall, however, the game feels unfinished. Its menus and graphics are inconsistent and could use more polish, particularly in the battle effects, and it has a sound button but features no sound effects at all. As one of the most repetitive, time consuming aspects of the game, battles aren’t as fun as they could be.
Berserk: The Cataclysm Videos
Berserk: The Cataclysm Links
Berserk: The Cataclysm System Requirements
Operating System: XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 or AMD Equivalent
Video Card: Any Graphics Card (Integrated works well too)
RAM: 512 MB
Hard Disk Space: 100 MB (Cache)
Berserk: The Cataclysm is a browser-based MMO and will run smoothly on practically any PC. The game was tested and works well on Internet Explorer, Opera, Firefox and Chrome. Any modern web-browser should run the game smoothly. The game is available on Facebook as well.
Berserk: The Cataclysm Additional Information
Release Date: August 12, 2013 (Worldwide)
Other Platforms: Facebook
Development History / Background:
Berserk: The Cataclysm was developed by Russian game developer Bytex LLC and launched world wide on August 12, 2013. The game is web-based and combines the collectible card game genre with browser based RTS elements.