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S4 League

S4 League is a fast-paced 3D third person MMO shooter with a unique blend of sci-fi and fantasy elements. The game features gorgeous anime-inspired art and fast-paced techno music that fits the game remarkably well.

Publisher: Aeria Games
Playerbase: Medium
Type: MMO Shooter
Release Date: April 4, 2011 (NA/EU)
Pros: +Unique art style. +Great music. +Fast-paced gameplay. +Varied game modes.
Cons: -No permanent weapons. -Cash shop imbalances. -Latency issues.

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Overview

S4 League Overview

S4 League is a fast-paced third person MMO shooter that features gameplay inspired by the original GunZ: the Duel Game. It is developed by GameOn Studio (previously known as Pentavision) and published by Aeria Games. Players can jump off walls, slash their enemies with plasma swords, and fire a hail of bullets at their enemies. S4 League offers a variety of weapons, from rifles to SMGS, which can also be upgraded. There are six different game modes where players can challenge their limits and expertise with up to three weapons equipped. The fast-paced gameplay is coupled with techno music to added to the sci-fi atmosphere of the game.

S4 League Key Features:

  • Weapons Galore – over 40 weapons available to use (Melee, Rifles, Heavy Guns, Snipers, and SMGs). 3 Weapons can be equipped at once.
  • Rent Weapons – weapons can be rented for 5, 10, and 30 hours at a time. Only counts active use, so logging off won't cause weapons to lose time.
  • Enchant Weapons – the weapon enchanting system lets players upgrade their weapons.
  • Feel the Beat – fast-paced gameplay with excellent techno music to compliment the adrenaline rush.
  • Varied Game Modes – players can choose from six different game modes with different objectives and conditions ( ouchdown, Siege, Deathmatch, Chaser, Battle Royal, and Captain).

S4 League Screenshots

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S4 League Featured Video

Full Review

S4 League Review

By Chanel Hwang

Run around with a giant plasma blade or a submachine gun, bouncing off of walls and dodging maelstroms of enemy fire to conquer the field. Cue that techno music and awesome sound effects to add to the experience of being like Neo from the Matrix. In S4 League, players are enclosed in generally small maps with different objectives which all force quick thinking, lightning reflexes, and team gameplay.

Getting Started

S4 League starts off with a tutorial that goes over the basic mechanics of the game. It teaches you how to shoot, switch weapons, dash, jump, jump off of walls, etc. However, you won't thoroughly enjoy the finest points of the game until you get into a real map. In the Lobby, players can choose from over fifteen maps with different game modes. Maps like Nightmare are used in two different game modes (Chaser mode and Captain mode). Currently, there are nine different game modes offered in S4 League. One of the popular ones is called Touchdown (TD), where two opposing teams fight to get the Fumbi (a ball) into the enemy goal. Similar to American football, there is a Half Time, where players can switch characters, gear, and just take a small break before the second half resumes. Points are given according to the goals made, kills/assists on the Fumbi player, and kills/assists while defending the Fumbi player.

Another popular game mode is Deathmatch (DM), where two opposing teams compete for the highest points by killing each other. The variety of maps makes this very fun, especially because the mechanics are easy to pick up and the game is extremely fast-paced.

There are no classes, per se, in S4 League. Players can choose to play to their strengths, whether it be a killing machine, a supporting player, or a super tank. If you're not good at aiming, you can just ditch your gun and go for other weapons (like a sword). Optimally, players should customize their set for the game mode and map they are playing. For example, in TD, there are Striker sets that focus on getting the Fumbi into the opponent's goal. Strikers emphasize mobility, sacrificing long-range weapons for shorter ones and have gear with speed enhancements. Defenders focus on protecting the goal, so their sets are filled with long-range weapons and CC weapons like the Counter Sword or the Cannonade.

Capsules: To Pay or Not to Pay

One disparity I began to notice right off the bat was the discrepancy between players who pay and those who don't. It is difficult, though not impossible, to get good gear without paying money. There are things called "capsules," which players can receive or buy with cash points that comes with enhanced armor and/or weapons. Special gear (for both armor and weapons) have timers which expire with in-game playtime. One such capsule that contains special gear is the G-capsule. All players can receive G-capsules as prizes for winning certain maps, but G-capsules can also be purchased with cash points. Free-to-play players will have a tough time against those who are willing to dish out the money for the capsules, because they will typically be at a stat-disadvantage offensively and defensively.

Feeling the Beat

One of the noteworthy aspects of S4 League is the sound effects and the background music. The graphics look good, but are definitely enhanced because of the complimentary techno music that brings the world atmosphere to life. Players can feel like the heroes and heroines of anime as they dash past bullets and jump off of walls, all to the music of some awesome beats in the background. Add the sound effects of the guns, the swords, and everything in between, and you've got an epic action sequence going on.

Pity You

A unique (and funny and a little insulting) system of S4 League is the Pity System. In a variety of the game modes, if the game recognizes that your team is losing, it will give you a boost exponentially proportionate to how badly you are being beaten. For example, in TD, if your team is behind by 2 touchdowns, then your SP drains a little slower (SP is what is required to dash, jump, etc). If a team is behind by 3 touchdowns, there is moderate pity and SP drains even slower. Now, being 4 touchdowns behind eliminates SP drain when a player has the Fumbi, and a damage boost is given to the team. The system is meant to foster competitive gameplay and give a helping hand to the losing team. However, I have never been one for handicaps when it comes to skill-based games, so I'm not sure if I like this pity system (minute as its effect may seem).

Final Verdict Fair

S4 League is very engaging, super fast-paced, and highly rewarding. The easy mechanics let any player jump right in, but the deeper need for team play makes the game difficult to master. While the graphics, gameplay, and replay value of the game are great, I think there are two huge setbacks of the game: the pay-to-win aspect, and the bugs. The improper balance between the cash shop and the rest of the game kind of ruins the fun. Also, the bugs make the game glitch and lag too often. I had to play through the tutorial three times, because the first two times it bugged out on me. If these issues were ever resolved in the future, I think it has the potential to become a solid game.

Videos

S4 League Videos

Links

S4 League Links

S4 League Official Site
S4 League Wikipedia DE (Informative Wikipedia page, but it's in German. Can be translated with Google!)
S4 League Wikia [Database / Guides]

System Requirements

S4 League System Requirements

Minimum Requirements:

Operating System: XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Celeron 1 GHz
Video Card: GeForce 4 MX series
RAM: 512 MB for XP or 1 GB for Vista / 7 / 8
Hard Disk Space: 3 GB

Recommended Requirements:

Operating System: XP / Vista / 7 / 8
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2 GHz or better
Video Card: GeForce 7600 GS or better
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 3 GB

Music

S4 League Music & Soundtrack


Additional Info

S4 League Additional Information

Developer: GameOn Studio (previously known as Pentavision)
Publisher(s): Alaplaya (NA and EU), Aeria Games (NA and EU), Neowiz Games (Korea)
Composer(s): Bexter, Planetboom, and Forte Escape

Closed Beta: Early 2008 (Alaplaya)
Open Beta:
August 13, 2008 (Alaplaya)
Official Release Date: September 22, 2008 (Alaplaya)

Foreign Release:

South Korea: December 4, 2007 (Neowiz Games / GameOn Studio on the PMang portal)

Development History / Background:

S4 League was developed by South Korean game studio Pentavision, which later became GameOn Studio. Closed beta testing for S4 League began in South Korea back in July 25, 2007 with the original open beta launching on December 4, 2007. The game's success in Korea led to it being licensed for European release in early 2008. Alaplaya secured the English license for the game in early 2008 and opened up the game to Europe and North America. S4 League never became too popular in the U.S., as the servers were always based in Europe. Once Alaplaya shut down, Aeria Games picked up the license for S4 League and operates the game in the U.S. and Europe.