WarRock is a 3D tactical first person shooter with a variety of game modes. Chose from a variety of roles like Medic, Assault, or Sniper. WarRock supports up to 24 players per match and includes modes with tanks, jetplanes, and other vehicles.
|Publisher: Papaya Play
Release Date: Feb 7, 2007 (NA)
Pros: +Wide variety of maps, modes, guns, and cosmetics. +Low system requirements and file size. +Special Clan vs Clan mode.
Cons: -Only paid members can host most maps. -Hackers routinely unbanned. -Single server location results in lag for most players.
WarRock was one of the first Korean developed shooters to make it to the West. The game offers a variety of game modes including standard lobby based deathmatch, a players vs AI zombie mode, and even large scale Battlefield style maps with fighter jets, trucks, and tanks to pilot. Such a large variety of content coupled with the low system requirements, small file size, and free to play distribution model helped WarRock gain international appeal in the late 2000s.
WarRock Key Features:
- Three-In-One - Three fully featured game modes: Close Quarters Combat (lobby shooter), Battle Group (Battlefield style), and AI Channel (Zombies)
- Squad Goals - 5 distinct roles add gameplay depth and teamwork elements.
- Customize & Accessorize - Multiple characters, guns, costumes, and powerups to purchase for each role.
- Wacky WarRock - Casual & fun games modes such as grenades only to lighten the mood.
- Episodic Content - Years of episodic content updates means WarRock has over 10 years of gameplay to shoot through!
WarRock Featured Video
By, Erhan Altay
WarRock is a free to play first person tactical shooter developed by Korean studio Dream Execution. Released in 2005, the game was heavily influenced by Counter-Strike. The success of the Half-Life mod Counter-Strike marked a sea change in the PC FPS genre worldwide. Developers moved away from the traditional Unreal and Doom style frag fests to more realistic physics and weaponry. WarRock was one of the first successful Asian tactical shooters to follow in Counter-Strike’s footsteps and laid the groundwork for such well known titles as CrossFire (2007) and BlackShot (2008). The game used to be available through Nexon EU but is now available through Papayaplay.
The mid to late 2000s saw a growing interest in the West for free to play titles, particularly those from Korea. Much of this interest was initially focused on MMORPGs, but many American and European publishers also licensed games of other genres, including shooters. GamersFirst, of APB Reloaded fame, was the first to bring WarRock to the West back in early 2007. The game quickly gained a strong following across Europe, North, and South America. WarRock was especially well received in countries where lower system specs were more common. While many American gamers found it a poor substitute for existing titles like Counter Strike Source or Battlefield 2, it was still impressive to see a free to play title combine game modes modeled after those two very different franchises. WarRock’s success and the continued success of the tactical shooter genre lead to the release of many other F2P shooters including Combat Arms and Wolf Team. These newer titles stole much of WarRock’s thunder and eventually, in 2012, the publishing rights for WarRock passed from K2 Network’s GamersFirst portal to Nexon’s European division. In 2014 the South American version, hosted by z8 Games was also closed leaving Nexon Europe’s service as the only option for remaining players from North and South America. Local versions in the Philippines, Japan, and the home country of South Korea are also still in service as of this writing.
WarRock is available through Nexon’s launcher alongside their ever expanding roster of shooters including Combat Arms, Counter Strike: Nexon Zombies, First Assault, and LawBreakers. Despite an initial filesize of only ~700mb at release, WarRock has ballooned in size over the years thanks to consistent updates titled seasons and episodes. The current filesize stands at a bit over 5GB so be sure to have at least 6GB free to support any potential future updates. Admirably for such an old title, WarRock supports modern resolutions and while there’s no windowed option, the default mode operates as borderless fullscreen. There’s no tutorial or character creation process in WarMode. Players simply launch the game, chose a name, and which of the three game modes they want to play. These modes include: Close Quarters Combat (abbreviated as C.Q.C), Battle Group, and AI Channel. Of these, C.G.C is by far the most popular. C.G.C operates as a standard team based lobby shooter with a variety of modes including Death Match and Annihilation (players respawn at the end of the round.) There are several other fun modes such as FFA, melee only, grenades only, and so on to spice things up. One interesting feature in WarRock is the character system. Players can chose to spawn as either an Engineer, Medic, Sniper, Assault, or Heavy Trooper after each death. Each of these character roles has a different set of equipment. For example, the medic is armed with a Medic Kit used to heal herself or other players. The Engineer can repair equipment and vehicles while the Heavy Trooper is armed with a RPG and anti-armor landmines. These character roles have been cited by many gamers as a main draw of WarRock. It introduces a whole new tactical element to the mainly team based gameplay in tactical shooters. Players have to rely on their medic to keep them alive while snipers keep the enemy at bay. These roles are a cliche today, but at the time of its release, few small-scale team focused shooters were doing it.
Battle Group is the most ambitious and, sadly, least played of WarRocks three modes. With up to 16 players per team, for a total of 32, each match takes place in large Battlefield style maps. Players spawn at various bases which are almost comically packed with vehicles. Remember having to race to the few fighter jet spawns in Battlefield 1942? Well, WarRock makes sure there’s a plane for everyone. The controls of the vehicles, and especially the planes, manages to feel both simplistic and wonky concurrently. I was awed by the sheer size and ambition of WarRock’s Battle Group mode. We’re talking tanks, helicopters, trucks, mobile surface-to-air missile batteries, and other vehicles are there to command. The graphics and physics really show their age in Battle Group mode, but it all still more or less works. The third main mode, AI Channel pits players against AI controlled zombies in cooperative matches. AI Channel offers four modes: Survival, Defense, Time Attack, and Escape. The only active mode of these is Survival where 4 players must survive against a certain number of waves of opponents. This mode is quite popular as it comes with item rewards which last for 3-7 days. Swords, guns, helmets, and other goodies can be earned by completing a match. But it can be frustrating finding a match. Often VIP hosts will kick new players since they likely do not have the equipment necessary to complete the task. This leads to perhaps WarRock’s worst feature: its cash shop.
Blood From a Stone
While WarRock may have been one of the first major free to play shooters, it has held on to some of the worst payment models of the genre. I recall being outraged when I first learned guns in Combat Arms had to be rented rather than purchased outright. Many games started out with this rental model but it quickly fell out of favor. Well, not in WarRock. Not only are weapons rented out in intervals of 7 or 30 days at a time using the in-game currency Dinars, but even players willing to pay real cash via NX can only rent most weapons! You want to plop down some cash for that Golden Deagle? Go right ahead, but just remember you can only keep it for 30 days! Perhaps more bizarrely, many items and weapons cannot be purchased at any price. These items are ‘Members Only.’ Membership is also an on-going NX expense which lasts either 30, 90, or 180 days depending on how much you’re willing to part with. To make matters worse, free to play users cannot even host about half of the game’s maps. Mercifully, free users can still join games hosted on these maps by other Premium members. Overall, the cash shop implementation in WarRock is the worst I have seen thus far for a Western release. It is clear that Nexon Europe has given up trying to broaden the game’s appeal at this point and is simply catering (read: milking) the game’s existing user base.
Across The Pond
Nexon’s current servers service three continents, but it's clear the remaining audience for WarRock is centered in Europe. Attempts to play the game during normal American hours is a mixed bag. Often there are half a dozen games or less listed in the Room List. European peak times, by contrast, see the availability of pages of rooms to join. Sadly, it's the C.Q.C mode that sees nearly the totality of player activity. Battle Group mode rarely manages to fill a page of rooms, and even those games are usually at half or less filled. This is particularly painful considering the size and scope of this mode. Even in C.Q.C mode, lag and stutter can be an issue depending on your distance from Europe. If lag can be an issue, and the cash shop is so punishing, why play WarRock. That’s a question I asked in chat while I tried the game out. Some of the answers I got back were illuminating. Despite its age and rough bumps, it still has a core dedicated community. In-game chat was far more active in WarRock than most shooters, even modern ones. It wasn’t just people flaming either. People were talking about clan recruitment, and it seemed as if people recognized each other from game to game. The nice thing about a small community is that you see the same names appearing again and against and eventually you get to know your peers.
WarRock has an extensive achievement system whereby players can earn experience, titles, items, guns, medals, and insignias to show off with. These achievements really provide a sense of progress in the game where there are no rankings. Players can inspect their fellow players profiles to view their achievements, titles, and so on. There’s also a raw counter of total kills, deaths, headshots, playtime, etc on each player’s profile. Some of these numbers are astonishingly high, I encountered players with thousands of hours played. During my investigation, I also got a good sense of where WarRock seems to enjoy a higher degree of popularity. Turkey, Greece, Israel, and Germany seemed to be highly represented. Nationality can be estimated by optional flag flair players can place next to their names. WarRock also hosts automated events to keep players engaged. A ‘Best Offer of the Month’ feature seems to simply grant players free weapons once a month while some games in the Room List were tagged with a Big Heads event while I played. I was reminded of my Goldeneye 64 days while I enjoyed a round of WarRock with big headed characters. Clans also play a large role in WarRock. Players can create or join Clans which contain up to 100 players. Clan members can take part in clan battles and perhaps just as important, clans add a social layer to the game. Whether its achievements, clans, or some other feature that keeps players coming back, WarRock is still standing over a decade after its release.
Final Verdict: Poor
WarRock was a groundbreaking title when it was first released. It offered a large variety of game modes, had more customization options than most retail titles, and it was one of the first free to play shooters available outside Asia. Sadly, the game has not aged well since 2005. The item shop is miserly, the player base is dwindling, and updates are now few and far between.
WarRock System Requirements
Operating System: Windows 98 or better
CPU: Intel Pentium 3 700 Mhz or AMD Equivalent
Video Card: GeForce 2 MX
RAM: 256 MB
Hard Disk Space: 6 GB
Operating System: Windows 2000 or better
CPU: Intel Pentium 4 2.0 GHz or better
Video Card: GeForce FX 5700 / ATI 9200 or better
RAM: 1 GB
Hard Disk Space: 6 GB
Those running WarRock on newer operating systems like Windows 7 and 10 require significantly better system specifications than the recommended requirements
WarRock Music & Soundtrack
WarRock Additional Information
Developer: Dream Execution
Game Engine: Jindo
Global: Papaya Play (Previously by GamersFirst and NexonEU)
Korea: Dream Execution
Philippines: Massive Gaming
Closed Beta 1: November 2004
Closed Beta 2: March 2005
Open Beta: May 2005
EU/NA Release: February 6, 2007
Development History / Background:
WarRock was developed by the Korean studio Dream Execution using their in-house Jindo Game Engine. The 3D tactical shooter entered closed beta testing in late 2004 and saw a domestic release the following year. California based K2 Network was the first to bring WarRock to the West through its GamersFirst portal at the start of 2007. Publishing rights passed to Nexon Europe in May 2012. WarRock enjoyed a high degree of popularity following its initial Western release, but interest has waned in recent years. The current European server now serves the entire international playerbase as no other regional publishers still carry the game.