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Is Illuvium the first fun crypto RPG video game?

Blockchain games have been quite popular among crypto enthusiasts for a long time because they use cryptocurrency as an in-game tool.

In these kinds of games, blockchain technology is used to secure the absolute ownership of game items, represented by tokens.

For example, by purchasing an in-game nonfungible token (NFT), a player can be sure that he possesses a truly rare item that can be stored and controlled outside the game. This ownership provides a completely new player-driven economy where players can create their own unique content.

However, crypto games are still far from the legacy PC or console games in terms of quality and gameplay, perhaps because the world is still cautious about the blockchain technology itself and is not ready to integrate it into the multi-billion dollar industry. Nevertheless, there has been some progression in this direction.

One of the largest companies in the gaming industry, Ubisoft, announced plans to integrate blockchain tech and nonfungible tokens into games back in 2021, but no further news has been heard so far. The company also invested in Animoca brands, sparking a price spike in the latter’s game tokens.

Illuvium: A typical NFT game?

In the first quarter of 2022 select players were testing the game in private beta. Illuvium aims to become the first AAA project among decentralized finance (DeFi) games.

Illuvium is an open-world role-playing game (RPG) built on the Ethereum blockchain. The player starts the game in a crash-landed transport ship in an intergalactic fleet on a dying planet. Because of the accident, the player cannot leave the planet, so they discover mysterious creatures, illuvials, which can be captured in crystal fragments.

Each illuvial has its own properties and creatures are divided into classes and have special abilities. Some illuvials are more common than others. There is a blending mechanism in which they can merge into rarer powerful forms and rarer variations. The creatures are presented in the form of NFTs that can be won in-game or purchased on the in-game IlluviDEX and external exchanges.

Screenshot from a battle.

As a rule, NFT games look extremely unattractive and are absolutely boring to play. 

The gameplay comes down to collecting NFT items and then exchanging them for certain tokens. A specific problem with Ethereum games was overload, which made the gameplay very tiring at key moments.

The Illuvium development team aims to solve this problem by integrating the Immutable X layer-2 protocol. This network greatly improves the performance of Ethereum-based projects.

With Immutable X, the project ensures that players can sell their NFT tokens with zero fees and instant transactions. NFT assets are stored in the IMX protocol.

Unlike the majority of projects, where game mechanics serve only as an add-on to token farming, Illuvium really looks interesting. From a visual point of view, Illuvium, powered by the Unreal engine, can be compared to major titles like The Outer Worlds or Borderlands.

How to play

The game, which is available for download for PC, starts with the player customizing a character and choosing a robot assistant.

Users play not only their illuvials but also as themselves. The choice of available weapons depends on the character. Weapons can be given additional power with the help of rare minerals.

On the surface of the planet, the player will meet creatures with whom they can engage in battles. First, players can use free tools that can tame some weak illuvials. After a few victories, illuvials become more powerful and can be strengthened with special items. 

Developers give players the opportunity to study the gameplay without investment. In order to develop to visit new places in the Illuvium world and open new areas of the map in the future, players will need to unlock the Obelisks and purchase more powerful illuvials with Ether (ETH).

It is worth noting the game’s combat requires players to think and strategize, lest they be defeated in a matter of seconds. 

Players need to develop strong units that have good synergy with each other. Good armor can also decide the outcome of the battle and can be forged from items found on the surface of the planet or purchased from IlluviDEX.

According to Kieran Warwick, co-founder of the project, the combat in Illuvium is a combination of several genres of online games:

“We took the DNA of time-honored autobattlers like Teamfight Tactics and merged it with competitive strategy like the games Hearthstone and Starcraft. The exciting new hybrid of the two pushes skill and strategy to the absolute limit of engaging gameplay. Our studio’s focus is on creating interesting, visually-heightened, player-friendly experiences.” 

Although many illuvials have already been developed, the developers aim to expand their number and properties. New illuvials will be released at regular intervals as rarity increases.

Nowhere without tokens

The game’s native token ILV can be bought on Binance, KuCoin, Poloniex, Gate.io and other exchanges. ILV enables holders to participate in the development of the network. Owners of ILV receive the right to vote on determining the amount of bonus payments. 100% of game and sales revenues will be distributed to members of the ILV community by default.

The game seems really promising as its audience is growing steadily. ILV went on sale at the very beginning of 2021 at $53 per token and has since skyrocketed to $606, according to data from CoinMarketCap.

Promising Future?

Illuvium promises to be an interesting project that can unify an NFT game and a well-designed RPG game. Thoughtful mechanics, rewards and modern graphics could allow it to take a leading position in the industry.

Illuvium is a fully 3D game. All the details of the game world are thought out quite well by the project team. 

One of the game’s main strengths is the plot, which is critical for any RPG and sets it apart from most crypto games that are mostly concentrated on farming tokens. 

Another strength is the game’s scaling mechanism, which reportedly allows it to host hundreds of thousands of players around the world. In an “ordinary” RPG game, users play on different servers in order to avoid congestion that leads to lags when playing. In Illuvium, developers use a scaling model incorporating cloud storage resources that, they say, will unite the world of the game. 

At the moment, the Illuvium team is focused on marketing and promotion. The game has appeared on lists of the most anticipated games of the year. The only anxiety for gamers is that the developers still haven’t finalized the game, but they hope to start deploying an open Beta version later in 2022.

The views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Cointelegraph.com. Every investment and trading move involves risk, you should conduct your own research when making a decision.