Back in September 2017 we took a very early look at En Masse’s new free-to-play MMORPG, Closers. Originally released in Korea, and developed by Naddic Games, it takes traditional MMO systems, bolts on a dazzling anime aesthetic, and injects a retro side-scrolling beat’em up into the action. As a recovering weaboo and long-suffering MMO junkie, it is a combination that I couldn’t help but love. Like many of my contemporaries, I found combat across my opening experience far from challenging. Flashy moves and a satisfying power creep allow players to easily overcome the latest threat, just like any good Shonen manga. The launch of Closers on February 6 is set to change all of that.
Recently we got the opportunity to go toe to toe with an upcoming addition to the game and meet Closers Queen of Nightmares, Tiamat. Launching alongside the official release on February 6, the Tiamat Raid update adds a brand new area to the game and brings the total number of world hubs to nine. Much like the recent Sky Ship, this central location is populated with the same NPCs you would expect, from shops, matter mixers, skill cube vendors, and a bank. It is also the launchpad into the game’s most challenging content yet, the Nightmare World. A series of corrupted realities, this world includes 15 new missions between Gangnam to the Airport, 7 mission for Nightmare World: Horror, and 8 missions from Nightmare World: Terror. These assaults take the missions that players have already conquered and twist them into a set of deadly new challenges.
Also included is the pinnacle of combat in Closers, the Tiamat Raid. Decked in lurid red and gold, Tiamat’s lair is a claustrophobic encounter that pits players against the Queen of Nightmares. This is no instant win operation, however. Even entering the raid requires significant preparation. Keys required to unlock this raid can be crafted using various materials earned in Nightmare World missions. Thankfully, players can jump into Nightmare World encounters up to 6 times, or challenge Tiamat up to 3 times, per day.
This pre-requisite should give players adequate time to level and gear up while they prepare to face Tiamat. As teams progress through the Nightmare World, Tiamat’s traps randomly trigger and mini-bosses spawn, giving players a sense of what is to come. In some respects, it is the same sort of linear progression that is evident throughout Closer’s main campaign and it really is necessary. While the Tiamat raid opens at level 67 it is highly advisable to reach the level 70 cap and take in some backup.
When I got a chance to inspect Tiamat’s liar it became quite evident that despite being obscenely well geared, things were still going to be difficult. Tiamat begins this encounter with no discernible health bar or stats while producing a barrage of devastating explosions. Her veil of secrecy remains firmly in place until players pour on enough damage, after which everything starts to change. Giant laser walls, crippling area of effect attacks that force players to scatter, and a race to destroy a series statues are just some of the surprises in Tiamat's lair. My personal highlight, however, is a particularly twisted game of Simon Says, that forces characters to walk this way or die instantly. With so many traps, overwhelming damage, and a significant debuff during her final form, Tiamat ratchets up the difficulty even further by restricting characters to just four respawns during each raid.
In the end, surviving a Tiamat encounter is going to be down to great reflex and solid experience. The Tiamat raid is the sort of end game content that should keep experienced players actively engaged for some time. There might be a little grind involved in getting there, but Tiamat is a varied and challenging encounter that holds some attractive rewards. Back slot items, chips, high-quality cores, and very cool weapon skin all drop from the Queen of Nightmares. Still, the launch of Closers is not just about the end game loot. New players jumping into the streets of Neo Seol for the first time will also find some surprises waiting for them. In order to help new Closers on their way, En Masse is dropping a new player boost box into the game for new accounts created after launch. There will also be the opportunity to grab global rewards during the Closers Together event. This has already unlocked an elite account bonus for all players and still has several reward tiers left. Finally, anybody logging in during this launch event will grab a chance of winning a custom gaming laptop.
The launch of Closers looks set to give everyone something to play for, whether you’re a veteran or just earning your stripes. If you’re interested in following the Black Lambs or taking down Tiamat then you can find out more on the official Closers website.