Heroes vs Villains: What Side Are You on?
Harrison Harper has hit rock bottom. A promising e-sports competitor, he’s lost everything—his career, wife and kid—to alcohol and gambling. Today, the once famous gamer is but a shadow of his former self, struggling to keep his head out of the water and the loan sharks at bay. Because Harrison is not only broke, he owes a lot of money to the wrong people.
Unable to pay off his debt, he’s sent to spy on a revolutionary game that will make its creator rich beyond belief and forever change the face of the gaming world.
Harrison will use those skills that made him a champion to navigate these new intriguing lands where demons roam free, and steal the software running the simulation. But as he gets deeper into the game, connects with a few other players and rediscovers the meaning of friendship and loyalty, he’s going to have to betray the trust of his friends to save his own life. Will Harrison be able to escape the clutches of the loan shark and his goons? Is he forever doomed to repeat the same mistakes and hurt those close to him?
When the virtual becomes real and the lines between good and evil become blurred, it gets increasingly difficult to make the right decision.
My Opinion: About 200 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
From page one, good character development.
Harry Harrison, former pro gamer turned drunk gets in over his head with a loan shark. Gets one last chance to make good by beta testing the world’s first full immersion VR game and reporting what he finds to the mob. However, once he’s at the testing facility and playing the game Harrison finds the hero inside himself he thought lost forever. Will he still be able to spy on the game for the mob or will he give into the digital temptations posed to him?
The first 10% of the story is character backstory for the main character, Harrison. It’s really well written and interweaves his fall from pro gaming and how he got involved with the loan shark. It also introduces the beta testing facility for the world of Samar.
11%- Actually get to the game where the main character chooses to become a half-breed hunter named Bishop. Be aware there is no explanation of gaming terms or abilities. AOE, NPC, Spec, Execute Ability.
Game stuff is not bad but doesn’t expand the boundaries of what's possible in a full immersion VR game. The game mechanics are standard in current gen MMOs and while accurate, they don’t bring anything new to the table either. Most of the game mechanics are pulled from games like WOW and Elder Scrolls Online. NPCs have question marks and exclamation marks over their heads from quests. Set class abilities are given to players each level with customization allowed at level 10. There are random monster encounters with demons when a rift appears and they pop out and players have to defeat them and close the portal.
LitRPG is a great opportunity to create mechanics that just aren't possible with current games. It can be an opportunity to fulfill the lofty gamer dreams everyone has when they play a new MMO.
Story excels in the real world storyline. Harry Harrison’s road to redemption and the ever present question of ‘will he do what the mob boss says?’ The author also creates strong stories with other players and starts building friendships.
In game storyline is kind of boring until about 50% into the story when Bishop’s guild gets into PVP and goes into their first dungeon. Get more interactions between group members and Bishop starts to be tempted to the dark side in game too.
Good if slightly predictable ending. Overall a good read.
Score: 7 out of 10