Colonel James Raytak is about to die. The 93-year-old combat veteran is living his last days in a nursing home; his only hope for survival is an experimental Medpod life support system controlled by an Artificial Intelligence.
Co-developed by the world’s largest gaming company, Qualitranos the Artificial Intelligence will also control the soon to be released game Limitless Lands. Without its creator’s knowledge, the Artificial Intelligence decides the best course of treatment is to import its patient’s consciousness directly into the game.
Colonel Raytak must dust off his military training and lead his virtual troops in a fight to repair his broken body and mind while exploring the Limitless Lands.
My Opinion: 227 pages, $0.99, Available on Kindle Unlimited
The story has an unique setting, starting with a very succinct explanation of the tech that allows for full immersion as well as a little world building for the modern world that would combine VR, an aging military population, and medical pods that allow for full immersion and long term care. The main character (MC), James Raytak, is a military veteran at the end of his life. His son, and employe of the top VR gaming company creates a medical pod that will not only provide life support, but medical care and he’s the MC is the 1st test subject.
The main character (MC) is in the game by the 11% mark. Once in the game world, the MC gets a unique class based on his military experience, Commander, which lets him order the troops assigned to him during a fight and provide some troop wide buffs. The downside, is that he can only earn XP from his soldiers victories or from quests. The other game mechanic aspects of the story are fairly standard: Character sheets, stats, quest notifications, XP, etc. There are also very minor town building and PvP aspects to the story.
The story itself isn’t complicated and amounts to travel, some world building, setup for future storylines, and a good bit of fighting. Unfortunately, the combat in the story was a bit meh for me. There are some visceral description, but much of it and the game world storyline is described as military fiction. Calling out formations, command structure, military lingo, chain of command issues, giving and taking orders. That kind of stuff. The story is supposed to be set in a fantasy RPG world, and the faction the MC chooses is based on the Roman army, but there’s so much modern military lingo and organization structure that it just felt off.
Another thing that just bothered me is that the MC gets a unique class of commander and multiple platoons of soldiers to command the first day he plays the game and at level 1. For me, it felt like the MC was just given this OP class and a bunch of power when he never did anything in game to earn it. The same thing goes for his troops. Outside of combat they’re described as green recruits just out of boot camp, but in combat they work like a well oiled machine performing complex formations and maneuvers that the reader was never shown they trained to learn or even practiced. The reader is told the soldiers practiced, but it’s never shown. So it feels like they get a bunch of skills and military proficiencies they didn’t earn.
Overall, the story just didn’t land for me. Part of that are the issues I mentioned, but another part is that military fiction just isn’t my thing. However, if you really like military fiction you might like the story more than I did.
Score: 6 out of 10