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Totem

Totem
  • Release Date: Nov. 13th, 2012 (Beta)
  • Publisher: Gamefuse
  • Developer: Tip Cat
  • Genre: Strategy
  • Official Site

Totem is a new free-to-play browser-based action MMO featuring  rich strategic battles. It provides the basic role-playing elements but places great emphasis on the strategic battlefields. Collect a wide range of units, combine them tactically against different enemies, and lead them to victory on the enemy’s dead body. If strategic war is your thing, Totem will be your game.

Totem

Totem starts with a story-telling flash, which introduces the backdrop of 7 races banding together to defeat the Devil Camorace thousands of years ago but falling apart now by going wars against one another. Despite the back story, it only offers 4 different races with one in grey (unavailable yet) for you to choose from in the initial, which is probably because Totem is still in beta. To pass over the discrepancy, you can select to be Human, Orc or Tula’an (for now), each race with a few optional portraits. Enter a name, and you are good to go.

The game is all about strategic battles during which you command up to 5 different types of units and charge forward while pushing back enemies’ to kill the enemy leader to win. When you are firstly in, you are on your own but you will gather your units quickly, say, 6 unit types at Lv. 5 which are all given freely at level-up. At first, you may delight on your growing squad and increasingly crowded battlefield, but you gradually will direct attention to the different abilities and skills of your varied fighters.

Currently, all in-game units are generally categorized into Defense, Attack and Magic. But it’s just a rough classification. In fact, every unit has its own unique skills and even those in the same category possess abilities of their own. Both Dawn Priest and Drumer are magic-casters, but the former is more of a healer (for magic-caused damage) and an attacker while the latter being a supporter who increases/decreases physical attack of nearby friendly/enemy units, for instance.

Whatever is your initial race, you will soon get your first squad, small yet functioning, which includes one or two types in each category. Further on, you can continue to grow your squad by generating more units to your collection. You can sometimes win Unit Cards and your Racial Soul by battles, which can be combined then to generate the corresponding unit but with random abilities and skills. Too slow to meet the increasing challenge? You can directly buy these two items anytime you want in the cash shop with tokens.

The more unit types you get, the more options you have. But to emerge victoriously in battles, you need to make the right choice. You need to adjust your squad of five units against different enemies and use them with tactics during battle. Learn the power and fragile point of each unit, summon the most effective types to gain control of the battle totem for bonus buff and gold, use Gold and Mana with a little calculation, catch the right timing for the use of magic or healing, and keep calm and adjust strategies to turn the tiding when you are losing. The battle goes on quickly and it is more than randomly sending more soldiers to die in your panic.

Totem has a quite clear structure based on the bulk of battles. It offers the single-player campaign for you to challenge NPC enemies winning XP, Gold and random rewards like soul chest and unit cards. And it also unlocks the Arena early at Lv. 5 allowing you to battle against other players for Honor, XP and other rewards. Both PvE and PvP provide two different game modes, one accessible in the beginning and the other unlocked at certain level. To follow the campaign, you set off with Conquest winning one stage to unlock another, and can start try the alternative Hero Island once you reach Lv. 10. As to the arena, you start out dueling another player, and then win access to the other mode at Lv. 13 (which is not available during beta but highly likely to be team-based PvP to differ the 1vs.1).

Basically, Totem is all about strategic battles, with other features like role-playing and gear upgrading kept in minimum. If you like pondering and carrying out strategic calculation in battles, you can have a lot fun with the various unit types and magic. But if you are not that into it, you’d better pass for you don’t have much else to do in it.

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