Monday, May 04, 2015

Verdun Gameplay Review

I'm playing Verdun, a World War I first-person shooter by M2H Game Studio and Blackmill Games.

The online only game primarily features the frontlines game mode, where the opposing sides alternate attacking the enemy’s trenches. Experience gained during battle earns career points that are used to unlock different loadouts for each class. Each four-person squad has slightly different classes, including officers (who can call in artillery or gas strikes), assault specialists, snipers, machine gunners, and riflemen. The attack-defend flow works extremely well within the setting, and results in a compelling experience. Verdun also plays realistically with one-shot kills, emphasizing using cover and moving in groups; teamwork is necessary since most classes only come equipped with one weapon. Those looking for a unique, brutally realistic online shooter will be quite pleased in the trenches of Verdun.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Gratuitous Space Battles 2 Gameplay Review

I'm playing Gratuitous Space Battles 2, a strategy game by Positech Games.

While the game only features eleven enemy fleets to battle against, more content comes from user-submitted challenges that can be downloaded. Gratuitous Space Battles 2 also has mod and Steam Workshop support, and the new graphics engine looks marginally better than before. More hull types are found in the robust ship design editor, where components such as weapons, defenses, engines, power supplies, and fighter bays are placed; visuals can also be altered. Winning a mission grants honor (more of which is earned by using less ships), used to unlock new parts. All of the strategy is done before the battle begins, where formations are forged and attack priorities and ranges are tediously set. The AI then does its best to execute your fool-proof plan. In the end, Gratuitous Space Battles 2 is a gratuitous sequel that lacks any major new features.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Brother Against Brother: The Drawing of the Sword Gameplay Review

The game comes with twenty-five scenarios spread over five maps (four battles); the goal of each scenario is to capture victory locations within the time limit. Online server-based play-by-e-mail is available, as are a large range of difficulty levels. While the interface utilizes handy color-coded boxes for easier order of battle identification, the rest of the presentation is very dated, with poor, low-resolution graphics. General orders may be given to an army, corps, division, or brigade, such as a combat focus or rally command. In addition, regiments may be issued movement, formation, and facing commands; firing upon enemy units is handled automatically. Terrain, weather, line of sight, fog of war, unit activation, supplies, and morale all figure into the complex combat calculations. The AI isn’t the sharpest opponent, playing the game far too cautiously as a whole. Despite the use of some innovative interface and command options, Brother Against Brother: The Drawing of the Sword is not as appealing as other strategy games that cover the American Civil War.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Dungeons 2 Gameplay Review

I'm playing Dungeons 2, a dungeon management game by Realmforge Studios and Kalypso Media.

Featuring a bland campaign and a skirmish mode limited to only four maps, Dungeons 2 also supports online multiplayer. The interface is poor: selecting specific units or objects in a crowd is nearly impossible, it is difficult to click on the vague notifications, and placing objects requires a multi-step process. In order to keep the dungeon running smoothly, workers are hired, areas are dug out for resources (mainly gold) and new rooms, objects are placed, fighters are hired, and research is done. Occasionally, hero units venture into the dungeon and they must be dealt with, along with the general management of the dungeon by providing the workers with wages and alcohol. Units will eventually engage enemy units, but less micromanagement in this area would have been appreciated. In the end, Dungeons 2 is a fairly unimpressive sequel.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Convoy Gameplay Review

I'm playing Convoy, a tactical roguelike action game by Convoy Games.

The goal is to collect parts to repair your damaged spaceship. Resources used to purchase new items or vehicles and fuel your convoy are earned by completing missions and surviving encounters with the warring factions present on the game map. During combat, the main convoy vehicle cannot be controlled directly, but support vehicles can be issued move and attack orders. However, the main vehicle does have access to abilities that can be placed. The difficulty is high, and the somewhat randomized loot makes each encounter slightly different. Similar to FTL, Convoy introduces another unique take on the roguelike.