Monday, September 16, 2013

The Few Gameplay Review

I'm playing The Few, a real-time strategy game by BlackMoon Design.

In it, you control the air force of the United Kingdom during the Battle of Britain. The game uses pausable real-time, although the time scale heavily compresses unit and building construction. On the map of England and Wales, you will place radar stations to detect incoming Germans, anti-air defenses, factories to produce units and buildings, and airfields to base squadrons. Each squadron has eight pilots that gain experience points over time and eight planes with health, fuel, and ammunition levels that are remedied at base between missions. The Few utilizes the same enemy engagements over and over again, producing a lot of repetition, and sends more enemy planes than you can reasonably deal with. Once a squadron is scrambled and meets an enemy group in the sky, a real-time battle takes place where you can specify paths and targets for your planes. The AI is mediocre: while planes will attack their designated target, they will ignore any nearby enemy planes once their target is destroyed, leading to needless micromanagement in the heat of battle. Unfortunately, you need to play out each and every battle as auto-resolution causes far too many casualties to your forces. The repetitive, uninspired battles, coupled with simplified, unbalanced map-based nation defense, make The Few less engaging.