Humanity, as we know it, is dead. (In this game, I mean.)
Ponder on the thought for a second. Most of the time, when a game focuses on the brink of extinction, it usually places it before the event on a timeline. What do I know, though? Hypothetically I’m one of the piles of ashes being used to power some primate’s makeshift jetpack.
With the world now free of the stink that is human civilization, three groups of sentient, intelligent lifeforms now stand ready to wrangle the reigns that are history in this turn-based strategy game. The first is our once enslaved industrial robots, once meant to clean our toilets and now are tasked with preserving the remnants of mankind. The other two gangs were once a single unit of radioactive, hesitantly written sci-fi creatures that survive by hosting and mind controlling the local fauna. Having dealt with humans before the whole everyone’s dead event, half of them, the Wraaks, want to wipe every trace of humans off the map. The other group, the Anthropologist (holy crap these names are off the fly of their seat), want to forget about the conflicts and instead try to adapt to the technology humans left behind.
In a shocking series of events, the three hate each other for one reason or another. It’s as if they want to allow three different races to have turn-based combat with each other, with no real advantage over each other!
To put it bluntly, someone at the production meeting hypothetically asked: “Oh hey, what if we took Star Craft’s themes, made it Planet of the Apes, and then chugged it through a Xcomm battle style with cel-shading?”
And so a silverback gorilla got it on with a dishwasher, they hit the baby with microwaves, taught it to shoot a bow, and then trained it how to efficiently execute their enemies with terrain conditions, destructible obtrusions, and movement distance in mind.
The strategy is decent, but having started with the tutorials, everything felt like a slog for even a rookie like me who needed to be whipped back into shape anyhow. The story introduction was too corny that even I couldn’t give it the appreciation it probably deserves, and I don’t like any of the races. Fighting with a cleaning robot that throws dishes at his foes, all the meanwhile spouting witty one-liners that didn’t make the cut in The Last Action Hero doesn’t appeal to me. Neither do the animals who want to sound like they’re either on crack or they heard too much of the voice acting in World of Warcraft: Mist of Pandaria. Yes, I am specifically quoting that expansion. Don’t ask me why, though, it hurts too much. Too much.
The point of a review is to be as objective as possible, however, and whether or not I like the folks I command to conquer does not mean it’s a bad game. In fact, I would go as far as to praise how smooth they planned the battle mechanics out, if not for the fact there’s no originality in the fighting. The animation was smooth and refined, and the music felt like it would the kind I would raise a glass to after a nightcap or two.
I think what really threw me off was that it immediately asked for me to sign into their login, not Steam’s. A Steam game I never heard of asking me to give them an email, username and password raised an eyebrow on my end. Granted, I can see that they want more direct access to the server they have going on, with matchmaking players on the fly and such. It asks a lot for so little though when you have no idea what to expect.
All in all, it looks like a fun game for a wide, niche audience that just doesn’t include me. It’s currently marked at $14.99 on the Steam store. Compared to a previously mentioned game similar to this that’s on sale right now for $20, well… it’s going to have a hard time making its mark at the moment. Even though they have what looks to be a promising three-part campaign and an expansive multiplayer matchmaker, they’ll need to appeal to the players straight off the get-go. Let’s hope Studio Chahut finds the community it needs and deserves.