Swap Fire’s officially described as follows:
“Swap Fire’s a shooter with a literal twist. Shooting other players rips a hole in spacetime thus swapping your locations. You’ll have to commit to losing in order to win in Drop Zone, manage spacetime to dominate the map in Control Point, master the art of teleportation to go for the gold in Swoccer, and much more!
The year is 2139. Retro Quantum Industries (RQI) has invented the next wave of transportation. Forget autonomous vehicles, these scientists invented teleportation! Unfortunately, even 2139’s technologically advanced citizens are terrified to have their bodies teleported through time and space. After spending billions of dollars on R + D, the company cannot afford commercial failure.
The solution is Swap Fire! A high stakes game show, featuring teenage contestants utilizing RQI’s teleportation technology. Sales and usage of consumer grade personal teleporters spiked after the first season of Swap Fire, in which Justin Agitprop was crowned as the Swap Fire Valedictorian. Now, it’s time for season two. The fans are eager and the executives at RQI are more so!”
Well that certainly sounds safe, what could possibly go wrong?
Now fair warning here: That description is more of the story behind the game than what I got from actually playing the game. I booted it up with no expectations and heard nothing about it prior to reviewing. But after reading it ,it makes so much more sense now. The voice over acting is extremely cheesy but I think it matched the vibe they were going for with the super game showy voice work. If you’ve played either of the N64 eras legends Goldeneye or Perfect Dark, you can easily read this game’s mechanics and feel had to have been inspired by them. Which honestly for me was a pleasant surprise. The game breaks down into various challenge modes during the competition that varies with each iteration. My favorite was the soccer/Rocket League-esque game that I completely dominated in and was able to win many matches by simply destroying everyone else even if I didn’t win any of the other challenges!
There are different modes including capture the flag, the above-mentioned soccer style game, king of the hill and more. However, each one has the same premise as you are armed with a laser rifle that will swap locations with the target you hit. This causes much fast paced chaos and confusion on all sides! My personal favorite would be to line up a shot, jump off a cliff and then swap blast my opponent causing them to plummet to their doom instead of myself.
The innovation behind this game is what makes it great in my humble opinion. It’s really hard to put a finger on what it is. It’s like Goldeneye met and fell in love with Portal, then they had a baby with a little bit of crazy Smash Bros-like unpredictability. The decision to bring this title to the Wii U console seems like a good fit for this type of game for sure. However one of the downsides is its unfortunate timing of release. With the Switch looming over gamers’ heads many have long since abandoned the Wii U, and considering this game is multiplayer heavy I’m not sure how long this game with have legs for. I easily have enjoyed the time spent with it, and I’m sure it’ll be a great foundation for whatever this team has next up their sleeves. The single-player options didn’t seem to have too much meat on the bone for me, but that’s fine: Multiplayer is where it’s at with this one. My friends and I had some good times playing 4-player couch matches like in the good old days of gaming.
The graphics and music design are simplistic but don’t detract or add anything to my experience with the game, and seem to fit the direction the developers wanted to achieve. Clearly this was a labor of love and I hope leads to great success to the team at Midnight Status.