War World: Tactical Combat
Robots, mechs, heavy gears, … everyone just wants to play a big bad robot. It just looks so tough. Therefore it’s nice to see Third Wave and Lighthouse Interactive presenting a new game which might appeal to that killer-robot which hides in everyone of us. The title, War World: Tactical Combat, unfortunately doesn’t sound too original. Does the same count for the game as well? Let’s see…
A normal game of War World goes mostly like this: you start out with your equipped robot, you seek out enemies, give ’em hell, pick up their health after they die, grab some ammo which is scattered around the arena and repeat, that’s basically it. There are some game modes which flavour this kind of gameplay a bit more but it mostly remains pretty simple. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but you could very well ask yourself if something like the Arcade mode, with its hundred levels (not maps, only the robots keep changing), is really enough as an ‘extra’ next to the usual modes you would expect from a shooter, like (Team) Deathmatch. Even the ‘Custom Game’ is so goddamn standard in shooters you even wonder why this had to be put on the back of the box as a feature. Because there is nothing more… I sought a little hope for more things to do in the hands-on preview when I discussed the airplane/jet carrier. It drops new robots in the battlefield and you can even take it down in some cases but that’s all there is to do with it.
There are over fifty different systems you can install on your robot. All with a different price and certain advantages/disadvantages to keep things balanced (lots of damage but low firing rate for weapons f.e., and stuff like that). It’s not too extensive but most of these rocket launchers, mini-guns, lasers, shields, mines, mortars and thrusters got their own effects (visual and audio) and specifics. So in every difficulty level of the game, whether you have enough cash to buy the top-end hardware or not, there is at least something different about the feel and look of the game. Not so handy is that you have to keep configuring your mech again and again. It’s not like you can save a certain configuration, you always have the same one you used the last time, doesn’t matter in which mode you play. You are also stuck with mere six robot models. Their appearance can’t be changed, aside from some simplistic painting options.
The graphical effects do their job with the different colours, rockets that seek their targets in a cool way but don’t expect the latest treats like HDR or so, the engine looks quite a bit aged. No physics either but I won’t say that that’s such a big loss in a fast action game like this. The number of maps is on the low side. Nine different ones, with each a distinctive theme but it doesn’t really provide enough variation. It’s a mystery why they aren’t larger either. Sounds are ok, nothing that elevates the whole experience but also no real bummers (except perhaps for the underwhelming announcer).
It’s a shame that more intriguing multiplayer modes like Capture the Flag or Bomb Assault are only available in multiplayer. Why? It’s a pain in the ass to even get playing since you’re wondering where all the action is (read: the game isn’t that terribly popular). One can perhaps not blame the developers for that, but on the other hand, some support for other matchmaking systems like Xfire or All Seeing Eye might have helped.
War World doesn’t bring much new stuff to the table. In fact, you could say it is as generic as any third person robot shooter can be. Not that we have been spoiled with many of such shooters for PC the last few years but still, the features of War World are too standardfare and the game itself is below average. The lower price and the low system requirements aren’t enough of an excuse for that. If you’re just looking for a quick and VERY basic action game, who knows, then this might still be something for you. Trying out the demo might answer your dilemma whether you should buy it or not.