Thursday, March 29, 2012

More Future Wars

It's still all laggy and everything but I did say I'd give it an hour, so tonight I gave Future Wars a second chance and played through another half hour.

Okay, I was sort of reserving judgement because of the thing with the lag and only playing the first two missions and not really getting a good look at the game. But I am finding it really hard to care about this game. This story is just terrible.

The units are just blue circles. There's no resonance. What exactly is a "Plasma Trooper" and why does it have an advantage over the wheel-shaped robots? What's going on? What's the point? It's like fighting with units that are called "Unit A" and "Unit B". It's very difficult to get blander.

There are characters at the academy place, but they're just a framing device. They don't participate in any of the action. Nothing they do affects the gameplay at all. Not like Shining Force or Fire Emblem where the characters you control in battle have real personalities and you can connect with them, or at least tell what they're doing.

The guy in heavy armor has high defense, the werewolf fights with his bare claws, the thief moves quickly and can unlock chests, the skinny guy with the bow is weak in close combat but can attack at range, the birdmen can fly over terrain, the wizard throws fireballs, and the guy in the steam-powered mecha-suit moves slowly but packs a punch. This is intuitive stuff, evoking classic tropes that I can instantly recognize and understand without having to think about it--it's just natural. And the battle has a flavor behind it as a result. But here, what do we have? Wheel-shaped robots with guns vs. walker-shaped robots with guns. Could it possibly get any less interesting?

It's possible the low framerates are putting a bee in my bonnet here by just making me generally annoyed at the game, but even trying to look past that, I'm really not invested in anything here. I gave it a chance and it failed to engage me.

So my verdict: thumbs down. Sorry, Future Wars.

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