Okay, first off I want to say I was given the key for this game to review on PC. Second, I’d like to wonder what other people are talking about when they praise this game.
On the official Steam page, the game has the likes of Joystiq & PocketTactics praising this game like it’s the next generation XCOM! Sorry to disappoint 3000AD but you’ve not got a fan in me.
The only reason I can think of that anybody might give this game a decent score is if it plays a lot better on tablet than PC, but surely if you’re going to do a PC port, you make sure it’s at least as good as your mobile version of the game, right?
Well not me thinks in this case. Now enough of me blabbering and some actual info for your perusal.
So from what little story actually gets put across to the player, you’re trying to retake a base or planet or system, not entirely sure which. In the mean time your job as the commander of an elite group of marines is to follow a strict set of objectives. You start off by having to infiltrate a ship and the first couple missions have you systematically take over that ship until you eventually take the bridge and control the vessel outright.
Once you do this you get two space missions to complete which have you control your new ship instead of your marines. I have to say that these moments should be fun breaks in the usual team based gameplay. Except they are pretty much spoiled by dreadful control mechanisms.
This one is gettings its own score and written section today, that’s how bad it is.
You would have thought after forty years of games being on several platforms, people would have gotten the basics of a mouse and keyboard/joystick/touch down right. Well 3000AD seem to have thrown all that out of the window.
Want to select your whole team or parts of it? You can’t. Wish to easily move people around to different areas on the map? You can’t. Want to switch weapons on the fly and ask your team to push forward while attacking anything that comes into sight? You can’t.
The basics of the controls are done with the mouse, you select a soldier and then click on an area around him to bring up a menu of options. Only, you get a certain selection of options. To get the rest, like swap weapon, you have to drag the soldier, without him selected, as if you’re about to move him in the supposedly easier method, (you often accurately select the right soldier but the game decides that you wanted the man a couple of meters away instead,) and once you have the drag meter out you have to let it rest on the soldier himself to get the menu up. A slight catch though, leave the dragged section resting on one location for a second and it’ll think you want the incorrect menu up over where you were pointing it.
Sound confusing? That’s because it is. There are some other ways of going about getting certain menus to pop up but none of them are user-friendly or explained in any depth. The only section which seemed easy to control was the starship. Controlling one unit was a hell of a lot easier than four marines. Surely if you’re lording your tactical gameplay about the web, comparing it against XCOM, you’d make sure it was just as usable and friendly as XCOM at the same time.
The only idea that springs to mind as to why this is the case, is if they had to quickly port a version to the PC from the touch screen touting iOS and Android versions. This would present a problem when it came to redesigning the layout of the game and controls, but it is doable. The latest XCOM did it just fine porting from great console/PC controls to a touch screen.
Well if anybody thought it was going to get better, I’m sorry to report, it does not.
For an iOS & Android game, the graphics would be decent on a small screen. Blown up to an average 15″ – 17″ screen has not done the game any favours. Textures are bland and models look rather awkward at most times. Christ, even the kneeling mechanic behind so-called cover doesn’t work 90% of the time.
The only saving grace is the fact that weapons fire and explosions look half decent, specially when viewed during a largish fight.
Well, to match the decent weapons fire and explosions, the sound effects for this do actually work well.
As for the music, well it seems to be rather absent from most of the missions I’ve done and has certainly never struck a cord that worked well with the games environment or gameplay. The main menu theme is listen-able, if not for very long.
Everybody ready for this?
Line Of Defense Tactics prides itself on its lore, that it says it is also part of its upcoming MMO, god forbid.
Trouble is, creating a game based around rather random planets, starships and space stations with an assortment of marines, weapons and enemies, doesn’t really count as being lore in my mind. The only real detailed lore is the stuff stored in a database on the main menu. Surely that’s the sort of stuff you infiltrate into the game and allow it to be explored, found, discovered and enjoyed while working through the game!
Add on top of that the fact that the game clearly wants to be on the same level as something like XCOM, yet fails miserably in every department, puts across the idea that this game was done lazily in the first place and then ported even more lazily to the PC platform.
When it says the game is a strategy and tactical game, what it really means is that you can run through most levels and shoot everybody while winning the mission. Cover doesn’t work, soldiers simply stand behind it and carry on shooting like normal. They also take damage like normal in most instances too.
Controls make the game feel like you’ve got to play with one hand tied behind your back, as your second-hand is useless anyway.
The game does try to offer some customization which is reasonable if it made much difference. Pick one of each weapon on your missions and you’re pretty much done in most cases. Occasionally you’ll have to knock someone out or protect an area from enemies for a certain time limit, (enemies that never actually arrive,) but in most cases the idea that you have to use strategy or tactics in Line Of Defense Tactics is laughable at best.
You do get to control a starship, some vehicles and occasionally an android or two. Add that to sixteen missions and a handful of extra side missions and you’ll not be kept busy for any length of time or even entertained in most aspects. The missions themselves could probably kill you from boredom. 80% of the time you’ll have to kill everything in sight, the rest of the time you might actually have to do something as well as killing everything in sight. Yuppie!
For an even bigger punch to the guts, you can get the game on the mobile scene for free with in game purchases. On PC it costs you £18.99\$25. Hows that for a swipe at your wallet.
And from what I’ve been hearing after nearly finishing this review, I do not have high hopes for the developer behind the project. There are lets say, a few rumours going around that someone on the team may be censoring reviews on Steam. Flagging the bad reviews for false reasons is not appreciative when feedback is what helps improve your game. Not a good start to any new IP series. If this is a sign of what the MMO has to offer than I think 3000AD need to go back to the drawing boards and rethink their strategy.
The game feels like it should have been put onto Early Access and given to the fans to bash it into shape. Instead it released into full view and I’m sorry to say that a possible decent game as vanished into a nightmare of control problems and boring gameplay.
- Graphics For Mobile Aren't Bad
- Interesting General Idea For A Game
- Awful Control Scheme
- Non-Existent Story
- WHAT LORE!