Real-life war is both horrific and costly, but fictional wars can be fun and affordable, today lets take a look at ten ways to go to war, without breaking the piggy bank.
1) Armor Clash 3.
Armor Clash 3 is the very essence of a tank-based RTS distilled to its most basic format, you build a few buildings, then pump out a small selection of troops and vehicles.
The gameplay, reminded me of my favourite levels from Soviet Strike and Nuclear Strike, in these levels you commanded a few tanks and focused on holding choke points, and while the gameplay loop is incredibly basic in Armor Clash 3, it’s very enjoyable.
The AI isn’t groundbreaking, but for a retro-style RTS it’s excellent, the AI launched several attacks on my base, including a three-pronged attack that was performed with perfect coordination.
Armor Clash 3, is very simple and offers little in the way of gameplay outside skirmish mode.
2) Running With Rifles.
Back in the early 2000’s I loved the Army Men games from the late 90s, the games while simple design-wise provided a considerable amount of both fun and mechanical complexity.
Having replayed them recently I find the enemy AI to be a fair bit smarter than a lot of games today and overall they were a polished product for the time.
Running with Rifles, reminds me very much of the feeling I had playing those games, while it lacks the charms of the little plastic men, it retains much of the same mechanical gameplay, and as such is a fun game both for single or multiplayer.
Bonus points for having a truck that handles EXACTLY like the truck in Army Men games, I loved squashing enemies with that thing.
3) Death to Spies.
Death to Spies, looks its age, and while the graphics were pretty solid for 2007 they are tolerable in 2020, its clearly a game from early-mid 000s, the character models, while a huge leap up from those in the 90s don’t make up for the robotic looking animations, often games of these era had animations that looked in-organic and overall very immersion breaking.
For the time this game was very well made, with a wide array of mechanics that aided in being a spy, a lot of the mechanics are similar to Hitman, and the setting of WW2 is a fun playground for those who don’t want to play a hired gun.
Unless you have a severe objection to being a Hitman, have burning nostalgia for this title or wish to explore games of a bygone era, I cannot recommend this game in 2020, as there are far better options available.
4) Wolfenstein: The Old Blood.
Wolfenstein: The Old Blood, is rather short, and by short I mean under half a dozen hours, but that is honestly ok, the gameplay is smooth, the story engrossing, the voice acting top-notch as with all new Wolfenstein games, graphically it is standard triple-A fair, nothing groundbreaking but still very high quality.
Combat is where Wolfenstein games shine, and Old Blood is no exception, it is a very well made shooter with a decent selection of weapons and perks, my personal favourite feature is the ability to dual-wield assault rifles.
There is a decent-sized cast of characters which all contribute to the story, and the dialogue contains many amusing quips from our hero, including some that genuinely had me laughing out loud, my personal favourite was the Hot Dog scene, I will not spoil it, but it is worth looking out for!
For those offended by the use of profanity, I must warn you Wolfenstein games may not be for you, as the profanity flies thick and fast, in addition, the level of gore for some may be excessive.
5) Choplifter HD.
Growing up in the ’90s the Strike series was the pinnacle of helicopter gaming.
Thankfully gameplay loop of Choplifter HD is very similar; you perform missions, take out radars, rescue people of interest etc.
The controls for the chopper feel very smooth, and while the weapons look a little cartoony, it feels like a solid and well-made title, one which the developers clearly put effort into.
There are a wide selection of Helicopters to unlock for free, as well as several more for $1, indie flight games rarely impress me, but this one did.
As a huge fan of zombies, I must admit to enjoying the Zombie mode; it was a lot of fun extracting people from the zombie apocalypse.
6) Chivalry: Medieval Warfare.
For all its haters and detractors, Chivalry: Medieval Warfare isn’t a poor game, in fact, it’s a fantastic pvp title of the kind not seen very often, its main problem over the years has been a mix of salty players, team killers, and cheaters, but these are the plagues of every pvp multiplayer title.
Graphics, map design and sound, are all fairly good, but clearly showing their age
The one area that Chivalry: Medieval Warfare excels is at combat, the added danger of losing your head or taking off your friends head adds a tactical layer to what could be a mindless hack and slash affair.
As more and more rivals to the genre come out, the population of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare will erode until there are only the hardcore players left, already most casual have gone, and semi-casual followed shortly after them, we are mostly left with a rather bizarre mix of newbies from bundles and vets who love the game, and rightly so, its a very good title and a heck of a lot of fun.
The veteran community of Chivalry: Medieval Warfare have stuck around through good and bad, they won’t be going anywhere with community-hosted dedicated servers & server browser, this game will continue in some niche form long after the developers have sunset the official servers.
Thanks to the powerful CryEngine Warface looks fantastic, the combat equally impressive, and feels reminiscent of the Far Cry series, which of course is due to having ex-FarCry developers heading up development.
The main draw of Warface is the PvE content; it’s not common to find a Free2Play shooter with solid PvE co-op content.
I found matchmaking very quick and was able to enjoy back to back missions with a friendly squad of players, who were welcoming to newbies.
Co-op is the main reason anyone would want to play Warface, as while there is plenty to do for fans of PVP, its nothing that cannot be found elsewhere.
Warface is free, relatively active and a lot of fun, any fans of the PvE FPS genre or to a lesser degree the PvP FPS genre will have a lot of fun with Warface.
8) Black Squad.
Sometimes games can have a learning curve that feels more like a learning curse, as you struggle to gain an understanding of the game while being torn to shreds by other players.
Black Squad, utilises many of the same mechanics as most popular shooters on the market resulting in a much gentler learning curve, in my first game I was able to finish in top 3 with 28 kills, only two kills short of 1st, and one kill short of 2nd place, so it’s easy to pick up if you have played FPS before.
The maps are not the massive maps you see in many games, in fact, the maps reminded me more of the arena shooter of the ’90s with multiple small adjoining areas allowing for lightning-fast team-based firefights, the cover mechanics work well and the maps contain many objects which offer excellent cover.
My one slightly jarring complaint was the lack of a sprint key, instead, to run faster you equip your knife as in counter strike games, I am not a huge fan of this mechanic, but it didn’t take too long to get used to.
The player base is very active for a game of this type, with 3k ccu in evenings and 2k ccu average for off-peak, considering it’s built on unreal 3, an ageing engine, that is a decent player base.
If you like shooters, you will enjoy Black Squad, fast-paced, good weapon handling and lightning-fast matchmaking cause Black Squad to be one of the better Free2Play shooters on Steam.
9) Onslaught: Armoured Assault.
Onslaught: Armoured Assault doesn’t look like much, but it has it where it counts.
Astehiclaly The art style of Onslaught: Armoured Assault is offputting, I really wasn’t very impressed, the low-poly art style can work at times, but here it really didn’t, and while I know the reason for the art style (the ability to customise ships fully), it doesn’t make it any more appealing to look at.
However, if you can look past the unappealing aesthetic and the fact most of the ship parts are not yet in-game (this is after all VERY early access), you will find a very enjoyable lite-RTS with combat reminiscent of Empire at War and Sins of a Solar Empire Rebellion.
I enjoyed making my ion destroyers and using them to rip shielded dreadnaughts to pieces, at times I selected the entirely wrong composition of my fleet and had my butt handed to me, it’s a simple game with very lite economy mechanics that allows you to jump right into the combat.
Overall Its a solid title and one I feel has loads of potential.
10) Band of Defenders.
Band of Defenders, sucks if you take only into account the steam charts CCU, with 0 online as I write this, its clearly not a success.
The funny thing is.. its really not that bad, the developers didn’t overprice the game, nor is the quality poor, the selection of weapons and towers is relatively vast, and there is very little if any lag problems.
Why did it Die?
It does give off the impression of trying to be Fortnite Save the World, and that’s a wrong impression, the gameplay is very much different, where Fortnite is a scavenger third-person building/combat based game, In Band of Defenders, the scavenging element is absent entirely and the building is limited to brief seconds between rounds.
Knowing your Audience.
The intro is amusing, while the dubbing is poor; it tells a story that gives you some background to the game.
Sadly the game is not one that would appeal to modern gamers, from the degrading blowjob in the intro, to the sole female character being extremely sexualised, the game lacks a strong female character for gamers who wish to play as a female character and not a sex doll.
Character customisation, in general, is very poor with only three base characters for a four-player co-op game, seriously one more would have made a lot of difference.
With ccu barley breaking 250, the writing was on the wall from day one, while it’s not a bad game, and is loads of fun with friends, Band of Defenders, clearly will never reach full release or see more development.
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