Genre: Classical RTS / Multiplayer
Game Page: Game Page
Should You Buy It: If you are a fan of classical RTS games
About The Game
Strike Tactics is a multiplayer rts. What makes it different and original is that it can be played from your browser. Yes, you’ve heard correctly. Full-featured RTS game, playable in Chrome (recommended by developer) or Firefox (tested by me and it ran fine).
My Take on the game
First of all, I love RTS games. But ultimately, I pretty much suck at them because I’m not really a multitasking person. In this regard, I’m looking at them like a daydreaming office clerk looks at racing cars: imagining how awesome would it be to drive one and be behind the wheel, and ultimately messing things up when he actually gets a chance to do it. So if I am being frank with you, I don’t think I’m qualified to review the game because I’m just not good enough, but I’ve played about three hours, a few versus AI games and three 1v1 games against actual players and just wanted to share my casual feedback, first impressions and simply inform you about its existence.
Strike Tactics starts like a usual rts game: you have workers that mine the basic mineral, carbon. The mining robots can get it from the trees that are often placed in most parts of the map. There’s an advanced mineral, ore, that is much rarer and is used for later game resources. You usually get 1-2 fields near your starting point, but will have to expand later on. The units take supply slots, so you need to build “silos,” special buildings that can shorten drop-off points for your drones.
What makes this game different is greater focus on macro rather than micro. The graphics also follow this doctrine: it’s a 2d game with clearly distinguishable units, so you can easily understand what’s going on at any point of the game, even when lots of stuff is happening on the screen.
The combat is done well: units shoot projectiles that can miss the target, so micro is rewarded (if you control your troops well – you can dodge a lot of stuff). One significant difference is abundance of air units with different functions: in this game, air units play major role. Instead of simply supporting ground attacks, they should often compose about 50% of your army because they can counter some ground units effectively and easily take out the workers-gatherers (who are also flying). There are about 20 units now, each has its own purpose. Anti-air, tanks, damage soakers, long range artillery, bombers, super-weapons, flying gunships, everything has a distinguished role, its own strengths and weaknesses. This makes an interesting mix and opens a lot of strategy space. I’ve played against a player who focused on ground units at first, quickly dodging my attacks with his great micro and then fighting the battle of attrition. I’ve also played a game where my base got rushed by air units: lots of my workers got destroyed because I did not have decent anti-air defenses, and from then on it became really hard to stabilize, which eventually led to my defeat.
Overall, the game has a thought-out gameplay loop that requires you to gather resources effectively and build smart. The unit choice adds to the depth: there’s just plenty of combinations and you have to effectively plan your combat approach and quickly adapt to enemy tactics. A lot of effort went into music: most of it is hard-rock’ish, which contributes to immersion of the game.
One minor thing that caught my attention was inability to move the map with WASD. ForgeableSum, the developer of the game mentioned that arrows are there for that, but for me this is a crucial feature, simply because arrow keys are far off from other shortcuts and it takes away precious moments when speed matters. So having it configurable would be really nice.
One thing that is important for RTS games is “uniqueness”. What do I mean by it? The units should not be feeling generic. In Strike Tactics, the unit ideas and art seem pretty new and you can distinguish most units from one another (except for artillery and the normal tank in my case), but other than that – they are not very memorable and don’t have this “wow” factor, apart from the flying battleship. Since units don’t have unique audio tracks (voice commands?), they feel quite generic, lacking the “soul.” If you remember red alert 2: in my opinion, what made it so exceptional is the unit voices and unit types. There were not simply “soldiers,” but characters. Tanya, Crazy Ivan, Chrono Commando, Yuri. Because the game created those personalities, it helped player to get immersed into the game world and made it recognizable and memorable. At this point, Strike Tactics lacks this. The gameplay is good, but if you will ask me in 5 years – I’m sure as hell going to remember Red Alert 2 (even though it was far from being as deep as this game when it came to gameplay decisions), but I can’t be sure that I’ll say the same about Strike Tactics.
There is an observer mode, but no replays yet. And yes, this is the type of game where I’d actually be happy to look at replays in order to learn.
It all depends now whethere the game is going to get its critical mass of players. The components for success are there, but theres still a good way to go.
The game’s planned release is on July 31 or early August. There’s going to be a free deathmatch mode, and I actually urge you to try it (link below) since you don’t have to install anything and can just run it in your browser. From the information I have, the core game is going to cost about $20. For me personally, this seems a bit too expensive. But on the other hand, it’s a niche game that offers a well-thought out and deep gameplay. The skill ceiling is also incredibly high, so if you are into classical RTS games – this might just be something that you were looking for.
Feature Image taken from the game page, Game Page