Strategy games were some what of rage back in the day, when Command and Conquer, Age of Empires and Rise of Nations were some of the best games of the block. Build up huge bases, take over sections of the map while you play at destroying the enemy base. Mine resources, train units, then use them to attack the opponent, obliterate them, and win. Tough, time consuming, extremely meta, but highly rewarding.
In Forged Battalion you don’t unlock pre-made units instead you make your own using technologies you unlocked very similar to the Command and Conquer : Tiberian Twilight (although they messed up pretty much everything else). But does that make Forged Battalion a strategy game which would tide you over until the big releases of 2018 come along. Let’s find out.
Forged Battalion is a real time strategy game developed by Petroglyph and published by Team17 Digital Ltd. The game is going to launch in Early Access on Steam on the 16th of January 2018.
The core gameplay mechanic of Forged Battalion are customizable units. You research technologies, and then make your own units. Depending on the customization, the various parameters associated with the unit changes depending on what technology has been applied. Use of high-end technology means that a longer time is required for creating it, but it will be a relatively strong unit with high longevity in battle. Units with low-end technology means that a shorter time is required for creating it, but its longevity in combat will be much lesser.
Striking the perfect balance for units will be required for creating the ultimate army required for world domination (or to free the world from people who think likewise). You unlock new technologies using research points, an unique idea that seems inspired from Command and Conquer: Tiberian Twilight, with the research system resembling Supreme Commander 2 or the Home City tribute system of Age of Empires 3. What Forged Battalion does in addition to C7C is that it grants the power of customization beside rewarding players with research points for every multiplayer game or skirmish games versus the AI or even campaign maps.
Rewarding gameplay based on a currency(of research points) or unit customization isn’t the only unique feature for Forged Battalion. A dynamic AI that adapts to your playstyle gradually with your victories and your defeats, and practically with every move you make definitely increases the overall difficulty and you will be found mashing hotkeys in order to beat the AI at its own game – only to rush them on to death, or turtle so much that they run out of patience and demolish their own forces by attacking you. One setback isn’t everything, the AI adjusts with your playstyle in order to counter it.
The only setbacks might be for first-time RTS players who buy the game, as the game does not offer a decent tutorial to get things started off. It does offer hints at what to do throughout missions, but without a decent tutorial to guide newer players, people might find themselves in the middle of a heavy battle without knowing what they’re doing. Also the game experiences quite a few crashes while engaging in multiplayer games. This system was tested on a pretty-low end rig, so that might be the issue for it.
Game features a complete singleplayer with a campaign consisting of 7 missions at the moment, each unlocked as you complete the previous mission on a certain difficulty. Skirmish maps feature upto 8 players on each map, who can be human or AI players. Moreover, every action in the game rewards you with research points, like destroying an enemy building, destroying enemy units, construction of buildings or the training of units. Technologies give you more options for unit customization.
Graphics Sound & Performance
Specifications used for testing the game :
CPU : AMD FX 8320
RAM : 6 GB DDR3
GPU : NVIDIA GTX 660 2GB DDR5
The graphics aren’t realistic, but feature a certain cartoonish art style that plays out differently from traditional RTS’s (especially the World War 2 ones) focusing on realism. However, actually making the unit customizations visible to you is a sweet inclusion.
The game has no performance issues, and ran flawlessly. The only problems that I ran into were a few crash-to-desktop issues when I try to launch a Skirmish game versus the AI. If it is an issue affecting a large number of users, hopefully Petroglyph issues a fix quickly.
There is more planned content upcoming, more specifically a better arranged tech tree, which helped us choose technologies depending on our playstyle, more campaign missions, as well as more multiplayer maps for both Ranked as well as Unranked play. Considering that it is developed by Petroglyph, some of the masterminds behind old masterpieces like Universe at War or Grey Goo, Early Access development is likely to be smooth, carried out with feedback from the community.
The game maybe in Early Access, but it’s a must-buy for old-time RTS players, while for newer players, the unit customization as well as the lack of a dedicated tutorial might meaning waiting out a bit.