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With a hit of nostalgia, Warborn took me back to my childhood days. With the 90’s Gundam era plot, its gameplay, and the overall feel rooting from titles such as Advance Wars, Raredrop Games‘ recent title Warborn took a classic formula and tried to polish it to perfection. Unfortunately for Warborn, there were aspects to where it felt really dull.
An Art Style So Clean?
While Warborn‘s art style seems to derive from anime, it has a lot of Western influence in it and is reminiscent of a mobile game — not that it’s bad, it’s just so simple and polished, it lacks some much needed flair. Environments let you graze through the different landscapes of the solar system — through cities, ruins, and even asteroids.
Become Commander Of A Fleet!
In the relatively lengthy campaign mode, you don the Variable Armour of four different factions. With over 40 playable missions and a plot inspired by the politics of 90’s Gundam storylines, Warborn sure is a blast to the past. Unfortunately, it’s just not as exciting and compelling as its Japanese roots.
Warborn‘s strongest point is in its almost perfected gameplay. Presented like a virtual board game, the map is laid out with hexagonal tiles with different terrains acting as cover. You command your mechanical battalion, with each unit having its own unique skillset — for example, the Pathfinder is a mecha that can scan for enemy landmines to secure a safe route for your troops. With enough Command Points (CP), you can also send out your second-generation Variable Armour piloted by your commander. Deity, the starter commander, has personal Variable Armour that can walk lengthy distances and dish out massive damage in a straight row with the right positioning. There are also support troops that can provide assistance — such as the Aegis, which can repair damaged mecha, and even overcharge their cores to give them extra damage for a number of turns.
The Thrill Of The Battle!
Capturing outposts and destroying enemy mecha feels so real — conserving Strategy Points (SP) to bring in the right troops and placing them strategically to put your enemies to demise. Along with your mecha army, you also have your commander skills, which all of the commanders in each faction possess; though these are easily overlooked, lacking that much needed impact in the battlefield.
Having an effective line up of troops will never make you feel guaranteed to win. There will be missions wherein you will be flanked by enemy troops — leaving your own squad limping from the damage. In some moments, you will be forced to leave your allied outposts and let the enemy take over; to regroup and plan a new strategy. There will also be moments in the story where your commander can do no more than give orders from a distance, forcing you to come up with a different plan. With enemies also having the same line of mecha, the missions truly feel like a tactical warfare, a battle of wits.
After making your way through the lengthy campaign, you can dive into Warborn’s other modes. The battle goes online with its multiplayer mode, playing with friends or matching up with other players just wanting to have a quick battle session. You can also practice with ‘skirmish’ mode, or create your own map! This all means there is more content to do after finishing the campaign story.
The cherry on the top here is Warborn‘s good soundtrack. It will be stuck in your head for quite some time, and you’ll find yourself humming to the tune of its battle music — a proof of good composition.
Where Did It Go Wrong?
Warborn’s great gameplay will provide hours and hours of enjoyment for the avid turn-based tactics fans, but its rinse-and-repeat formula might bore the average player after a few sessions. Most of the missions are either destroying all enemies or capturing all outposts. Its long campaign does not provide many twists or turns in terms of gameplay, either. After a few hours of sitting through Warborn, you will already have seen everything it has to offer. On a personal note, its art style really did feel plain. The minimalist feel certainly looks comfortable on the eyes, but it does not give too much excitement for a game that involves giant robots shooting each other in the face.
Warborn definitely is a fun game to play around with. It offers gameplay for hours on end. It was polished and perfected in some aspects — especially on the gameplay, making this one of the more enjoyable mecha tactics games out there. Warborn tries to be as polished as it can, but some aspects fall flat in the process. This doesn’t mean that Warborn should be left alone on the shelf — its fun and vibrant feel, and fine-tuned gameplay, is definitely worth its price.
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A master photographer, writer, and artist…. well.. he would’ve been, if he stopped procrastinating all the time.
Also a gamer in his free time.