A mixture of illness and work has prevented me putting up a blog as often as I would have liked. Truth be told, I haven’t played enough games recently to do a review, so I thought I would review the game I’ve been playing while ill.
War Commander is a Facebook game developed by Kixeye and was first shown to me by a work colleague. He invited me to it to fulfil his invite a friend mission and I promptly got hooked, so I blame him for the loss of my social life.
The game itself is a bit of a cross between internet war games such as Travian and mainstream real time strategy games such as Starcraft. From Travian, it takes the ridiculously long upgrade times (Anywhere from 5 minutes to a week) the large PvP focus (as in, if you don’t want PvP don’t play it) and a heavy clan or guild emphasis.
From Starcraft, it takes the mechanics. You attack bases and can control your platoons as you wish, using diversion tactics, aerial assaults or whatever strategy you can come up with. In the end the game becomes taking out the opponents defences before ransacking the rest of the base for resources.
Occasionally there will be special events in the game, which liven it up no end. Usually they take the form of destroying special enemy bases, or defending against waves of attacking enemies. While fun though, these can also become repetitive. Some kind of freshness definitely wouldn’t go amiss.
As I said, the mechanics are very Starcraft-esque, right down to the units shouting affirmatives whenever you click on them. I just wish they had ripped off the control system as well. The controls in War Commander are frustrating at best, and ball buggeringly annoying at worst. The amount of times I tried to tell my units to run away because they were getting there asses handed to them only for them to do a neat little pirouette on the spot that, I admit probably would have scored high in a ballet competition, but did little to impress the enemy in a war.
Or the amount of times I tried to select my air units because, again, I was getting decimated, and for me to manage to select all but three of them and have to watch as the rest of them abandoned their comrades because in order to select the aircraft you have to click on the ground that their floating above, not the graphics themselves. How stupid is that? You want to select that unit? No no, you can’t click on it. You got to click slightly under it moron! Didn’t you even know that?
The game can be frustrating in a lot of ways as well. A lot of the people on the game seem to live only to annoy you and will flame in the world chat given half the chance. Some of the wait times are ridiculous with the best tank you can get in the game taking a few MONTHS to upgrade fully. And if you want to get resources quick, the best way is to attack rogues (NPC bases) and steal their stuff. But all the rogues have just three or four different base layouts, so killed one of them, killed them all.
So the question after the last few paragraphs is, then why have I spent most my time playing it recently? To be honest, I’m not entirely sure. Maybe it’s because it’s one of the few games that can say you need to use tactics and be telling the truth. You try and go head first into a base and your units will be killed, stuffed and mounted above the enemies fireplace before you can yell “Charge!”.
Or maybe it’s because I enjoy real time strategy anyway. Starcraft is one of my favourite games ever, even though the second one was disappointing. Or maybe it’s because I love the idea of someone halfway across the world jumping up and down on there hat in frustration as they log on to see their base looking a lot more like rubble than when they left it.
I’m not sure if I can recommend War Commander. I’ve had and still am having, lots of fun with it. But I can easily see how the negatives would outweigh the positives for some people, especially those who have less patience than me.
It’s a nice little time waster, but not the kind off game you can lose yourself in.
6/10 – I don’t think it has anything except niche appeal. If you enjoy games like Travian, I think War Commander is miles better than that. If you enjoy games like Starcraft, you might manage to get into it. Other than that, I can’t recommend it to anyone else.