Strategy games have really seemed to of fallen of in recent times, it seems that barely any of the genre have been announced recently. With the massive rise of touch screen devices, i expected strategy to make a come back, and it did…in a sense, class of clans for examples is advertised as a strategy game, though of course if you have ever played the game you will know just how much money is needed to be sunk into it to get anywhere. So with the release of the third instalment of machines at war its nice to see an actual strategy game that isn’t free to play get a gathering. Enough it seems to also be released on PC too, now with that kind of movement, and being quite simple in the terms of graphics and story, but I was surprised with the amount of depth that this game brings to the table.
One thing i can not stress enough, is use the tutorial, I don’t consider myself an RTS Guru, but I have played many of the big and small games in the series, but I was completely stumped on how to progress with this game from the very start. I couldn’t figure out how to start building my base, so this is a little vague, and also frustrating if you’re like me and detest how current video games hold your hand far too much. After the tutorial, which isn’t the worst but neither is the best of its kind, I found the game much more engaging and easier to play, without having to worry about not being sure what to do next, of course, there were the problems of not fully knowing what each of the buildings do, but most are pretty straight forward if you have had any experience with RTS’s.
If you start to crack through the story, just try and not question it too much, it’s a very clichéstory, but sometimes people like that, they like the familiar cheesy story that they can relax too. I don’t, I could guess what was going to happen after the first few missions, so i opted out to just start up skirmishes and playing through the AI that way after completing the tutorial. Though it is nice how the units are slowly added which allows you to fully grasp the pros and cons of each unit, which gives you more of a full army than just aiming for certain milestones like the bigger tank.
Skirmishes are as you would expect them to be, and they have always enjoyed them as they allow you to really test your skill at an RTS when you start to give the AI unfair advantages. The options here allow you to have simple 1 on 1 against the AI, or full team battle royals. I always find this the easiest way to test all the different units and buildings, and there are quite a few of them for you to test, of course you could just go through the campaign and test them all that way, but where’s the fun in that really when you could build them all and just banzai charge your enemy.
Graphically the game is pretty basic, though its a style I enjoy, it reminds me heavily of the original Command and conquer, with simple 2d sprites and a top down viewing angle. All of the units are nicely detailed and show good sprite work, I really liked the swimming infantry animations, I’m not sure why but they just looked right? Battles have a similar sense, explosions and all that prettiness look great, and suits both a small scale RTS and I can see it working well on these new high res tablet and phone screens. One complaint though is the user interface, it looks acceptable, but is just a little confusing to navigate, I can’t put my finger on why, but I had some trouble trying to get around the menus which became a little annoying.
Multiplayer on this looks very well supported, in fact the settings that can be used to show that if you have enough friends with the game, you can have many different map modes and settings, the detail that you can set up the game reminded me heavily of how you can set up Civilisation, in fact I think I noticed some similarity with some of the maps on offer, not that this is a bad thing of course. I did actually have a friend who owned the game, and managed to play online, some with him, it was a smooth game, no lag or jerkiness noticed, and also fairly balanced as for the short time we were playing, we didn’t notice any glaringly overpowered units, and those that were, well were suitably expensive as well.
Whilst Machine At War 3 isn’t going to redefine the RTS genre by any stretch of the imagination, it is a solid game which constantly feels like your playing a Command and conquer game which is always a good thing in my opinion. Sure, it might be a bit Clichébut that doesn’t stop it from doing what it does well, and also make it enjoyable too, though I do think this game is much better suited for tablet devices than on PC devices at all, overall 3/5 so a solid enjoyable game, that sometimes will make you groan a little.
Disclaimer:All scores given within our reviews are based on the artist’s personal opinion; this should in no way impede your decision to purchase the game.