Apart from begetting new genres, like the Wii’s casual gaming experience, we’re seeing combinations of old genres. Examples are all but common nowadays; FPS with RPG, Hack ‘n Slash with MMO.
Last week, thanks to an Adblock Plus meltdown, I learned about Battleswarm. A an online war strategy game that not only proved the joy of in-browser advertising, but has created a daring and exciting new gaming genre.
With Battleswarm: Field of Honor, Reality Gap goes boldly where no developers have threaded before. Instead of adding role playing aspects to ‘just another game’, Reality Gap wholly mixes two dominant gaming genres. Battleswarm is what you get when Massive Multiplayer Shooters and Real Time Strategy collide.
Imagine the thrill of blasting bullets at an intelligent horde. A hive entity set out to crush you. On the other side, imagine putting your strategical inferiority to the test, by marching out against numerous sentient enemies. You have the high ground and the multitude, they have independence and superior weaponry. It’s a battle between genres.
FPS/TPS – Rambo Gone Wild
If you’ve got a preference for raw adrenaline and a rain of bullets, you should join the human side. With heavy armor and futuristic weaponry, you’ll find yourself residing somewhere in between Unreal Tournament and Gears of War. When facing a strong enemy, team play is as important as character level.
A soldier’s life is simple. Blast those bugs back to hell. A filled clip is your philosophy, and with the numbers of ’em, you better make good use of it.
You start off with a simple gun, but don’t become too attached to it. Before long, you’ll be able to heavily expand your arsenal. The game offers chip slots – upgrade possibilities for both your skills and weaponry – and character leveling.
RTS – For We Are Many
Gamers who prefer the high ground, a complete overview and the cunning of real time online war strategy games need to join the bugs. Even with a legion of bugs at your disposal, you’ll still need tactics over numbers to take down those barbarian gunners.
Apart from directing the battlefield, you’ll need to build and enhance hives, begetting bigger numbers and better skills. Like the humans, bugs can level up and gain precious items in battle.
(People who’ve read Ender’s Game will soon notice the similarities – bugs vs. buggers)
There are several game types, including hive-defence and capture the flag. At the time being, the balance often tilts towards the FPS/TPS side. Winning with strategy is not a small challenge, but certainly a worthy and enjoyable one.
Playtime vs. Micro Transactions
No matter what games, there are always bills to be paid. Most free games tend to make use of a micro-transaction system, as does Battleswarm. Items – chips and weapons – can be traded in-between battles for virtual gold. This in-game currency can either be gained through game-play, or traded with real-life money. This gives an advantage to people willing to spend money – but luckily does not exclude the all-free gamer.
In short, Battleswarm deploys an excitingly simple, yet daring new concept. It’s a clash of raw action and cunning strategy. Oh, and it’s free. Challenging gameplay and nice grafics for a price of zero. Nothing much of a story, but that’s no biggy.
Have you played the game yet? Tell us what you think!