Genesis AD Review: Twitch Based Shooting is Making a Comeback?
By Michael Sagoe (mikedot), OnRPG Journalist
Remember twitch based first person shooters like Quake 3 Arena and Unreal Tournament? With the simple concept of FPSs centering on fast reactions and accuracy, they were the kings of LAN parties and the rulers of PC tournament gaming. But nowadays, mainstream gamers would rather play a slow and "tactical" shooter like Call of Duty: Modern Whatever.
Every other twitch based shooter released between now and then hasn't been spectacular enough to make gamers relive the good 'ol days, but that's not going to ijji from bringing out a new one. Genesis AD is a multiplayer shooter with a distinct sci-fi theme. While it brings popular features found in both shooting games of now and then, will it be enough to make for a unique and long last experience?
Your tour of duty in Genesis AD starts with typing in your desired player name and heading straight for the tutorial. As with any PC FPS game, you'll move with the WSAD keys, jump with the space bar and fire with your mouse buttons. You'll also be shown how to boost, cloak yourself and make use of your handy dandy blaster knife. The tutorial ends off with a battle against a couple of alien creeps that go down real easy. All this will take you no less than five minutes.
After the tutorial, you'll be dropped into the lobby where you can chat, search or create games, browse shop/inventory menus and tweak settings. The amount of game types at your disposal is pretty average but still adequate. You have your standard team deathmatch, the ever popular bombing run mode a la Counter Strike, a sniper/knife only mode and a CTF mode. Bumming around in the shop will let you choose between several different weapons, armors and equipment, each with their own advantages and disadvantages. There's also a tune up system where you can tweak some of your weapons with a couple of enhancements such as scopes or grenade launchers.
Before starting a match, you have a choice between three playable classes: Assaults serve as front line soldiers with exclusive access to assault rifles and shotguns, snipers can bring sniper rifles along with them to pick off enemies from afar and suppliers can play the role of support units with scanning helmets and energy cannons that can heal teammates.
Genesis AD's core gameplay handles like just about every FPS out there but keeps things frantic like twitch shooters of old. Running and gunning in Genesis AD isn't going to be enough. You'll also have to double tap the strafe keys to perform dodge jumps and perform wall hops using the spacebar. Both assault and supplier classes can also make use of booster jetpacks that will hurl your character straight forward over moderate distances by double tapping forward.
While snipers can't use boosters, they can use cloaking suits to move around with near invisibility and radar stealth. Whenever your character gets killed in battle, you can switch between classes during before you respawn.
I'm fond of how backpack equipment and movement abilities are all taxed by energy points and stamina, so any movement techniques are kept in check. Energy points can be regained by defeating enemy players while stamina recovers automatically during cooldown periods after use.
Even with the visuals set to max, the game looks like a dated Source engine shooter. I wasn't too fond of the character modesl with their animations looking stiff, but at least they all have wacky ragdoll physics whenever they get blasted, which tends to hilarious to watch. Oh, and there's gibs! Yeah, remember those? Well this game has 'em!
Good 'ol fashion ragdolls death
The radio command voice overs were poorly done here, because they sound as they've been voiced by some guy trying to imitate Buzz Lightyear. There's not much memorable music to listen to, except for a dramatic lobby tune that I kind of wish played during matches.
Some of my favorite things about the game include the small touches with movement such as bunny hoping after boosting or dodge jumping to retain your speed. Boosting, dodging and wall hoping all give the game quick pacing while making map knowledge an important factor towards skill curve. I fell in love with how useful blaster knives are in this game: The secondary attack used with blaster knives emit a green blast of energy that can take out enemy players in one hit whenever you're in close range, but that same energy blast, when pointed at the ground, can be used to perform a high jump as well as a fall breaker from tall heights when timed correctly.
There's a huge lack of content available at the moment, with only two maps to play on per game modes and very few weapons and equipment to pick out, which is strange since there was so much more available in the previous tests.
Genesis AD follows the trend that most free-to-play shooting games have and my biggest pet peeves with MMOs in general: Timed items. All the items in the shop can only be kept for certain amounts of time (30 days being the longest), forcing you to play for considerable amounts of time just to make sure you'll have enough in-game money to buy it back the next time you play.
Since many elements in Genesis AD are already found in other FPS titles, a lot of the systems aren't particularly fleshed out, such as the class system where the only differences between classes is what weapons they can bring along with them when matches begin. Plus game modes do not have any unique spins on them so they're pretty average.
While Genesis AD may not be the major throwback to those twitch based shooters that I've enjoyed so much back in the day, it is certainly a fun game to pick up and play every now and then. While I can't see a real competitive scene getting behind this one, give Genesis AD a try if you're getting tired off all those modern shooters out there.
Fast, twitch based action
Three available character classes
District sci-fi theme
Average game modes
Class system lacks depth