War Inc. Battlezone Impressions - SocomField 3: Modern Warfare
By Michael Sagoe (Mikedot), OnRPG Journalist
Back in July of 2011, a little company named Online Warmongers Group Inc. released an ambitious new third person shooter title called “War Inc. Battlezone” with the promise of an AAA shooter experience that’s easy on your wallet. Unfortunately, with a sea of other free-to-play shooters all competing for a spotlight, it was quickly swept under the rug by most of the gaming masses.
War Inc. is currently available as a downloadable title on Steam and with a standalone client. At around 1.70GB, I decided to give it a go.
Things start off with a few info screens that tell everything you need to know about the game. They explain that WP (War Points) can be earned by playing the game and GC (Gold Credits) can be earned by purchasing them with real money or by achieving certain milestones and missions, ensuring that players will never be forced into a “Pay-to-Win” situation, just as any F2P game should be.
After picking out my first set of skills and abilities, it was time to jump into the fray. First map up was called the Burning Sea, a huge jungle environment connected by small islands. The game mode was set on Conquest, where players must capture bases around the map and eliminate as many enemies as possible.
Sound familiar? Well it should. It’s the same kind of Conquest mode perfected by the Battlefield series. The map had lots of places for me to get lost when I needed to, and lots of hideouts to get the drop on unsuspecting enemies. While playing on this map, there was a lack of communication in the air, but my team and I were already dominating pretty hard. We managed to capture all the active bases and had the enemy team pinned down, so there was no need for us to coordinate ourselves.
Gameplay in War Inc. Battlezone felt like a mash-up between other popular shooters. The pacing of movement felt moderate and the crosshair being centered above the player’s head reminded me of Socom for the PS2. The abilities and skill system was similar to the perks found in CoD: Modern Warfare, and as if that wasn’t enough, they even included a blood splatter effect that makes your screen look like it was bashed with a ketchup bottle.
While it sounds like a recipe for success, none of the features feel particularly exciting or felt as intriguing.
The other game modes available included team deathmatch and a sabotage mode (bomb defuse mode a -la Counter-Strike). I tried out sabotage mode for a little bit, and I got pretty bored with it after a few minutes because… well its bomb defusal mode. It’s one of the oldest game modes for any kind of modern war shooter. There wasn’t anything special about it, so I lost interest quickly.
After a few more rounds in Conquest mode, it was time to gear up. As mentioned before, many items can be earned by gaining WP from battles, and the amount of WP you can gain from a single battle is pretty hefty. The game almost literally hands you WP left and right as long as you can get a few kills each round, capture bases and generally be a good support for your team. This definitely is a plus in the game’s favor as you should have no problem keeping up with everyone else in terms of gear.
I decided to go with an entirely new look for my character, including a more Asian-y face style and a military beret. I also picked up a new AK-47 and Bizon assault rifle.
The last map that I played on was called Nightfall on TDM, a Mexicana town with a late night setting. This map was a sniper and campers’ dream. Even though snipers can be spotted occasionally by the icons that float above their heads, it was still difficult to get a good shot on them from a distance, especially snipers that were cloaked with debris camouflage.
The biggest issue I’ve had that affected gameplay was surprisingly not in the gameplay mechanics, but with the audio design. Weapon sound effects lack a realistic feel to them, and there are no voice overs whatsoever. Not even voice overs of a random solider yelling “Grenade!” or “Fire in the Hole” to pick things up. The lack of radio chatter and distinct weapon sound effects really brings the game’s tension levels down to bare minimum. It’s hard to feel any sort of excitement or tension in a war shooter when your rifles sound like BB guns.
While the weapons didn’t sound like real guns, they were still very different from each other. Each weapon had different firing rates, ranges, damages, etc. Each weapon has a description on them which sort of tells a little history about the weapon, which I thought was kind of nice.
Overall, War Inc. Battlezone isn’t such a bad free-to-player shooter, but it isn’t particularly good, either. While borrowing elements from other shooter titles before it, and without having many original or unique features, it’s a mere case of “been there, done that” which can turn many players off about it.
Still, what was built up can only get better with time and effort. I’m sure if the development team can (literally) stick to their guns and offer some more unique content, War Inc. Battlezone could be worth checking out in the near future.
For more information, check out our War Inc. Battlezone profile page here at OnRPG.