Battle Nations: Bring the Fight to the Crazies
By: Vincent Haoson, OnRPG Journalist
Sim-strat games are a dime a dozen these days especially with games crossing over to browser and mobile platforms. With new platforms it would only mean that the number of games would increase but that also means the quality of the games that come out would suffer.
Battle Nations is not one of those titles, and I am happy to say that the game exceeded my expectations.
Battle Nation’s gameplay has two parts, simulation and strategy. For simulation, Battle Nations has the usual features you’d often get to see in simulation games. You need to establish your “outpost’s” military might while juggling with resource management. Aside from that you also need to establish your base’s military strength and perimeter defences.
On the other hand, the strategy part comes into play whenever you face NPCs or PvP against other players. The battles in Battle Nations are turn-based strategies set in a map grid. You have the option to pass or surrender if you think the battle is unfavourable to you.
Battle Nations has a diverse set of unit types for players to choose from. You have the grunts with various specialties such as the electro trooper, sniper, flame trooper and some special units like the dragoon.
You also have the mech units such as tanks and APCs which at first glance would seem stronger than usual, but due to the levelling system in place there will be times when grunts can even take down the strongest of mech units.
Aside from the variety of the units you can use in the game. The other factor you have to consider is your unit’s level. Similarly to any other strategy or RPGs, whenever your character levels the stats of said unit also increase. Also you can unlock skills and attacks as your unit levels up.
One of the features in Battle Nations that I’d like to elaborate is the resources system, a word that normally draws ire when discussing browser military titles due to the tacked on nature and limitations they usually bring with them. Unlike other sim-strat games, Battle Nation doesn’t hold back in the terms of the resources you have to manage. Under normal circumstances games would only give you about 3-4 resources to gather. But in Battle Nations you have to gather eight (8) resource types. This doesn’t include special drops required to build specialized units, a fun perk that adds a bit of randomization to the equation to keep things fresh.
Battle Nations well designed resource system really ups the ante in terms of game complexity, making it feel more like you’re making tactical decisions than ploughing through an uninteresting chore.
The other game feature I’d like to shed some light on in Battle Nation’s is the PvP system. You have two options on how the game gets you to fight other people. The first PvP option would be through invasion. Invading would mean that you have to go into the unguarded areas of your “enemies”. You have the option to just enter and take resources or you can establish a “rally point” in the game where you can keep on getting resources till your enemy is able to repel your forces in their camp.
The other PvP option is the random battles you can enter. The game sets you up against other random players. Successfully defeating a player would earn you gold, exp. and victory points. After getting a certain amount of points you’d even get bonus gold as well.
Whenever you face enemies through the random battles, you can add them as a friend and even invade them again.
Real Life Currency
Aside from the resources you can gather, you can spend actual money to buy special units and even structures that boost resource gathering and the like. Nanobots can also increase unit production as well.
Battle Nations is one of those games that you can’t really stop playing. The game in fact harmoniously mixed simulation and strategy into one cohesive game experience. I personally liked the mental challenge the game presents to you in resource management and the battles themselves. There are moments when I thought I would come out unscathed in an NPC battle, but I end up having one remaining unit in the end.
The PvP is enjoyable too since there is more than one way in fighting against other people. It’s fun messing around with your friends especially when you invade their territory. The challenges during random battles are in fact enjoyable itself since you have to be on your toes since you don’t know what you’re facing. You have to be prepared for any number of unexpected event, such as the gunner you’re facing one-shoting your scout mech due to his level advantage (which happened to me more than once).
The other thing that I like about the game is that Z2live updates the game regularly. You can see that Z2live is not afraid to add gameplay elements that change your experience from the last time you’ve logged in. In the span I’ve played the game, there have been two major changes that took place in Battle Nations. The first one is the unit levelling system and the other one would be the Exp Bar interface, new units and even the addition of structure upgrades.
In a nut shell, Battle Nations is a game that I’d keep a shortcut to on my ipad for a long while. Aside from the challenges and the PvP modes, I liked the social element in the game that provides a motivation as to why you’re putting so much TLC into your troop management. Plus who doesn’t like messing with their friend’s base formation and taunting them about it later?
– Constant and consistent updates mean that the developers care enough to keep the game running
– Challenge is high and enjoyable
– Sudden gameplay changes can disorient those who have been gone from the game for a long while
Graphics – 4/5
Controls – 5/5
Features – 4.5/5
Customization – 0/5
Community – 2.5./5