By Eline Stiekema, Onrpg Writer
The scenario of this robot MMO is quite simple: there has been some horrible disruption in Cyberspace, which has turned normal bots into evil viruses which must be defeated. Players must team up with their bots in order to get this done. When they have destroyed all the viruses in a zone, they earn ‘gigas’, the game currency which can buy you items to enhance your bot.
I had some problems starting things up: at first I got a lot of errors, for eaxmple not being able to connect to the server. Luckily, this could be solved with the FAQ. Also, if you want to play BOTS from your browser, it only runs on Internet Explorer. For all users of other browsers, to avoid this problem you can also start from a shortcut on your desktop.
It took me quite a while to figure the game out. I expected some kind of tutorial to help me get the hang of it, but no such thing seemed to exist. The only way to practice your fighting skills, is to start your own room and select the first level, ‘training ground’. I had to find this out all by myself though. All the game information is on the website, so you can’t quickly check some things between rounds. To make matters worse, the game guide on the website wasn’t really helpful. It offers information on a lot of topics concerning the game, but a step-by-step instruction is missing. I had to check the BOTS-forum for this, where one of the users had taken the time to write one.
It all starts with choosing a bot. There are three different basic bots to choose from, each with its own advantages. Basically they are all equal in power.
When entering the game, players can choose between four different channels, each with a minimum of one and a maximum of one hundred players: Open 1-3 and International. Inside, the channels look roughly the same. Players can choose between a variety of different rooms or start a room themselves.
Starting a room yourself can turn out well because you will be able to play on your own level. Other rooms often have different levels. Do not think you will able to play along when the level is higher than yours: you will be killed no matter what and spend the rest of the round watching others beat each other to pieces.
This I found rather disappointing: when you are dead, there is nothing left to do but wait until the game is over. You cannot revive unless you buy a ‘revival pack’ or one of your teammates owns one and is kind enough to bring you back to life. You also cannot easily escape from the battle once you are out. Since the battles can last pretty long (I once got myself into a level 98-battle by accident, got killed and saw that I had to wait 29 minutes until it was over) there’s nothing left to do but pressing ctrl-alt-del when you are really fed up with it. Moral of the story: stick to your own level!
Also note that when you have started your own room, you must remain active and start a game straight away. When you don’t, you will get a warning and if you do not respond to that, you will be ‘forced out of the room for inactivity’. This happened to me several times and it really pissed me off.
But okay, when you actually start battling against those robots, it’s really fun. You can play alone or with others. I liked that you can play on your own: no waiting until somebody finally enters your little level 1-room, you can take all the time you need to get the hang of it.
I also really liked the ‘transform’-function: every minute or so, you can transform for a few seconds into a big, intimidating robot which can cause much more damage to your enemies. But that’s the only special function: when you haven’t acquired the ‘gigas’ to enhance your bot, it stays pretty basic, with only one way of attacking. When you kill a virus, though, you can grab ‘drops’ that give you special powers, like recovering from damage.
There are three different modes to play in: sector mode, in which you have to beat viruses, player vs. player mode, in which you have to beat other players, and base mode, which is similar to player vs. player mode except that you have to defend your own base and try to destroy that of your enemy.
Sector mode is by far the most popular. There were only a few player vs. player rooms at the times I was online, and I didn’t see a room in base mode once.
When you or your team has won and the viruses or opposing team members are defeated, you earn gigas, which you can spend on stuff to make your bot stronger, faster and more dangerous. But… there’s a big ‘but’.
Enhancing your bot
Here it comes: you can earn a whole lot of gigas, but the amount of stuff you can spend them on is very limited. Most of the items in the shop can only be purchased with actual money that you put on an account to spend in the game. As a result of the split between gigas and account-money, items that cost money cannot be purchased with gigas, and vice versa. I read on the forum that in the future there will be more items that can be purchased with gigas, so let’s hope this will happen soon. Purchased items can also be sold to or traded with other players, which seems like an interesting arrangement, especially in higher levels.
I had some fun playing the first few levels, but I was quickly bored with it because there was so little my basic bot could do. It would have been more interesting with more features during combat. All you can do is attack, be attacked and sometimes transform into a bigger robot, and the chances of enhancing your bot are slim because there’s not much you can buy with earned gigas.
I also was really annoyed when I got kicked out of my own room a couple of times, just because I was scribbling some things down or getting myself a drink. When another player then took over my room and changed the level from 3 to 98, I gave up.
BOTS is nice when you want to beat up some evil robots as a form of anger management, but I don’t think I will be playing it anymore.
– It’s simply fun to beat up robots and win
– The ‘transform’-option is really cool
– A lot of technical errors: starting up gave difficulties, the trade function and the cash shop were out of order…
– No tutorial or step-by-step instruction
– When you die during the game, you can’t come back unless you buy the ‘revival pack’
– You can get kicked out of your own room very easily
– There is not much you can spend earned gigas on.