By Andrew Skelton (Outfoxed)
Turn based strategy games are usually slower paced, allowing for consummate strategy and planning. What happens, though, when all players turns go off at the same time? Atlas Reactor, published by Trion, takes that mentality and boosts it even further. I had a chance to sit down and talk with James Karras (Senior Producer), William Cook (Lead Designer), and Adam Lehr (QA) about their upcoming build for the game. What better way to display such a unique take than to watch a few matches being played?
The first thing the team showed off is their brand new map, situated on a rooftop and overlooking the titular Atlas Reactor. Where the game’s first map was open, this map was very compact and narrow. This allows for a different level of strategic play, important in a game where everything happens at once.
Visually, the map is quite striking, with water flowing from the walls and an impressive skyline in the distance. A lot of the action seems like it will take place around a central column on the map, but there is plenty of opportunity to utilize hallways on either side for surprise attacks or defensive walling purposes.
In addition to the new map, I was shown a couple of the new characters being introduced in the update. Rampart is the very definition of a tank. He’s used to block the enemies from your more squishy teammates and damage opponents that attempt to attack him. His ultimate ability sets out a shield directly in front of him, which then allows him to deflect attacks made against him during the round.
The Gremlins, however, are a much different beast (pun intended, you know me). This team of miscreants loves to stay at range and lob painful, agonizing death at their opponents. Not only that, they’ve an incredible mobility as they zip along the map, knocking back foes that try to get close. They are a general nuisance to the opposition in a way only Gremlins can do.
New to this build are the addition of perks for each character. These modifiers to abilities can be completely game-changing to how a character plays. For instance, a character that’s considered a tank character can suddenly become a damage dealing powerhouse. You have 10 points to spend on perks (at the moment) and each ability perk costs one to four points. This gives a huge level of customization for each character.
As the team explained, certain perks will be better or worse depending on the map you’re playing on. They’re all very curious and want to see how players will adapt them to certain situations they didn’t expect.
As Atlas Reactor continues to grow and develop, the development remains with the game remaining completely free-to-play. While skins can be unlocked through real world money, they can also be purchased with in-game currency. The core experience, however, will remain untouched for players to enjoy at no cost. Expect more maps, more characters, and various tweaks over time, too, as the developers work to craft a unique, balanced game.
Atlas Reactor is shaping up to be different than any other turn-based strategy MMO out there. The fast-paced action is a blessing for a genre that’s typified by waiting, and the enhancements to the game in this upcoming update will add a huge variety of depth. Anyone interested in a unique take on strategy games is encouraged to sign up for testing at the Atlas Reactor page.