By Remko Molenaar (Proxzor)
Over the years we have seen a lot of sidescrollers that put a focus on being a successful and joyful shooter, but many of these games are somewhat lackluster. It’s hard to think of one actual shooter in a sidescrolling style that was very fun to enjoy for long periods of time. Perhaps I am an old fart by now, but the one I enjoyed the most was Soldat, a game that first came out back in 2002. Cobalt WASD is a game that tries to make the concept somewhat similar to shooters we know today, with a bomb defusal style of focus to make the game both very fun and tactical to give it a little competitive edge over the others.
When you think about most shooters, only some have actually tried to bring in some actual sense of strategy such as bringing the right gun for the right time style of play. Only Counter Strike has actually put in a system that makes the player think twice on how to run his equipment and get the most out of his loadout when going against his opponent. Most other games you simply take the gun that you enjoy the most, and there aren’t any repercussions when dying or losing the round. Cobalt WASD tries to tackle this idea as well, and thus on every start of the round the player is given the option to tweak his loadout and to buy upgrades like weapons, armor, and abilities to utilize in the battle. If you survive, everything from that loadout is kept and taken with you to the next round. When you die, however, you lose everything including all the money you spent on it, and have to ‘build’ your character from the ground up.
Cobalt WASD is a sidescroller, but that doesn’t mean the game isn’t as exciting as any other shooter. The player moves at a relatively fast speed, combined with faster rolling and jumping to make the game vertically more pleasing. The player can also get abilities like a grappling hook or even a speed boost to keep the player on their toes at all times. Kitting out your character also makes you a lot harder to hit, be it because of your speed, stealth, or even a equippable shield to surprise your enemies with. The weapons also greatly affect gameplay, since each weapon, be it either a gun orn melee weapon like a spear, excels in different scenarios. Every encounter feels unique on its own, but is so fast paced that you can barely stop to think about it. By the end of the round you are in awe wondering how you are still alive or what went wrong in that specific round.
Unfortunately the game doesn’t have a whole lot of depth and content to it. The concept of the game is very simple, and the main focus of Cobalt WASD is set on making it just a well shaped and fun all around shooter with the gameplay as its key focus for players to stick around. While I am a big fan of its style and the fast rounds this game has to offer, there is only one reason why I do not dedicate a lot of time to this game. After an hour of playing, the game becomes really stale and you simply start craving something else. Every match you play feels somewhat the same. Despite each fight being unique in its own way, by the end of a session you do feel like you want to play more because the game is simply so fun but small. I would love to see more game modes to keep the game a lot more interesting, be it either in a capture the flag style mode, or even in a mode where you have to survive against zombies or the like. Perhaps even just bigger maps, with bigger player numbers on each side to make the game feel like it isn’t so small and simple.
There aren’t a ton of players playing the game, and the community for the game simply hasn’t taken off. With the game is published by Mojang, I am sure enough players will eventually flock to the game if the required amount of advertising is given, but the game still feels like it needs more to stay relevant and I am very curious to what the future will bring. In its current state the game is a very simple search and destroy game that I thoroughly enjoy playing, but it does feel like it is somewhat of a mini game. While it is fun to play with friends or against complete strangers, and even the computer. It does wear you out over time and make you crave for some more, and I really hope they will tackle this problem so that players have more of a reason to stick around.
The concept of Cobalt WASD is actually something great. Over the years we have seen many side scrolling games like this game, but only a few of them were actually still entertaining in the long run. I am still undecided on how Cobalt WASD will actually succeed over time. As of right now it feels like a small indie game that you just launch to occasionally play a game or two. It doesn’t really give you the depth to keep you sticking around. I would love to see some form of competitiveness thrown into the game, because who doesn’t like any sense of achievement climbing through the ranks, slowly getting ranked up with and against players of your own level? It might still be too soon to think about features like these, especially with its current popularity. Cobalt WASD is on the right track to being a very fun shooter that is definitely different from the stereotype shooter of what the industry has to offer today, but it still has to find its niche, its own style to keep the lights on.