By Ojogo, Mobile Guru
As game developers keep on bringing out one mobile game after another, we have Machine Zone bringing their own Sim/Strategy game into the market with Game of War: Fire Age. I’m not really sure if they planned it to sound similarly like the George R.R. Martin book/TV series to get more interest going but, heck, whatever rocks their boat right?
So moving on to the gameplay. GoW:FA (and now I realize that the abbreviation is pretty much similar to God of War as well) adheres to the tried and tested simulation/strategy gameplay where you setup your base of operations that would provide resources and units.
GoW:FA uses the previously popular, limited-but-empty-space base creation system. You are given a certain amount of “empty spaces’ within your base where you can build structures of either resource generation (which is found outside of your base walls) or, your military/defense unit generation buildings.
Game progression follows the logical game pattern of structure upgrades provide more units/structures to be unlocked.
One of the many game elements GoW: FA has going for it is a vast set of questing systems. You have the usual game progression type of quests where you meet requirements by upgrading and/or doing base related upgrades/purchase. The game calls this the Empire quests where it’s segregated into three self-explanatory categories which are: build, train, rate and the misc. quest categories.
Meanwhile, the other quest systems in play are the Daily and the Alliance quests. These set of quests don’t follow the usual mold of questing since you can achieve them only through “getting” them and waiting for the timer to finish. Yes, they are basically time-based quests that provide exp points for your hero, resources and at least for the case of Alliance quests, loyalty points which would be attributed to the alliance that you are part of.
These quests fall under the categories of Legendary, Epic, Rare, Uncommon, Common and Basic quests. The difference between these is the time that needs to elapse for it to be accomplished (with the longest for Legendary and it lessens accordingly). These quests can be accomplished on a daily basis and the higher “rarity” quests come out in random.
GoW:FA puts your heroes to a different use. Unlike other sim/strat games that use the hero system, your heroes provide buffs aside from providing high offense skills in army skirmishes. The bonuses your heroes provide either fall under resource or military boosts. These “boosts” can be unlocked as your hero levels up and of course the bonus stats increment is based on the points allocated for each boost.
Another thing to take note of in GoW:FA is that you would never get to equip your hero with items for free. Majority of the things that you can put on your hero are either bought through the premium store, or are crafted through the items that are also bought from the store.
Game of War: Fire Age’s battle system on the other hand is pretty standard vanilla and nothing to write home about. You set your units out on sorties against other players or at various resource filled areas outside your map (that can be accessed through the global map) and you wait on the results of the battle.
You have the option to include your hero, unlike other games which make the decision mandatory, and you can also scout out the areas beforehand to measure their defences to adjust your troops accordingly.
One of the things that the game does try to maximize is the use of its social feature. The game emphasizes the importance of alliances and being part of one. Using the typical alliance setup seen in other games of this genre, a feeling of end-game content and player unity is forged, especially if you’re part of the more active groups.
Game of War adds a little feature in the alliance system where your fellow alliance members can help in lessening either construction or unit creation by clicking the “help” button that can be found in the lower right of the game’s UI.
For the more serious alliances, the game has enough to keep things interesting by keeping all members of the alliance busy supporting each other’s strengths. Though this is mostly limited to daily questing.
Game of War: Fire Age is a solid sim/strat game for the mobile. It provides some welcome changes into the already used and abused game genre.
Machine Zone’s change of the “hero” class unit into something more versatile than a raw killing machine is one of those changes.
However, the game does lack the necessary “oomph” that sets itself apart from the numerous titles out there. In fact, the game is so vanilla that replayability suffers considerably, and a player’s game life with the game is considerably cut shorter as a result. In an industry that’s saturated with games like this, GoW:FA will be ignored since it doesn’t have any notable feature that can catch a player’s interest.
Even with the game’s emphasis on alliance help and PvPing, the game really lacks a soul that sets it apart from other titles, thus killing the game’s value by half, regardless of how solid the gameplay is.
With too many titles out that provides more than what GoW:FA can offer, the game still is a good game to jump into, if you’re the hipster type who wants to play a sim/strat game that everybody is not jumping into.
So if you’d ask me if I’d suggest the game, well, all I can say is that it’s decent enough to give a few swings at, and with the game’s paywall not that high (except for the hero equipment which I mentioned earlier) then you can try a few days (or hours) and see if it’s the right fit for you.