by Jason Parker (Ragachak)
The most common approach to a shooter/FPS these days is ultra-realistic or ultra-gritty. You have LawBreakers, which is violence-filled, but filled with grit, swearing, and really cool gameplay mechanics. The upcoming Call of Duty is set in World War II. Then you have Battlefield I, which is set in World War I. There are, of course, games that buck this trend, like Star Wars Battlefront and various other class-based shooters, but none of them are quite as wild as Offensive Combat: Redux. It’s set in the “Offensive Combat Universe”, which I did not know existed until I started this review. So I sat down to do a little research. Offensive Combat was originally a browser based shooter, distributed via Facebook.
Years later, Offensive Combat: Redux comes back with all the silly, ridiculous nonsense that comes with it. A lot of the complaints I’ve read about it were based on the visuals and the fact that a prominent part of the game is “PWNing” your opponents after you kill them, or that it’s not pretty visually. And sure, this is not the prettiest FPS I’ve ever played (that’s probably Lawbreakers). But I personally feel the more ludicrous, cartoony, even sub-par art style goes well with the game. Offensive Combat: Redux keeps up this ridiculous style with killshots: in addition to getting headshots, the game also offers the laudable “Cockshot”! If you manage to kill someone with shots to the genitals, it will declare proudly that you defeated your foe with a cockshot. It’s an experience I’ve not had in an FPS until this one.
It may look a trifle ridiculous, and it may be annoying that it does not default to 1920×1080 fullscreen/borderless windowed, but there are settings to change that. Well, you can set it to full screen. Any game that doesn’t have “Borderless Windowed” as an option automatically ticks a negative mark for me. But the graphics do lend themselves well to this style of game. It’s very immature, and it’s clear from the word “Go”. There are lots of different cosmetic styles, including “Drumpf” and “Killary”. You can be a lizard person, a robot, you can walk around in a classy suit with a Poo Head. Whatever nonsense you want to cook up you can, and it won’t make you any better at the game. It will probably be at least marginally entertaining though. But how do you unlock these wonderful features? You spend gold, the primary currency, or there is … an alternative path. It’s a far more fun path, but it’s a bit more random. Thankfully you also get gold and experience points for winning/losing matches, but here’s the real trick.
When you kill a player in a match, a match of any variety, you can “PWN” them. Remember how popular teabagging was in Halo/CoD? It’s back, and it has a legit game function! You start off doing a combo of a Teabag (look it up if you don’t know) and John Cena’s “You can’t see me” taunt with a little funk riff playing. Each time you utilize one of these taunts, there’s a chance that the game will unlock a new part at random. What’s the catch though? When you are taunting, you don’t have any invulnerability frames or any protection, other than your team. Odds are, while you’re PWNing someone, an enemy combatant is lining up a shot to murder you.
Anytime you fire a bullet, throw a grenade, anything, you show up on the mini-map. So when someone dies, you are a moving target on the map. In fact, I’ve only successfully gotten away from a taunt a few times total. No more than five or six, and that was because I had to steal a kill, kill the guy that was killing, then grenade his friend running down the path. Then it was PWN, PWN, dash, and PWN! But it’s a chance of an item and even if you’re killed mid-taunt, you still unlock the part. The really good costume pieces are expensive, but playing will unlock them and there are no benefits to it other than looking silly/cool (but probably silly). Luckily you can equip multiple taunts, and use the one you prefer.
The gameplay is sharp but simple. You can play against Robots (Bots), Team Deathmatch, Capture the Flag, or Death Match (free for all). These are pretty standard FPS modes: kill the other team until time runs out/you hit the appropriate number, capture the flag a few times, kill everyone that isn’t you a lot. There’s also a handy “Exploration” Mode where you can wander the map, find your sniping spots, where items spawn, et cetera. In addition, if you can’t decide what mode to play, use “Any Mode” and it will match you with the first queue that pops.Then we have the weapons. You come equipped with a Primary Gun, a Secondary Gun, a Melee Weapon, and a Grenade/Supplemental Weapon. You start, thankfully, with all the primary/secondary guns unlocked, and a wooden sword/frag grenade.
Every melee weapon has identical stats and differences are all just cosmetic, from a rubber chicken to a frying pan to a fish or boxing glove. Each grenade-style weapon gets better and better and thankfully only require exp, so simply playing matches will unlock them. Each gun has a skill tree, with new parts to equip to them, which all start with a base of 1000 exp and increase exponentially for each level on the tree. I do feel like the scoping of the guns is pretty slow, and so anytime I try a new assault rifle, I find myself regretting the scope choice and prefer to simply look down the barrel and open fire. The guns are interesting too. You have a few classics, like the AK-47, the SCAR-HL, but then they get wacky, like the “Razer”, a “cutting edge” space pistol. Or the “Xeno Disrupter” which shoots … radiation? I think that’s the ammo. But you have your pick of the litter. There’s also a gigantic chain gun you can find on most maps, ala Doom. But if you kill the person with it, they lose it.
And while the gameplay is solid – you kill people with guns, the aim seems to be pretty tight and even when I was losing, I still had fun – it feels empty, hollow somehow. I do not think 20 bucks is okay for a game that just has a few game modes and maps. For what’s on offer, I think 10 would be far more reasonable. Going back to guns though, I’m not really wild about the Weapon Tree being cumulative. What I mean, is you can’t decide that you want to go back Reflex sight and equip it instead. There’s no way to undo it either, so if you decide you don’t like that sight, you’re stuck with it. The other traits to the guns are just buffs/upgrades, so you do need to put in the time to get the exp and put yourself on the level of players who are constantly on and leveling their gear. The other major complaint is the nature of the PWNS. Each PWN has a timer (3s-6s), and each PWN has a chance to unlock particular gear. So what that means is you need to spend the gold on them. So I highly recommend going through the list of PWNs and figuring out what items you’re trying to unlock and equip accordingly.
Are you Triggered?: Verdict – 3/5 (Okay)
A lot of the complaints I’ve heard about the game have nothing to do with the actual game, because it’s just the nature of the game. Sure, it promotes negative, toxic, taunting behavior, as it’s part of the game. It has a “DRUMPF” character, complete with “Make OC Great Again” outfit and “Killary” in prison black and whites. It all boils down to how offensive you think that is. You don’t have to use them, but I can see how that might bother some people. You can’t hide them, but it’s definitely not everyone’s cup of tea. The game itself isn’t bad, but I can see people being mollified and offended pretty easily. I think that if it had something more to it, whether it was more maps, a few more modes, something, it would be worth 20 dollars. As it stands right now it’s fun, it’s good for a few matches here and there, but it’s not worth the price tag. I appreciate that it’s easy to power up your guns easily and that all the guns are unlocked right at the start. There aren’t a ton of them, but you have access to them and can go to the “Gun Range” mode to test them and see if they are exactly what you’re looking for. But at the end of the day, I do feel like it needs something “more”.
A game key was provided for review purposes.