There are moments that I personally like how some devs just don’t try to bs their games and name it as it is. So I actually really appreciated how Pixonic just slapped the most obvious title possible to their F2P robot themed action game, Walking War Robots.
Yes, you read it right. Walking –freaking- War Robots. So, the game as the title gives away is about you piloting these hunk of junks in desolate fields trying to shoot each other to death. Sounds simple enough you say? Why, yes, it is as what you see and boy do they really make you feel like you are inside a highly armed tin can.
WWR is a really stripped down war game for the iOS and Android. The game doesn’t go with the usual story/plot bs other F2P RPGs try to throw at you, focusing their full development team instead of perfecting the battlefield elements. You aren’t given the kid gloves with lengthy training sessions either; pilots are just directed on which button does what before you are set loose to roam free.
Sounds fun right? And it is. Pixonic knows mobile gamers don’t necessarily have the attention span to pour into a boring introduction to the game. No fuss, no muss and destruction everywhere.
The whole game interface in battles is segregated into three areas on the screen. On the lower left side is the directional buttons for your robot, the upper half is dedicated to the circular motion of the upper half of the robot, and the left side of the screen is dedicated for the robot’s armaments.
You can actually feel the weight of the robot you’re piloting as you trudge along. You can also feel the slow rotation of the robot’s upper half as you try to move the turrets, rockets, machine guns and whatever it is you have loaded on the robot. The game’s UI is really clean and intuitive, so nothing ever feels too complex to make sense.
At first the controls are a bit clanky and slow compared to other shooters on the market. After an hour with the game I believe this was done intentionally, as these are steampunk style hunks of junk, not supertech gundams. Another nice touch is that you can actually move, attack and turn the turret all at the same time that adds to the taste of actually piloting these things in battle. Akin to the PC equivalent, MechWarrior Online, Walking War Robots captures the essence of mech battles perfectly.
However, even with the interface being all neat and clean. There are hitches within the game’s firing system. The first thing I noticed is that the targeting system can be quite glitch, especially if your opponents are all bunched up and the game can’t decide which robot it needs to shoot first. The second problem I noticed is that the game tends to be inconsistent in the area where you can tap to fire your weapons. There will be times that you’ll just shoot your guns even if you didn’t mean to as you try to aim. This is bad since you might not realize which hand is triggering the firing mechanism, and your weapon will overheat before you resolve the problem. As you can imagine, that’s not something you need happening right before engaging the enemy.
The tactical pace of the game makes for ideal battles on mobile. Mech variety is surprisingly large in-game, as it had some time post-launch by now to develop, so your enemy is capable of bringing a whole card trick worth of nasty surprises to counter you. Having the time to take a beating, recognize their weapon types, and react appropriately makes for smart gameplay over a pure twitch shooter. Though again the UI shines as you’ll feel every bullet, rocket, or cannon as they clang on your metal frame.
The game’s damage system also comes into play just like you’re playing a front mission game. There will be times that your robots will get damaged from enemy barrage to the point that it impacts your mobility or fire power. You can lose weapons, frame skills and even movement as opponents hit critical areas of your robot.
The game’s win condition is either by totally annihilating your opponents on the field or having more beacons than your opponents, capture the flag style.
Upgrades and Unfair Advantage
There are various ways for you to upgrade your robot’s fighting output in-game. You can either buy different frames, buy armaments, or upgrade your existing ones to increase their output.
Each frame you buy in-game has a notable strategic difference from one another just like how tanks are varied in World of Tanks. The game currently has three major types of robots which are namely: light, medium, and heavy. Each robot class has its own strengths and weaknesses that will force you to properly assess your battle strategy before going in-game. The sad thing about this is that WWR doesn’t give you a chance to test run these frames so you the first time you’ll be able to test how the frame works is in the heat of battle.
Another good thing about the varying robots you can purchase is that you are given enough variations in your fighting tactics that you won’t easily get bored with the game. Unfortunately this also has a nasty side effect of offering power disparity between paying and free players.
The amount of bonuses the premium tanks have are crazy enough on its base level; buffing them up to maximum in addition creates some real juggernauts. In fact, I experienced a match where my team had 2 premium robots left against 4 other robots you can get for free, and it doesn’t take a genius to figure out who won.
I mean sure, I love a good challenge, and that facing really tough robots makes my pilot blood race, but there’s a difference between fighting a wall you can take down with really good shots, and scaling the Great Wall of China (which in fact is one of the various factions you can use).
Overall, I loved my experience with Walking War Robots. The simplicity of everything is a nice touch and it’s refreshing to play a game that doesn’t have all the fluff you see in the market. I loved all the small touches WWR has, especially on the piloting side of things. It captures the feel of MechWarrior on mobile touch screen perfectly.
The biggest problem I have with the game is hard to resolve as its partially what makes the game stand out. With more of an emphasis on tactics than twitch skill, you will find it challenging to overcome superior opponents with just skill alone. Considering you’re going to be pugging it up, coordinating the appropriate tactics to take down super premium tanks isn’t really a possibility. Your best bet is investing time or money until you become a premium bad ass yourself who can stand toe to toe on the power spectrum with the most intimidating of rivals. And just like in any story/movie/TV series or what have you that has robots in them, money is king. And so it is in Walking War Robots.
If you don’t want to pay to win, expect a solid beat down for your first three weeks in the game. If you’re willing to spend a little to speed the initial stages up, or just can handle the heat of repeated losses, you’ll be hard pressed to find a better mech shooter on mobile. This is about as good as senseless robot mayhem gets right now!