Developer: Drakkar Dev | Publisher: Green Man Gaming Publishing || Overall: 8.0/10
War Tech Fighters, the second most clever way to say “What The Fuck,” (the first being Work Time Fun) is a game that allows you to control a big robot and blow shit up. You shouldn’t expect Zone of the Enders, but something more like Gundam plus Transformers. The story is set on the backdrop of a war between Group A and Group B, and neither seem to like each other, so they fight and lots of people die. Such is war; if only the Obama administration didn’t pull us out of Iraq, we wouldn’t have to pull out of the Ares Colonies. Thanks Obama!
The robots are referred to as “War Techs” and are revered as the most efficient killing machines in the universe. However, there are still spaceships of varying degrees flying around, which is typically the stuff you’ll destroy on a massive scale. Each War Tech is equipped with a certain regiment of weapons, including fast bullets/lasers, slow bullets/lasers, missiles, and a sword. The first three categories are left to your preference what you decide to use at any given time, but they’re all efficient at killing things to a similar degree. However, you can’t use the sword except in 1 on 1 War Tech fights; it would have been nice to be able to freely use it, but then I guess it would be too much like Zone of the Enders… which really wouldn’t have been a bad thing.
There are a lot of different cutaways integrated into the gameplay which break the fluidity of the combat. The most disrupting are the cut scene executions of the common enemies, which reduces the intensity of battles significantly. It would have been if these were “in-game” executions instead of repeat cut-scenes that aren’t very diverse. You’ll start seeing new ones as you progress in the game, but a lot of them are kind of lame/slow. You can skip them, however, it requires you to hold space for a couple of seconds. There is a benefit to doing them, which includes recovering health/energy, so it’s kind of unavoidable.
Most of the game is centered around completing mission objectives. There are side goals to find hidden items and collect resources to progress your research/war tech and you can also replay missions for XP and resources. There are a lot of missions to play, but most are centered around blowing the same sorts of things up so there’s not a whole lot of diversity. Most don’t take more than 10 or 15 minutes to complete. Occasionally there is an interesting spin on the formula, but missions primarily progress the barebones story. There’s a lot of “cool names” for places with little else happening as you go around and destroy Zatronian Empire outposts. If these guys are so easily defeated why do they even have an empire?
You’ll also take control of other characters and their War Techs to see different side stories before your main character gets involved. There are enough of these where it becomes questionable if your research actually makes a difference during these missions, which in turn reduces the value of completing side missions and upgrading your own War Tech.
The upgrade path is unfortunately very convoluted from a user interface standpoint and is set up like 15 different “tech trees” for each different part of the War Tech. Since you don’t find any equipment in the field, you just buy all of your upgrades as you research more things and get more resources. A loot system could have easily made the game more engaging and worth killing hundreds of enemies for. Really, I would have just taken something a little less visually confusing in its design at the end of the day.
The graphics are nice. There are a lot of filmic aspects that the developers added to give it a more cinematic feel. The designs of the War Techs are pretty unique, and the weaponry is mostly cool-looking. There are lots of explosions and the sound effects of your weaponry are satisfying. Music is just heavy guitar constantly, which gets pretty annoying after a while, but it isn’t really bad music. It would have been nice to have a variety of moods instead of just having energy of the music at 11 constantly.
There’s some stupid stuff in the game that seem to be included just because it is “cool” to have, like launching out of the hangar of a small ship with rocket boosters that detach as soon as you leave it, just a couple hundred feet away. Like, why? Might as well just drop out of it if you aren’t going to keep the rocket boosters at all for the initial part of the mission. A lot of the battle cut scenes are sort of like “robot porn” and get tiresome, like a robot grabbing a ship with one hand and crushing it. WOOOOO!!! AWESZZOMMEEE. There are also some annoying typos/grammar issues. Despite this sort of stuff, you can definitely tell there’s a lot of “love” put into the game since there are a lot of uniquely designed models flying around in the game. It is also continuing to get updated with quality of life adjustments and even some new features a year after its initial release.
The console versions recently came out for this title, and is now currently available for PC, PS4, Switch, and Xbox One. There are honestly not that many “big robot” games that look and play well, and while it’s not a perfect game, it is a competent one with enough thought behind it to be an interesting excursion. While it would have been nice to have a bit more of a fleshed-out story to attach the gameplay to, there’s certainly enough content for the entry fee.