WTF action in War Tech Fighters Mecha combat game.
Title: War Tech Fighters
Platform: PC (Reviewed)
Developer: Drakkar Dev
Publisher: Green Man Gaming Publishing
Price: £10 / $15
Release date: Out now
TL;DR: Giant space-faring battle bots.
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War Tech Fighters is the new space mech action game that is touting to combine the spectacular action of Japanese anime with Hollywood blockbusters like Pacific Rim; all wannabe pilots of Mobile Suit Gundams, Evangelions, and Armoured Mechs rejoice, for you have another chance to live out your robotic dreams in Drakkar Dev’s War Tech Fighter.
In W.T.F. you are given a massive War Tech (pilotable robotic war suit) that you can configure, upgrade, and customise to your liking, limited only by currency costs, progression level, and research. With this suit, you will undertake various types of missions for your renegade faction against the oppressive regime of the Zatronian Empire, and in turn, save the galaxy.
The premise sounds great, and the game certainly looks the part. Graphics are smooth and visual, with lots of frenzied enemies attacking you, all whilst you attempt to dispatch them with a varying array of weaponry and some cinematic cutscenes of destructive finishing moves.
Starting off in the game there’s a useful tutorial that takes you through the all-important movement controls for the giant mech suit. Getting used to the inertia of your thrusters and using the up/down planes is extremely important later when in combat and searching the level environments for hidden upgrades and resources, so make sure to pay attention. Next up is how to use the targeting reticules to lock on, using homing missiles, and switching between light and heavy weapons. Once you’re comfortable with the tutorial, you’re ready to take on the Zatronians.
Our first couple of missions as a freshly qualified pilot aren’t challenging, and are basically there to gently nurse you into the wars ahead. Weapon-wise, you will only have the starting setup until you complete a few missions and collect some resources, then you can start exploring the wonderful world of weapons upgrades and give your mech the “pimp my ride,” experience and install a sick paint job.
Even though the game runs well and looks fairly slick, I felt the missions to be a little repetitive, and the game felt light, like it was lacking some kind of meaty substance. There is some story, but again it’s vague, with some small portions of voice over work on top of generic spaceship flybys. I guess the anime influences are the little text-driven chats between the Gundam pilots, but again, they aren’t really engaging enough to stop me fast-clicking through them to start the next mission.
What was also disappointing was the upgrade system. You start the campaign by choosing the style of Mech that you wish to pilot; Light (Hawk), Medium (Lynx), and Heavy (Rhino). Hawk Mechs have increased speed and maneuverability as well as high attack damage, but not the best aim; Lynx Mechs are more balanced and do less damage but have the best aiming, and Rhino Mechs are the tanks, heavily armoured bots that can soak the hits, dish medium damage, but have poor aim and are slow to move.
All the varieties of Mechs can have their stats adjusted through the interchanging of parts and equipment, so it just depends on what more fits your playstyle. The problem with the upgrades is that most parts are direct stat boosts to your Mech, with little to no varying function. If all you want from the game is to nuke enemies with a mech, then this game is going to suit you, but if you want something with a deeper system and refined mechanics, this will not have the depth that you may require.
Regardless of my personal opinions of some of the facets of the game, it was still a lot of fun in small doses. It had that casual arcade feel to it and was easy to just pick up and play for a few missions when there was some spare time. Missions, although repetitive, had a few different objectives to them. Some missions were your standard “kill everything that appears,” type, but there were also search missions, stealth missions, survival, and timed missions.
Whilst on missions, you are encouraged to have a wander around the maps to search for clues or look for some hidden upgrade objects to unlock the research tree back at base. Resource (currency) asteroids and caches are also dotted about some missions, with caches needing you to play a little mini-game to unlock them; the mini-game puzzle seems to be the same every time which becomes frustrating and dull after a while.
Overall, you do get a lot of game for the price; it’s pure escapism. You can oust your frustrations on a thousand drone ships and go “Ooh, nice,” the first time you see your robot perform one of its cinematic finishing moves, it just lacks an engaging story and impactful upgrade decisions. Treat it as an arcade outing, however, and I feel that’s where its niche may be.
- You get to fly in a giant robot.
- Pew pew lasers and destruction of hordes of enemies.
- Thumping soundtrack.
- Repetetive missions.
- Upgrades only adding raw stats.
- Light story.
ESRB: No Rating as of this review. PEGI: No Rating as of this review.
Although there are no ratings granted as of this review, W.T.F. features no bad language or nudity, just lots of giant Mechs that don’t care for each other.
Disclaimer: This review is based on a retail copy of the game provided by the publisher for the purposes of this review.