The other day, I had a chance to spend some time on EA and Phenomic's upcoming real time strategy game, BattleForge for the PC. If you haven't heard of it before, shame on you -- go eat some glass.
Just in case you were too lazy to read Samit’s article (and you should feel bad if you were, because he puts a lot of time into them), BattleForge is on online RTS that incorporates the idea of using tabletop gaming cards to represent the game’s different types of resources. Now, on to the multiplayer!
The first round of online we played was pretty confusing. Having never ever played the game, it was kind of difficult to just jump right in and know what you were doing. I think others there were having the same issues, so it was suggested that we all try out the tutorial if we wanted to. That was a very good suggestion.
While the lobby menus seemed pretty weird in some places, the tutorial taught you everything you needed to know in no time flat. Right away, I figured out exactly how to use the trading card style item management and exactly how to use it effectively in the game.
Which is pretty cool, because most RTS games beat the crap out of the player with requiring them to build resources forever before ever getting to any sort of fun gameplay; building a tech tree, I believe it’s called. And it becomes apparent that BattleForge’s use of the trading card idea is more than just an aesthetic decision in reference to that.
When I originally saw the concept of the title, I thought it would be just a weird card game spin-off and not a real RTS. But seeing the way that BattleForge blends the trading cards into the RTS genre, and not the other way around, I feel that this may end up being a really solid title for RTS fans. It's also a lot of fun for people who aren’t really all that into meticulous resource management and just want to have fun with their RTS game.
I know that I had a lot of fun playing around with the battle system and its cool looking trading card-esque menu, so I may keep an eye on this game when it comes out March 24th. If you want to see it sooner, you can also check out the open beta that begins on Feb, 27, and see what you think.
And, no, I don't know why the screen shots don't have any pictures of the trading cards in them. I can only give what I get, folks.