So! What is Battleforge?!
First starting as an EA Phoenomic made game, EA Games had acquired this company and the game is now under its own wings now. Although! It is only in beta at the moment, the official release is planned, I repeat; planned (don't sue me) to be released on March 2009. When it is released, there will be more than 200 cards avaliable for use--- Wait. The heck did I just say? Cards? I'll explain!
BattleForge: Opening horizons?
Battleforge is a [R]eal[T]ime[S]trategy game; games like Starcraft, Warcraft3, CommandAndConquer. However, it is also one of the first 'MMO' RTS. It involves card trading as your units, and combines the elements to your power. So who are you in game? You are a sky lord, who commands his army from above.... you are a god....
Gameplay. where do I begin?
I'll start with the cards, as I'm sure this is the most curious thing of the whole game. The cards are set up like any card game you would ever know (Magic:TheGathering, YuGiOh) However, this would most closely relate to YuGiOh, as you use these cards to summon your creatures. That is a god's power, being able to bring forth the inanimate into the world.
The cards can be acquired through the world, and throughout game time. There is also cash-shop for booster packs and of course, what game isn't complete without an Auction House where you can engage in trade with other players?
So what's the deal with the cards? Well. It brings forth a more variety of units rather than "you picked Zerg? Great, here's your set of units". Having cards makes it more strategical (hey, it compensates for the fact that you don't have to build buildings-- wait... you still do. crap.). You are allowed to only have a set of cards to bring forth into battle. It limits your units and what you can use, but also makes the user think of devious plans of using these units in battle. Each card is unique, and each card has an element. While some cards may seem useless, their effect might make it all worth while.
Alright, so I've only talked about the units. Let's talk about the elements. The element feature is your spell powers. You can call down the forces of Fire, Frost, Nature, and Shadow to your will, provided that you have the correct cards for it that is. This could be invoking a fire storm, a blizzard, or causing chaos to your enemy, this could also be benefitting your own units with blessings of haste and so forth :) the whole kaboodle.
The basis of the game was just nicely explained don't you think? Well. I think so. So let's recap- the game involves a set of cards that you may arrange before any battle (you may even save sets). Entering the game, you use these cards to kill the enemy. Sounds nice and simple, and it also sounds fun!
but, Kei... Isn't that... unfair? The veteren players with the big cards can just lay them down and rape me! Well. Here's how the system goes. Cards have pre-requisites. YuGiOh needed sacrifices, and MTG needed land. Well; it's the same here. Each card has an element and you are required to gain a elemental point before being able to summon it. Remember how I was commenting on buildings above? Well.
Throughout the game is scattered these... relics I guess you can call. You can build your shrines here and gain favor for your element (giving you 1 point to 1 element). Each card has its own requirements. 1 frost, 1 shadow. 1 fire 1 frost. It all depends on the card, yes this means that the spell cards have this too---
Ah, PVE. For you lovers of PVE out there, there are plenty of scenerios for you and your friends to complete. Just create a game, hop in, and kill the enemy. There are difficulty levels to suit your game and the missions can reach up to 14 players. So whats the reward? PVE level ups, Card level ups, gold and a lot of laughter with your friends as you see them rush forward and you are standing back watching him die. Er; I mean. Yes... fun.
My Dominon!! For PvP, players can choose between ranked and unranked PvP.
Unranked PvP will not offer any rewards whatsoever but I guess it could be used as a training ground with you and your friends. It's not a bad place to test out your cards how see how well they fare in the intensity of PVP battle.
Ranked pvp will give players gold, PvP experience points and tokens as reward. Gold and tokens can be traded for card upgrades, while PvP experience points can give players a higher PvP level.
Yes! This game offers upgrade to your cards so that you may enhance your deck and annihilate your enemy faster, given that the other player does not exceed your skill :P
The graphics aren't exactly great at all and doesn't fall far from Warcraft 3 graphics, perhaps the textures are a little bit off from WC3 itself. However, the gameplay is smooth and the enviroment is great. I'm guessing the graphics shouldn't be set too high because PVP battles will require many units summoned and spell casting to be invoked. It's acceptable and a great trade; graphics for more epic battles! YES!
Controls & Interface
Hm. Well; I mixed these two categories to one because... well.
The controls are standard. Move your camera with wasd and arrow keys, your quick hot bars are your numerical numbers.
Though I do have to comment, I didn't see any option for this... No matter how simple these keys are.
Though, I do wish I could have hotkeyed unit sets... maybe it was just because I was doing it wrong.. ( i sped through the tutorial)
Now, Interface. I felt the interface was... cluttered and unneccesary. The screens(the pop up menus and so forth) were so HUGE. Alright guys, I'm on a 21" Wide Screen on max resolution. Yeah, the game only supports a certain resolution (hey, that might explain my graphics problem... hm... ) but the menus still seemed to be in my way. You have a little square of gaming space and menus all over you. Well of course, the menus could be collapsed, and they stay that way. So I guess if you play a little bit, the play space might accomodate you :P
Additional Thought Kei-sama?!
So, okay. Joy. We're playing one huge card game put forth visually for us. Big woop. Why not just play the big name games, I mean. Hell. Starcraft 2 is coming out anyway right? Well. This game is free, and its great pvp. the bigger games are halariously fun and its bound to give some screams on vent and much laughter.
I will personally be playing this once in a while once the real thing comes out :) You may find my name to be Keishirou in game. I won't be playing Beta any longer after this review though :)
Graphics: 6| Sound: 8 | Gameplay: 9 | Controls: 10 | Replay Value: 9
Lets see. The graphics were blurry and plain (armor was kinda just a white sheen)
Sound is pretty decent, your average battle sounds. They also have some epic music to go with the battles.
Gameplay is great, nice and smooth and the animations and delay time between clicks are excellent. (In lag, I only have maybe a 1 second delay... this was uploading 100kb/s)
Controls, pretty standard for RTS. Course it's going to be high.
Replay Value? Pretty damn high if your an RTS fan !!
Satisfy your Blood Thirst now.... And Forge your own Battlefield.