Indie development company Nine Dots Studio isn’t completely new to the scene. They released their rookie game, Brand, in May 2012. Currently working on their sophomore release, GoD Factory: Wingmen is poised to do some interesting things.
GoD Factory is a unique blend of the multiplayer online battle arena (MOBA) genre and space combat simulation. Nowadays, it’s rare that you see a space simulation game come out at all, much less combined with another category. Still, with the recent surge of interest in MOBAs thanks to League of Legends and DotA 2, GoD Factory has a real chance to hook a core audience and keep them coming back.
First, let’s go through a brief overview of how GoD Factory works. When you enter a match, you’ll choose two different ships to take into battle with you. When the match starts, you’ll select one of those ships to take command of while the other sits in the dock, poised for combat. You’re free to fly back to base and swap if you ever have the need.
The ultimate goal of each match is to destroy the other team’s carrier ship while defending yours. This is easier said than done. Each carrier ship has six “integrity points.” These can be taken out two different ways. First, each carrier has a huge cannon that is set to fire every three minutes. When your carrier is hit with a cannon blast, it loses an integrity point. Those cannons can be damaged to slow the firing speed to five minutes, though.
Second, you can take out one of several other key areas on the ship, and these have other adverse effects. For example, taking out the hull of a ship will cause every other part on that ship to take 33% more damage, or taking out the shield generator will cause damage to each of the other parts of the ship.
Most every part on a carrier will require more damage be dealt to it than a single gunship can do before it runs out of ammunition. This ensures that players will either have to work together to take out opposing carrier parts or go back, restock on ammo, and makes multiple runs.
For a game that’s still in the alpha stage of development, GoD Factory looks fantastic. Each ship has an impressive level of detail, right down to the various moving parts on the ships’ wings. The skybox universe surrounding the battlefield feels completely engulfing and believable – almost like you could reach the planets in the background if you flew that direction long enough. Nine Dots claims there is still more work to be done in the graphics department. Given those claims, I can’t wait to see how the finished product looks.
The game offers up a wide variety of control schemes. While most MOBAs offer point-and-click with an isometric view, GoD Factory is, at its core, a space flight simulator. They offer the keyboard-and-mouse combo, an Xbox controller-compatible setup, and two different joystick configurations. Without access to a flight stick, I can tell you that the controller is easily preferred over the keyboard-and-mouse. Though I’m sure the folks at Nine Dots will tighten it up, in its current state the mouse just feels too floaty and unresponsive. Though the controller is preferred, you may have to do some tinkering with the configurations to find a setup that suits your style.
Control schemes aside, the flight controls feel great. Everything is responsive. Zipping around the battlefield doing barrel rolls and the like are spot on with other space simulation games on the market today. When you add-in the special maneuvers (side drifts, 180-degree turns, and more), the game starts to feel more and more like a Star Fox game, and that’s a good thing.
Arguably, one of the biggest draws to GoD Factory is the deep customization the game offers. Even with an early build of the game, the options are almost overwhelming. You can build four species, or archetypes, of ships. From there you’ll have access to several different options within eight different ship parts, as well as customization of special abilities and weapons. Take the fact that you’re going into battle with two different ships, and your options for the battlefield are tremendous.
LAN works well for this early build of the game. Given that, though, creating a match solo and jumping in (or playing “offline” for that matter) is a lonely venture indeed. It would be nice to see the bots to fill empty slots in the future. The inclusion of a few other game modes and single player scenarios (or even an entire campaign) would be an incredible boost in appeal for the longevity of the title as well. It would also be nice to see the ability to add space debris (wrecked ships, asteroids, etc.) to the map to change things up a bit.
Overall, the early look at GoD Factory: Wingmen proved to be an encouraging experience. It’s been a while since a good space simulation hit the masses. The design of the game promises to keep dogfights fast and intense while applying pressure with the carrier ships. The game also feels like it would excel with Team Deathmatch and a few other classic modes, but what Nine Dots Studio has put together so far is quite fun. Once online multiplayer is available, I could seriously see a core group getting hooked on Wingmen. When you toss in an upcoming shop, progression system, and more deep customization options, you offer something for fans to really cling onto. It’s impressive to see what can be done by a team of six in only nine months. We can look forward to release sometime this year.
If you’re interested in checking out more on GoD Factory: Wingmen, be sure to check out Nine Dots Studio’s official website here. You can also follow them on Facebook. The game is currently up for voting on Steam Greenlight, so be sure to head over there and vote for it as well. For all future coverage of GoD Factory: Wingmen, be sure to keep up with us right here at Capsule Computers.