GoD Factory: Wingmen Review

Gaming

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GoD Factory: Wingmen
Developer
: Nine Dots Studio
Publisher: Bandai Namco
Platform: Windows
Release Date: 29 August 2014
Price: $19.99 USD – Available Here

Overview

GoD Factory: Wingmen is an arcade flight sim. Two teams of four pilots will do attempt to destroy the enemy carrier while simultaneously attempting to defend their own. The game features an extensive ship customization system and four unique races.

Story

As a purely competitive multiplayer game, GoD Factory: Wingmen does not have a story. Although each of the four races have a distinctive ship design, there is no back story to explain these designs.

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Gameplay

Upon starting the game, players will choose two of the four races, which will provide them with their first two ships. Additional ships will need to be purchased with currency earned from completing matches and finishing the tutorial missions. As players gain experience from matches and level up, new ship bodies and parts will be unlocked. More advanced versions of individual parts can be purchased after unlocking them with enough mastery points. The end result is an extremely robust customization system that will allow experienced players to create ships geared exactly for a certain play style.

Players will bring two ships from their hanger into each battle. They can freely switch between them by flying back to their carrier’s hanger, allowing the docked ship to recover shields and restock ammunition. When a ship is destroyed in combat, the player is saddled with a respawn timer and the ship is replaced with a drone from their race. The drones are weaker ships with a pre-set load out. Players will have access to an unlimited number of drones, but the respawn timer is longer than the time needed to turn a ship around from the enemy carrier and fly back to the player’s dock. The system encourages for conservative play, which may not be everyone’s cup of tea.

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Two players can make an agreement to share their ships for the duration of the match. A player who has lost both their ships can get into their friend’s ship or a lower level player can fly much better ships with this feature. Though I personally would find the first situation to be of dubious tactical value, the feature is handy for pre-made groups of friends.

There is only one game mode in GoD Factory: Wingmen. It is an objective based mode where both teams have a giant carrier ship measuring thirteen kilometers in length. Each ship has seven integrity points and cannons that will fire every three minutes, knocking out one integrity point. Destroying parts of the ship will remove another integrity point along with providing an additional effect, such as loss of radar range. These parts are extremely tough and require a serious co-ordinated attack to destroy. However, because cannons fire every three minutes, the game is theoretically capped out at around 21 minutes. The mode is a lot of fun as a wide variety of strategies can be employed. The limited amount of players means each player must pull their weight, whether they are attacking, defending, or skirmishing in the centre.

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GoD Factory: Wingmen can be controlled with the mouse/keyboard, joystick, or controller. I could not get my Xbox 360 controller to properly work for me. No matter how many times I went through the configuration system, I could not get the game to register boosted maneuvers, which put me at a serious disadvantage. The mouse and keyboard on the other hand worked like a charm. The default controls are very friendly to mouse and keyboards, which is not common for flight based games.

Over the course of the game, the controller issue was not the only glitch I encountered. The tutorial was another major problem. After a while, it was impossible to access the tutorial. The game simply hung on the controller selection screen and refused to do anything. The only way around the bug was to forcibly quit the game and avoid starting the tutorial in the future.

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Like many multiplayer indie games, GoD Factory: Wingmen’s biggest weakness is the lack of players. I had a hard time finding a game with more than a few human players. Empty slots on teams can be filled with bots. The game’s bots make for a mildly entertaining partner as they are reasonably competent pilots, but their strategy was rather predictable.

Visuals

God Factory: Wingmen’s strength is in its awesome ship design. Each of the four races have a distinct ship style and they look like they would fit right in with an anime mecha series. The UI is very good. It is extremely practical, though the design looks a bit standard for a sci-fi title.

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On the hardware front, for those brave enough to own an Oculus Rift developer’s kit will find the title compatible. Performance wise, the game ran without a hiccup. There are an average amount of settings to tinker with in the options screen.

Audio

The soundtrack is filled with tracks that evoke a sense of epic scale and intensity. There are several different tracks that will play over a course of the battle which keeps things fresh. I felt the game mimicked the soundtrack of action games from Japan, which fits in well with the visual design. The sound effects were rather average, as they felt a bit limp at times.

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Overall

GoD Factory: Wingmen is a decent game. The single game mode is a boat load of fun and there are plenty of customization options to keep tinkerers happy. However, the game needs more players. It is definitely worth a play if you can even round up three friends who are willing to play a 2 vs 2 match with bots providing extra manpower, but the game feels a bit empty when solo.

7-0-capsules-out-of-10

Capsule Computers review guidelines can be found here.

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