Developer: Warcave Games, Crazy Monkey Studios
Publisher: Warcave Games, Crazy Monkey Studios
Platforms: Playstation 4, Xbox One, Switch, PC (Reviewed)
Release Date: 28 March 2019
Price: – US$17.99/AU$25.99 – Available Here
If there’s one thing that you should take away from this review, let it be that I strongly believe Warparty is the rightful spiritual successor to Warcraft 3. Need I say more? Warparty is the debut real-time strategy game of Belgium based developers Warcave in collaboration with Crazy Monkey Studios. But can this game find mainstream appeal and shine bright in a video game market oversaturated with similar games?
Warparty’s campaigns focuses around the three factions, The Necromas, Vithara and Wildlanders; vying for control over the land through their use of Go’n powers which were found by the ancient tribes. The stories of the three campaigns intersect at times.
The Wildlanders story focuses around Chieftain Mika leading her newly formed tribe called the ‘Wildlanders’ which is focused around humans and keeping the tribe alive.
In the Vithara (means ‘Life’s Vengeance’) storyline, you play as the Sage, who is ashamed of humankind and uses the Go’n arts in an effort to correct nature’s mistakes. The Sage can command wildlife and bring it onto his side in battle. This race is similar to the Night Elves in Warcraft, with its focus around nature and its inclusion of ‘Trees of Life’ and Wisps which collect resources.
Last but not least, the Necromas, whose leader Char, is everything but Lich King in name. Char had gotten lost from his tribe and discovered a ancient mace inside a Go’n temple, which leads him to attempt to eradicate life from the planet.
Warparty contains multiple game modes, AI Skirmish, where you set up the parameters of a match and play against the computer on pre-made maps; Survival mode, where you face waves of increasingly difficult enemies; and the campaign, where you progress through three separate story campaigns and their missions.
I thoroughly enjoyed Survival mode, the maps in the game for this mode were challenging to defend, but at the same time felt so rewarding when your network of defensive towers were able to just hold back the enemy as your units came to reinforce. I would of liked to of seen more maps for this mode and it would be excellent if they could add co-op for this, as it would be very fun with friends.
Much like other games in the genre, Warparty doesn’t stray too far from the established formula in terms of controls. The game, compared to something like Warcraft 3, contains some much appreciated elements, such as your maximum unit selection being (at least seemingly) unlimited.
That’s not to say this game doesn’t bring its own unique elements. Warparty delivers on what many games fail to do, present three similar but completely different in strategy playable factions without requiring the player to learn brand new play-styles. Every race was able to feel unique, and I loved the Vithara mechanic of taming wild beasts to fight by your side, along with the (very overpowered) Necromas mechanic of being able to raise a dead soldier to fight on your side for every soldier you kill.
On the other hand, this game isn’t perfect. This game fails, like many other games, to make the ‘human’ faction feel special outside of not having any major abilities. In addition, the defensive towers in the game feel way too under-powered and disadvantages players who want to focus on building up before they attack outwards. Finally, in campaign mode, some of the missions (Especially mission 2 for Wildlanders and Vithara on normal difficulty) feel overly hard for the sake of being hard.
In strategy games it’s important that the graphics don’t get in the way of, or distract, the gameplay. Warparty’s graphics find a perfect fit between flashy and utilitarian, the units are easily identifiable in battle and it’s not too confusing to tell the difference between your units and the enemies. The building styles of each faction makes it easy to identify in the moment who you’re fighting.
Warparty excels in delivering a timeless look, although it’s not a look that’s unique to Warparty. The graphics are reminiscent of the timeless realistic-cartoon look which has appeared in games like World of Warcraft, DOTA 2 and many other games.
I’ve spent some time as I’ve written this review trying to figure out if the voice acting in Warparty is excellent or awful. The voice actors sound like they’re voicing orcs directly out of a 90’s strategy game, which may be intentional if the creators of this game want us to make that connection between their game and the classics from the 90’s.
The music in the game sounded uninteresting and repetitive, with some of the tracks making me wonder if the audio had locked up. It is the worst aspect of this game, especially compared to the epic music that’s usually expected for games like this.
You may have noticed throughout this review that I cannot get this Warcraft 3 comparison out of my head. Sure, the game is similar in story to the Warcraft franchise, but does that really matter?
No, I don’t think so. After all, good artists copy, great artists steal. Warparty is as close as we can get to a modern Warcraft 3 (at least before the release of the remastered Warcraft 3) and it’s exciting that this game is taking the proven groundwork of the great games that came before it, and adding it’s own little twist and fixes.
It’s something dreadfully needed in this current industry where every developer feels the pressure to always innovate.
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