At the Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3) in Los Angeles, appointments behind-closed-doors are the only place where you can really get a feel for a certain game, away from the hustle and bustle of the exhibit halls.
In this edition of our hands-on and impressions articles, Tripp, Nick and I had an appointment with Focus Home Interactive to see Tinalos Interactive’s interstellar RTS game, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada.
A few paragraphs of primer before the impressions: Based on Games Workshop’s famous tabletop PC game, Battlefleet Gothic: Armada features the war for the Gothic sector of space. The war is waged between the mighty Imperial Navy’s Gothic and the Chaos Black Crusade of Abaddon the Despoiler. I know, awesome names, huh?
So, what groups are fighting? The spaceship fleets from the Imperial, Chaos, Eldar and Ork forces.
Courtesy of development on Unreal Engine 4, Battlefleet gives players the ability to manage and customize almost every feature of every ship they possess and deploy. Going hand in hand with this customization is the option to either manually control a ship, or set it to do a certain task or attack or defend a specific target. More on both of those features later.
When we sat down at our appointment with two Tindalos devs, we were shown a slideshow of concept art and screenshots. After one of the devs talked to us about the game and how the screenshots and concept art were integrated, we were shown a live demo of the Battleship-like game
As a guy who isn’t too into RTS, it was a little hard for me to get into what was being shown during the demo. But, I did get the overarching concepts the devs wanted to emphasize to us: Captains of each ship you command can have their own temperaments, and can choose to obey or disobey your orders. However, this feature was disabled in the E3 demo game build in the interest of time.
The game UI was, in the dev’s own words, built to be easy for anyone to master. After choosing the ships they wanted to deploy (the interface of which was not as simple as I would have liked it), the dev’s battle with the AI ensued. Players can choose what each unit and ship does and where it should travel to and/or do there.
Clicking and dragging from a ship or ships either makes the unit go to the dragged-to location, or attack the enemy unit there. Although they didn’t tell us how, players can zoom in and out on every part of the battlefield in space, and can even see close-up details of every ship on screen.
When the health of a ship is depleted, the ship explodes and leaves floating wreckage. The battle quickly became just a battle of attrition, a battle that wasn’t even finished because they ran out of time before the next presentation.
However, in the short time and gameplay we did see, I can attest to the great potential of this title as an RTS. Mine-laying and other trap types were present in the environment, but wasn’t shown off during the demo. Weapon types on different types of ships are crucial to the player’s forces and attacks being varied, or, on the other hand, concentrated enough to effectively eliminate the opposing forces. I see the beginnings of deep strategy-driven gameplay.
Battefleet Gothic: Armada is due out in Quarter 1 (Q1) of 2016 for the PC. Take a look at other screenshots of the game below.
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