Where Do I Start…
In my short time writing about games here, I have tried to be as positive I can be. Even with a game such as Lawbreakers which I didn’t like, I feel as if I gave it the credit it was most certainly due. I enjoy getting excited about new games and I enjoy gushing over my experiences because, well that’s just the kind of person I am. I will fanboy over things, and gush over things almost to an embarrassing extent. But I think it’s time to reign it in, just for today. It’s time to destroy something.
This is because I recently received a code for ‘Offensive Combat: Redux’ and decided to review it due to my general interest in shooters. I went in with an open mind. I promise, I did. But, there’s no two ways to say it. This is one of the most crude, vulgar, boring, lazy, buggy, and most importantly, offensive shooters I’ve played..well ever.
The Story of Offensive Combat
I simply had to write about Offensive Combat: Redux due to the simply bizarre and hilarious cause of it’s ‘rezerection’. For those not in the know, and let’s be fair you’ve probably have no idea what this game is, ‘Offensive Combat’ was a PC and Mac ‘browser shooter’ that was distributed through Facebook of all things. It was developed by ‘U4iA Games’, which has now unsurprisingly ceased production. The game itself was a pretty generic shooter with some taunts, characters, poor graphics, and you guessed it, massive amounts of microtransactions.
The game was free to play, and back in those days Facebook had a massive audience for games just like it. It was actually quite a big hit and the page still has almost 500,000 likes today. However, for some inexplicable reason, a publisher known as ‘Slapshot Games’, recently acquired the IP to Offensive Combat. Was this because they wanted to turn this once silly, popular Facebook game into a new experience to combat the titans of the shooter industry? Did they want to create something different and brand new, that would also bring in old players for an odd hit of nostalgia..?
No. Just, no. They took the original game, shoved ‘Redux’ on the end, added a bunch of awfully implemented systems from other similar games, and had the gall to throw a $20 price tag on it. Also, this game features two currencies for it’s unlocks and cosmetics. Which means that this 20$ title, may likely contain microtransactions either at launch, or later down the line. Now, I did not play the original Offensive Combat, and as such will be reviewing this solely as its own property.. *Cracks Knuckles*. Here we go…
How Did This Get Greenlit?
To sum it up, I’d say this game is at it’s best when used as an example of how Steam Greenlight doesn’t actually work properly. That’s the best thing I can say about it. The fact that Steam’s quality control is reaching the point where games such as this, and random German simulators are ending up on their stores is beyond me. Also rather interestingly, they completely LIE about the game’s graphical fidelity, but the build featured in tise trailer…
which isn’t even the one they’re releasing in 2 days. The UI in this trailer: isn’t the real UI, you can see the actual UI in the screenshots provided!
Upon booting up this game, it does basically everything in it’s power to convince you that you are playing a high quality video game experience. The game launched in windowed mode, at 1280×720 resolution. The default FOV was 65 with the max FOV being 75 (so bring a sick bag). The graphical options were non-existent for a PC title, with the only settings being a single slider for ‘Graphics Quality’ which had several options. ‘Fastest, fast, balanced, pretty and’ *ahem* ‘Gorgeous’. The only other setting was resolution scaling, which was off by default, making the game look as aliased as a PS2 era tree.
Aside from the settings, the menu and general UI is what initially struck me about Offensive Combat. Every single element of it looks like a first year game design students project. There is no unique design or consistency here whatsoever. Every single element of the UI is awful, to the point where most things look like placeholder text with a random MS word font and ‘insert text here’ boxes everywhere (note, this game releases on the 18th of August). Most curious though, is that the UI both in and out of game, looks very, VERY much like it was designed for a mobile platform. More on that later…
If you haven’t spontaneously vomited at the sight of the menu, there is actually a shooter in this 1.3 GB download! It plays essentially like an extremely boring version of ‘Loadout’ a FREE, and vastly superior, shooter that this game clearly rips some of it’s concepts from. There’s only 3 modes; Death Match, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag. On top of that, there’s only 6 maps. You feeling good about your $20 yet? (You could buy Sonic Mania with that).
You pick a primary weapon, a secondary, a melee, and you shoot people (imagine TF2’s loadout system, except exactly the same but shit). From simple number crunching and within a few hours of playing, you can tell the level of balance and thought behind the gameplay is nonsense. Certain guns are objectively better than others, and each gun requires upgrading with ‘XP’. Imagine Loadout’s research tree, except it’s exactly the same but only 5% of it is there. XP is also a resource, not a progression system. This game has no progression system, because that would take effort.
The gameplay can’t be analyzed because it’s as generic as it gets, watch the trailer and you’ve played the game. The most I can give it is that the hit detection and actual shooting is decent and that some of the maps look reasonable..for 2005. The gameplay isn’t what made me really angry about this game though. What really made me angry, is the sheer infantile tone, humor and direction this game has.
I’m not using hyperbole when I say that this game’s humor is genuinely pathetic. It feels like it’s stuck in some disturing, dystopian, 2007 YouTube meme machine, which only 12 year olds at the time, and certainly not now, would find even slightly humorous. To quickly summarize, this game uses the term ‘pwn’ unironically. However! You can get a variety of very amusing and clever outfits for your character such as:
-A ‘head’ that makes you look like Trump.
-A head entitled ‘Poopiehead’ which is just a pile of poo
-A ‘keep calm and pwn’ shirt
-A ‘make OC great again’ shirt (OC meaning offensive combat, not original character. This game doesn’t have any of those).
-A panda, a gecko, a goth, a hipster, and many more zany costumes!
As you can see, there is a massive variety of highly amusing and original outfits that really doesn’t make you sad when thinking about what the human race has become. What’s more, is that not only are those ‘research trees’ I mentioned earlier tied to special currency, but so are these costumes! So the chances of implementation of micro-transactions is, while not ‘certain’ (because that would get me in trouble), highly likely.
The Cherry On Top
I was so perplexed by the awfulness of Offensive Combat: Redux that I decided to go and do some digging on it’s development. The name of the developer was ‘Three Gates’, and I’m not sure if Offensive Combat was commissioned by their publisher, or if it is an original title that they published using Slapshot. Have you heard of this legendary developer ‘Three Gates’ though? Of course you haven’t.
That’s because when going to their website, you will find that they have only made 2 previous titles. The first of these titles was ‘Mainstream Fishing’ for IOS and Android devices. The second, and the one that made me almost die of laughter, was called ‘8 To Go’. It was, and I’m not shitting you, a free to play, pay to win, BULL RIDING SIMULATOR, also for IOS and Android.
So, why is this random mobile gaming company suddenly producing PC only shooters? Earlier on I mentioned that every single element of this game’s UI looks STRAIGHT out of a mobile game, especially a mobile shooter. My guess, and it’s only a guess, is that Offensive Combat: Redux was supposed to be a mobile game which was then ported to PC to be sold on steam. The menus, the sound quality (which by the way is atrocious), the dual currencies and the awful mobile quality graphics all just scream that this was a mobile device game at some point in it’s development. You can see their previous works below:
A developer who makes a F2P fishing game and a F2P Bull Riding Sim for IOS who then creates a remake of a browser game that everyone forgot about, and makes it one of the worst games of the year. You can’t make this shit up.
In short, I encourage everyone to go look this game up and see what a mess it is, but DO NOT purchase it, not even for a joke. This is the kind of laziness and lack of care that we don’t want to promote and allow developers to profit from. Bad games exist, and they always will. I would never go out of my way to just shit on a dev who makes a weak game in their spare time.
But the fact that this is being put on sale in just 2 days, on Steam, for $20 is nothing short of a joke. It shows a nothing but a complete lack of effort from all parties involved in it’s production, and Steam is as much to blame as the developer and publisher are for allowing such a poor product to be able to purchase from their store.
Truly, Offensive, Combat.