Frontline Tactics hands-on preview
Frontline Tactics is the new game from Publisher, Meridian4 and developer Full Control, who’ve made quite a name for themselves of late in the iOS turn-based strategy scene with the very well-reviewed Tactical Soldier: Undead Rising, and I recently had the chance to get a hands-on preview with it. Guess what, everybody? It’s a simple-to-grasp, smooth-running, cross-platform strategy game that looks really pretty and is likely even deeper and more enjoyable than you probably thought.
The game is set in that near-future high-tech warfare world that smacks of all the top-tier shooters out there today like Call of Duty, Medal of Honor, and Battlefield, and yet, while those games focus on cinematic gameplay moments and placing you right in the thick of an overly dramatized battle, Frontline Tactics puts you in the commander’s chair, requiring you to truly gauge the strengths and weaknesses of all your men, and form legitimate and often very patient strategies in order to pull of a victory. And, while at first the game seems to be a run of the mill turn-based battler, it actually runs off a sort of troop by troop initiative system, which takes the individual speed ratings of the various units and uses them to determine the battle order in a much more lively and dynamic way.
From there, it basically controls like most other games in its genre, where you click on a unit, see where it can move, move it there, and see where it can attack, and attack. This was never confusing and provided me absolutely no problem the entire time I was playing. Little touches like when my troops automatically took cover behind walls and crates when they were available were particularly charming. The AI is challenging, remaining gratifying even while destroying you, and there’s some very robust troop customization options, which allow you to use the credits you receive from completing missions to spec out your soldiers with the exact weapons, armor, and skills you want them to have. The game feels fantastic, especially for what essentially a super-charged mobile game, and it will definitely be a great time killer for people who don’t have a lot of time to invest in gaming, but aren’t super into the Angry Birds and various “___villes” of the world.
Also, as I briefly alluded to earlier, this game will be available on Mac and PC as well as mobile. I played the Mac version, and I was surprised when the game looked gorgeous and moved absolutely gracefully even though my Macbook Pro is over 3 years old. If the Mac graphics are any indication, this’ll look great on iOS, especially on the new retina iPads, and because of the touch screen interface, it will likely control even better than the fantastic Mac controls I used. Another great thing about this being cross-platform is that once Frontline Tactics is available, you’ll be able to do both live and asynchronous multiplayer between all the various platforms, a final awesome feature that will ensure this game’s a real keeper when it launches later this year.