reviews\ May 10, 2012 at 9:57 am

Confrontation review


Confrontation is a strange game. This is a game that truly poses a conundrum. What's so weird is that I actually had fun playing Confrontation at times, but its flaws were so evident and so glaring that, despite my mild enjoyment, I simply cannot bring myself to praise this game all that much. But because of said enjoyment, I can't bash it entirely either.

In case you're unfamiliar with the franchise, Confrontation started off as a tabletop war game. Developer Cyanide has brought the game's lore to life, and there really are plenty of good things to be said about the plot delivery. Before each of the game's missions, you get some good narration that explains exactly what's going on. The subject matter itself isn't always great, but the narrator does an excellent job of sounding epic.

What's not that cool is Confrontation's constant reliance on lengthy walls of text to explain everything. This is an issue mainly because there's a lot of fluff and rambling. You'll want to know some quick tips on how to get the hang of the game or how to defeat certain enemies, but you don't need to know everything in painful detail. It's an unnecessary tutorial device that feels lazy, and ultimately, it's so boring that you'll want to skip the text screens entirely. Of course, doing so may mean you'll need to figure out how to play the game on your own, which is sure to be a hindrance to newcomers to the genre.

While Cyanide has pegged Confrontation as an RPG, this is more of an RTS. You have access to your typical classes such as tanks, healers, mages, and so on, and you've got an assortment of attacks and actions at your disposal. You can battle using pistols, swords, bandages, strong magic attacks, and group healing effects. The hack-and-slash action is pretty fast-paced, which is good, but it does have its quirks.

The main problem I had with the combat was that my characters didn't always do what they were supposed to. This was mostly an issue due to how close they all stand to one another. Sometimes, one character gets in the way of another character, so rather than maneuvering around each other to get to the enemy, my teammates would do nothing. Suffice it to say that in an RTS, there's no room for this type of gameplay hitch.

This problem carries over to the navigation. As cool as some of the stages may be, it can be an absolute burden trying to travel through them. My characters got stuck on walls (and each other) far too often. Sometimes I would see two of my party members getting to the destination I set for them while the other two were standing still like ninnies in some faraway corridor. Once again, these are not the types of problems that should be plaguing an RTS.

Even with these obvious faults, Confrontation can still be fun. Battling enemies is cool, and when you find some strong bad guys and all of your characters are actually in good positions, it's very satisfying witnessing the defeat of your aggressors. Your health and mana regenerate after each battle, but if you've taken too much damage or expended a lot of magic, expect the regeneration process to be lengthy.

You don't level up in the traditional sense. Instead of earning experience points for every battle, you rely mostly on collectible upgrades. There are points scattered throughout the various maps, and these can be used to improve your armor or skills and to unlock new levels.

I had some fun playing the single-player mode, but after a while a feeling of fatigue sets in. Because Confrontation attempts to emulate other more successful RTS titles yet fails to properly incorporate several of the genre's greatest tropes, you may want to play this game in short bursts. That, however, only adds to the game's ever present conundrum, because RTS games are meant to be played for long stretches of time.

After tiring of the single-player mode, you may feel you want to take a break from the story and battle some opponents online. Unfortunately, the game's multiplayer seems to be, well, nonexistent. The option to play online is there, as are the servers, but I just don't think anyone is playing Confrontation. Not once could I find human opponents to battle. I checked out some other reviews to make sure I wasn't the only person experiencing this problem, and it definitely seems as though there's really no one playing.

Ultimately, Confrontation is a hard sell. I want to say that fans of the RTS genre will have a good time with it, but because those folks have likely played much better games, I can't say that. I also can't recommend the game to newcomers, because it could put them off, and they could easily just play a much better RTS game. Sadly, while it has its fun moments, Confrontation is marred by too many setbacks to truly shine as the next great RTS. It had so much potential, but it fails to deliver too often to even be considered a major addition to the genre.

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About The Author
David Sanchez David Sanchez is the most honest man on the internet. You can trust him because he speaks in the third person.
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