War World (PC)

By Walter Hare

Published on Tuesday, October 4, 2005

Graphics: 7.30
Sound: 5.00
Gameplay: 6.50
Replays: 4.00
Gamelength: 5.75

In War World, the world is at war, if you couldn’t already guess that much. But, over what? I’ll tell you what; who took the last cookie? Gasp!

War World is a third-person action game that puts you in the shoes of a mech, or a giant robot. The huge, metal, gun-toting shoes. It describes itself as a tactical shooter, but I really don’t know where that came from, as War World has very few tactics in it, and is mostly pure action. It doesn’t do that action half-bad, neither.

Before you start each level, of which there are quite a few, you may customize your robot to an extent. There are three kinds of mechs; light, medium, and heavy. They’re stats are pretty easy to guess, the light mech moves fast but is easier to blow up, the medium mech moves at a moderate pace and can take some damage, and the heavy mech crawls but can take a hit. You can put a weapon in either one of their hands, and it can be a laser, which deals huge single shot damage, or a chaingun, which does a smaller amount of damage at a faster rate. Shoulder-mounted rockets and shield systems are also available, should your bank account have the sufficient funds.

It’s strange that the game is called War World and all, since it is completely arena based fighting. Not a lot of war goes on the screen so much as “One vs. Many” action. You and “x” number of other robots are put into small areas and let alone to duke it out. Run around, fire the weapons that you have, pick up the ammo that is littered about the place indiscrimanately, and then fire the weapons you have again. After each and every level, despite the difficulty, you receive 3000 credits to go towards tricking out your robot.

Customization is pretty weak. There aren’t a lot of weapons, there aren’t a lot of accessories, and you can get them all in a relatively short amount of time. You’ll have mostly top-grade equipment by the thirtieth level, and considering there’s a hundred levels in the game, that’s a lot of time to not be doing anything to your robot. Other than the color, the mechs themselves are stuck aesthetically.

Fighting itself is simple enough. You point and click on your enemies, move around and jump every now and again. The problem with this is that the insane amount of accuracy that your enemy is generally so ridiculously high, and your ability to dodge no matter what ridiculously low, that it is often better to just hide behind something and shoot them when they get close. There isn’t a lot of sport in fighting the NPC opponents.

The arenas you fight in are quite well detailed, but are overall disappointing. Size does matter, and when you’re in what is supposed to be a giant robot, you kind of expect a battlefield to fight in. But, you are actually given what is more like a moderately sized cardboard box to duke it out. Not only are they small, there is a limited number of them that just repeat, sometimes placing you in a different place than before.

War World overall looks pretty good. There aren’t any jagged edges, has quite a bit of detail in the mechs and the arenas, and is overall very well polished. Mechs move around fluidly, but jumping looks odd to say the least. While flying through the air, bullets and lasers are a tad dull, and the explosions made by bullet-impact and mech destruction are weak.

Noises are generic, but do the job. A Professor Hawking sounding announcer says a few words here and there when you blow an enemy up or when more enemies generate in the map, which is kind of weird. And, when enemies blow up, it’s a dull explosion at best. The music wasn’t half bad, but wasn’t listenable after a while.

There is multiplayer in the game, but it’s not that entertaining, even for a little while. Even if you can find a server with a decent number of people, the short term feel of the game generated by the small levels, and the lack of strong customization keep multiplayer from generating any kind of extra replayability.

War World does fine at creating a bit of an action game, but fails to hit home at being either a war, or being based in something as expansive as a world. Check it out at http://www.warworld.net/,the official site.

Overall Rating: 6.80

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