Initially I didn’t want to like Raiders of the Broken Planet. I saw the character design and found myself wondering if the devs we’re going for a fraked up frankenstein look for all the character faces with banging super model physics. It’s one of the most confusing things ever. I wasn’t sure if they wanted me to be aroused or freaked out.
Eventually I got over the visual aesthetics, and began to explore the mechanics of the game, because what is a game without solid mechanics, right? The game is a third person shooter that emphasizes mobile run and gunplay similar to the likes of Vanquish. You’ll find yourself constantly running, sliding, dodging, and performing melee strikes and takedowns while trying to blast your way to that sweet mission complete screen. To be quite frank I like the combat a lot. I like the way it feels, and looks to run in and out of cover while wrecking hordes of enemies. The whole shooting experience is quite refined in a satisfying way, especially once you find a character you fancy, and a group of mates who want to play the game with you. The game is primarily a multiplayer focused experience, although it does have an appealing plot with exceptional voice acting to give the frantic action gameplay some meaning.
The melee combat uses a rock paper scissors system of dodging, striking and takedowns that are each capable of countering one of the other two. Personally I found striking to be the most favorable in combat and takedowns as a close second, but that’s just because of my highly aggressive play style. Sliding in and out of cover is automatic, but seamless. Characters don’t actually latch on to cover like in other cover shooters, but rather, lean on them till they wish to continue moving. This means that there is no button press requirement for getting in and out of cover, just approach some cover and vualá you’re in cover. Each of the characters even have their own distinct playstyle that when matched with the missions, encourages team play.
Mechanically, this is a great game, and graphically it’s pretty hard to deny that it’s visually appealing either. The use of bloom effects, the details in the environments and GOD DAMN THESE FINE AS FRAK CHARACTER MODELS! oh and I’m specifically referring to their bodies. As a straight bloke scientifically it’s impossible for me to deny the appeal of booties this fine, just look at it……. (Classical music playing)
Oh and I’m sure the blokes bodies are appealing to those that are into that too, well that’s my assumption anyway.
So with all the praise I have for the game it’s with a heavy heart that I have to say this game is not consumer friendly. It’s the definition of over priced, and here’s why. The game itself is free to start in that the first chapter of campaign is free. The other chapters each cost $9.99 for a total of 4 chapters excluding the first one. Not a bad price right? It even has an ultimate edition that includes all the campaigns, and a premium skin pack for $59.99. which to me is a good deal. It gives players options that best fits their budgets. Now if it stopped right there then I’d not have any issues with the game and it would get a strong recommendation from me, but it does stop there. You see after purchasing the missions individually or the ultimate edition you’ll still have to purchase the characters separately. Six are unlocked after completing the first two chapter, and the other five each cost in game credits or more money, and the balance of gaining them is so skewed towards the purchase option that it’s not even worth considering the option of playing to unlock them. The cost of these characters range between $10 and $60. There’s a fraking character in the game that costs $60, let that sink in. The game even uses some arbitrary bullocks currency that doesn’t directly convert to any actual real world sums, so you’re always buying more of the crap than you need, thus inflating the cost for players, and get this, it’s just the tip of the iceberg.
As I played the game I found myself fascinated by the lore of the game, and it’s characters. Different things the characters said peaked my interest to the extent that I needed to know, so I visited the game’s in game glossary called Universe only to find that I also needed to pay in game credits to unlock details on the plot, characters and the universe they enhabit. Now the devs will try to claim that you buy these with credits earned from playing the game, but you only earn a small amount by playing solo, and multiplayer servers on this game are so tiny that you’ll be lucky to find other players to play with in a reasonably amount of time, plus you can purchase the credits called gold needed to purchase the glossary entries by using the game’s arbitrary credit called Mercury Points which you pay real money to acquire. Oh, and don’t get me started on character skins. They also cost ridiculous amounts. For the characters I had they had skins coating $20 a pop, but I’ve heard that there are skins costing up to $50. The whole thing feels dirty, like a sleazy man in an ally wearing a trench coat trying to sell you cloud insurance.
Now if this was a pay to win loot boxes heavy trash game I’d be comfortable ripping it a new one and lose no sleep over it, but it’s not. The game at its core is a good game, and the in game purchases though sleazy as Frak are much more fair than opening a randomized loot box, because there is a fixed amount that you need to pay for each skin, glossary log, or character. It’s a game that can do well if the developers were not so greedy. At the time of writing there were only 22 players playing, with an average of 35.5 per month. Those are terrible numbers for any game, and the only reason for that is the bullocks inflated prices that the developers forced on consumers. At the time of writing this review my advise to plays is; DO NOT BUY THIS GAME OR ANY OF IT’S OVERPRICED CONTENT!!!
To the developers: Your game is not dead, yet. There’s still time to save it. Get rid of the over priced purchases all together. Tie the character acquisition to the purchasing of campaigns, and for God sake make the glossary free, or unlocked as the player progresses through the game. Rainbow six siege is a great example if a game being released with broken systems which resulted in it being abandoned by players, then it was fixed followed by it finding a second wind. FIX YOUR GAME! Then the players will hopefully return.
The copy of Raiders of the Broken Planet used for this review was provided to us by it’s Publisher, Mercury Steam Entertainment s.l.