Monday, October 15, 2012

Troll Everything - Offensive Combat Review

   Offensive Combat is a browser-based first-person shooter developed by U4iA Games. You have probably heard of this game if you have seen any of it's eye-catching advertisements. It has a very unique style in that it bases itself around being offensive, or displeasing.
As if that wasn't evident.
   This is actually very well executed by the developers. They haven't sacrificed any features or visuals just to get that point across, and this is also one of very few games that hasn't suffered from being playable in a browser. Personally, I tend to shy away from browser-based MMOs because they tend to suck, thinking that they can attract players through browser functionality alone instead of gameplay. Offensive Combat, on the other hand, seems to have taken everything into account to make their game as fun as possible. How did they do this? Well, let's see...

   Gameplay: Solid
   This game is just simply fun to play. You can play it any way you want with little to no problems, and you can start playing very fast since it's a browser game. You can just point and shoot, playing normally, but what if you want to be more of an assassin? Or a demolition man? You can do that stuff through way of weapon choices and skill choices. Offensive Combat features a skill tree, where you can get skills to make the game a little easier using skill points gained from leveling up. For example, if you wanted to be more of an assassin type of guy, you can get skills that make you harder to detect and go around backstabbing people (any melee hit to the back is an instant kill). It's a system that allows for personal customization, which probably isn't something you would expect from this kind of a game.  This game allows you to play how you want to play, which I find to be rare in shooter games. In many shooters, there are certain weapons that are just simply the best and if you use anything less then you won't perform as well. Offensive Combat doesn't have that. Currently, there is no "best" weapon set or "best" skill set. That is something I can respect, and it is a bit strange to have this much respect for a game that let's you look like this:
The face of respect.
   There is also an on-map upgrade mechanic reminiscent of classic shooters such as Unreal Tournament, which provide temporary buffs, temporary weapons, or a refill on ammo. Keeps things exciting.

   Offensive Level: Over 9000
   Offensive Combat takes being offensive to three separate levels. First off, you have taunts, or "Pwns". Every time you kill a player you can further humiliate them by "Pwning" them, which will give you a small experience point bonus and delay their respawn as they are forced to watch you Pwn them. Of course, taunting people can get them to want to hunt you down, but that's just the kind of game it is. In fact, there is a group of items called Consumables which can be bought in the shop that include an item that puts a tracker on the last guy who killed you. So be prepared to possibly be killing the same guy over and over as he tries to get revenge on you.
   Then there's the maps. Each of the five or so maps on the game so far are subtle parodies of popular shooter genres, as are some of the clothes. Match the clothes with the map and you may find yourself in a place that seems vaguely familiar.
   Lastly, cock shots. Need I say more?
Which head to aim for? This is an important decision and you MUST choose.

   Pay to Win Status: Negative
   Absolutely everything in the game can be acquired with the in-game currency (coins). Though the prices for a few extra thing can get pretty high (such as the prices for consumables), absolutely nothing is cash-only, and most weapons can be bought permanently within a very reasonable amount of time.
   There are two exceptions to this, those being melee weapons and clothes. Keep in mind, all melee weapons except for the one you start out with have the same stats (the one you start out with being a little weaker). While the coin prices for normal weapons are actually pretty low, the prices for melee weapons are significantly higher and only two of the melee weapons are available to buy permanently with coins. Most clothes can't be rented for more than a day using coins and are also very expensive unless you're using cash. This really isn't a big deal, though, since clothes are entirely for aesthetic purposes and melee weapons aren't a priority (you won't notice a big difference between using your basic melee weapon and using a shop melee weapon).

   It's Offensive: You May Be Offended
   I probably don't actually need to say this, but yeah, you might be offended if you play Offensive Combat. Given the subject matter, it's kind of an adult game. Try to keep it away from minors, parents, or anyone who might take anything they see on this game seriously. Casual behavior is to be expected here, and if you can't handle casual behavior it's probably not a good idea to play the game. That said, the community of Offensive Combat is amazingly civil, almost ironically so, given the game.
Maybe the crazy costumes just do that to people, I don't know.
   Skill Tree: Higher Level Players FTW
   As I said before, there is a skill tree in the game. Just the fact that it exists gives higher level players an advantage over lower level ones. This isn't too bad, though, since there aren't any damage, HP, or defense bonuses in the tree (with the exception of some melee buffs, but they don't help that much). It's mostly utility bonuses that let you see things you normally wouldn't be able to see, sprint longer, have an extra grenade, and other stuff like that. Nothing that could win a fight for you...
   ...until you hit Tier 5 skills (and to a lesser extent, Tier 4). They're the most expensive skills and are at the end of the skill trees. While, again, they don't directly do any damage, they can make fights way easier than the other skills in the game, such as this one that keeps you hidden on mini-maps even if you're firing your gun:
Stealth is what?
   Or another skill that let's you see enemy health bars. These skills, while expensive, are going to be acquired eventually, and give you even more of an edge over enemy players than you would normally. None of this stuff will protect you from a bullet to the face, but you may find yourself getting more than a few kills that were only possible because of your skill tree, which isn't really fair  to newer players.
   This is combined with the leveling system on permanent weapons, which gives small buffs depending on how many kills you've gotten with it. Don't get the wrong idea about all this, though. If you're a newer player just starting out, you won't notice most of this stuff. Again, none of this protects a player from a bullet to the face and all players have the same amount of HP.

   Voice Acting: Monotone
   The announcer's voice acting is pretty bad. While it's not exactly a game breaker, it's particularly annoying on kills and objectives, and there is no audio setting which can specifically turn it off.

   It's a Browser Game: Hopefully You Have a Good Computer
   Most of the problem here is in the topic. If you don't have a good computer, or a good browser, the game can lag really hard. If you're not sure, make sure to turn the graphics down in the settings menu. Even if you do have a good computer, the game can take awhile to start up and loading maps for the first time will take a lot longer than usual, so keep that in mind.

   No Server Browser: Hope You Like Team Deathmatch
   Offensive Combat has no room/server browser. When clicking on "Play Game" you will be put into a random match. While this is very fast (you get into a room instantly), you will find yourself playing Team Deathmatch almost every time. This isn't because of the mode selection, as there are six different game modes available. The problem is that the match you land in is reliant on what Custom Games people have created. If you want to play a specific mode, you can make a custom game and you will be put into a room with that mode. And you will likely be alone. This makes it pretty hard to play the mode you want without getting a group together for it.
Sorry to intrude on the 1-on-1 you guys had going here.

   Final Score: 4 out of 5

   Despite a few flaws, it seems like the developers put a lot of serious work into this game. It's very fun to play and I've had a lot of good times playing it. It's not often you see a game that has so much character, and it's even less often you see a game that is balanced. For the game to be both balanced and unique at the same time? Madness.
Bonus screenshot. Piledriver for the win!
   Extra Things to Know
   - There is no fall damage.
   - You will never need to repair anything.
   - It's recommended that you get a permanent weapon to replace your secondary (and primary if you want to be a sniper) as soon as possible. Permanent weapons are upgradeable, temporaries are not. You start with 3000 coins, so just save up an extra 1000 and get a permanent for 4000.
   - Pwns have different lengths. Longer pwns keep them subdued for longer, but leave you more open to attack. Shorter pwns... well, they aren't as flashy.
   - Grenades go off instantly if they hit someone directly.
   - Taking a certain amount of damage will force you out of scope. Keep this in mind if you're trying to snipe.
   - Clicking on the news page will cause explosions. Don't ask why, just do it.
   - Health regenerates as long as you haven't been hit.
   - Coins are gained through picking them up off fallen players. Make sure to pick up every coin you see!
   - Menu music is dubstep. If you are allergic to dubstep, make sure to get ear protection.

   EDIT: Game has been been vastly improved since I created this review, which is rare (way too many games actually just get worse over time). Go go!

   EDITMORE: Game went from being better to being far worse with a certain "2.0" update. It subsequently died and was shut down. Bad stuff.


  1. Good review man. I'll be sure to show this review to buddies who wanna know more about the game.

    1. Thanks! I appreciate the recommendation. ^_^

    2. Great review! You've covered all the major points people are going to look for. Definately going to link this to friends as well so they can learn more about the game.

  2. I like the Kool-aid guy's sound on kills :P Nice review!

    1. Gets kind of grating if you're on a killing spree. And thank you!