With the Real Time Strategy genre serving as my first ever multiplayer experience, RTS has always held a special place in my heart and is probably responsible for my journey into the gaming industry so far. Lastly, it was a springboard into my gaming pastimes, along with my understanding of the said industry.
Resource gathering, building defences and fine-tuning that final attack on the enemy with speed and precision. Let’s not forget setting up VNC to spy of the opposition when nature calls, oh come on, you all did it too!
RTS via Controllers?
So how does 8-Bit Hordes handle on a console and does it falter the way it plays? Maybe waiting for a price drop on the new Razor Xbox One Keyboard and Mouse is more or a sensible option?
Petroglyph Games titles have been around for a while now, and in my opinion have been very successful in the genre with their first release being ‘Star Wars: Empire at War’. needless to say, I was very excited to get my hands on 8-Bit Hordes!
Whilst doing some digging about 8-Bits history, one found that all the titles in the series were developed, in part, by ex ‘Command and Conquer’ developers. Whilst this isn’t my favourite RTS franchise, players are wise to keep in mind that the similarities in gameplay are obvious, to say the least.
A ‘8-Bit’ Fast Paced
8-bit Hordes and the series, in general, boasts fast-paced RTS gameplay with added replayability with its level star system. It has 36 single-player missions and 12 co-op missions, which is complemented by an RTS staple in its multiplayer content both online and offline.
The options/settings menu feels a little unfinished, which becomes a running theme, unfortunately, throughout 8-Bit Hordes. I always like to see a good tutorial, and this game does provide a Game Manual for you to read through on its starting menu. It’s a great reference guide, which shows you how to get started.
I was expecting a cut scene of sorts during the opening of the campaign at the very least. But instead, I was greeted with an awkward faction menu. This was followed by a screen with some mission detail, a lacklustre attempt at an engaging story, which we love in an RTS.
The 8-bit series is made up of three titles:
- 8-bit Armies,
- 8-bit Hordes
- 8-bit Invaders.
All three-support cross-title multiplayer, which allow you to fight with all the playable races from all three of the games as, long as you have purchased the corresponding titles. ‘Armies’ comes with one playable race in the ‘Renegades’. Another playable race is available via paid DLC in the ‘Guardians’.
‘Hordes’ brings the medieval races of the ‘Lightbringers’ and the ‘DeathSworn’. ‘Invaders’ adds the futuristic and Sinister ‘Crinoids’, who are accompanied by the ‘Galactic Marine Corps.’
What really puts me off playing this title is the fact that the tech trees are minimal and a tad bland and there is no variety in the “big punch” units. Any other units that are available are in the same vein and lack the variating mechanics that set them apart from the opposition.
One of the things I was looking forward to in this game was the nostalgic yearning of a bit-style classic, something on par with ‘Cannon Fodder’ (A Member of Ludas top 5 games of all time). Sadly, the look has more of a feel of a polished ‘Minecraft’ block environment, probably due to the animations in the game.
Overall Score: 5.5/10
Overall this is a pretty solid RTS, that sticks true to its roots of its ancestors. If players buy the complete ‘8-Bit’ series you will definitely get some serious fun out of this game, but still, one is struggling to justify purchasing the trilogy to make all races playable in the first place!
Would I play it? Yes! Would I recommend it? Yes,
providing a Steam sale with all the packs and DLC would bundle the complete package. Otherwise, I can’t justify the cost…
Platforms: Xbox One X (Reviewed), PlayStation 4 and PC
Initial release date: 01/02/2019
Price: TBC (Microsoft Store)
Developer: Petroglyph Games
PEGI Rating: 7+