Confrontation Preview (PC)

Confrontation can mean all manner of things. It could be an altercation between two commuters, a war of words between Superpowers or a drunk punch-up in the street. You’d hardly associate the term with a new RTS-meets-RPG title based on a popular continental war game. Most confrontation sees two people come together, not the Griffin Templars and Technomancers.

Cyanide’s upcoming title is a mix of everything – scientific, fantasy, roleplaying and strategy. Its closest video game cousin is Dawn of War II’s reimagining of the Warhammer 40,000 universe. It’s not surprising – both are built on outlandish source material and painted-miniature games. Confrontation is one of the most eclectic games we’ve ever seen. You’ve got magic, missiles and maths combining to create, in its current form, a competent game.

This landscape of peculiarity, Aarklash, is witnessing Rag’narok – the end of days. Everything’s gone to pot and your tight knit squad of heroes are hoping to prevent the inevitable. Unsurprising, your method of overcoming confrontation isn’t a quiet word to the side; instead it’s a giant sword through the neck.

Taking place through a standard RTS viewpoint, you’re presented interlinking linear missions (often with offshoots and loot to find) wrapped up in a convincing narrative. Often is the case with continentally developed games, translation and build quality suffer – even in its pre-release state, Confrontation couldn’t be further away from that sad reality.

Its cut scenes, all deliciously drawn in fantasy art, and voice-overs, are well written, convincingly acted and move the game along nicely. For those unfamiliar with the source material, the opening missions might prove to be convoluted and confusing, but at the end of the day it’s the game’s core mechanics that are important.

Confrontation’s a conjoined story – so the heroes you use throughout the game level up, improve their skills, strengthen their gear and overall, come to be familiar. We’re not going to lie – it’s a game that focuses on multiple-unit management, often at a quick pace, and the coexistence of skills. Early on it’s apparent that a simple Right-Click-and-Watch approach results in death - against a small amount of opponents, let alone a large squadron, you’ll have to utilise your units’ talents to overcome the combat situation.

Oddly it reminds mostly of Baldur’s Gate or similar RPGs, including Blizzard’s behemoth. You’ve got the tank, DPS-expert, ranged unit, and buff/healer. It’s through clever use of each that you progress. The available unit customisation offers a variety of game styles (as does the game’s ability to paint your units virtually), so you’re unlikely to share tactics or setups with anyone else. If things do get too hectic, the ability to pause the game is available. All but the very best can handle its complex combat situations in real-time, so the most effective route to take is one of careful planning.

That’s not to say the game’s unwelcoming and unappealing – if you’re able to look past its less-than-snazzy graphics engine, there’s a solid narrative drive RTS here. The environments are well designed, but again, Cyanide has drawn upon the game’s source material. Still, bringing a war-game to life is a difficult endeavour and the development team’s done an impressive job.

In its current form, Confrontation’s taken us by surprise. It’s still a little way from release and we didn’t have a chance to sample its multiplayer, but it’s shaping up to be a unique, enjoyable game.

Most Anticipated Feature: Multiplayer!


By stuntkid (SI Elite) on Mar 14, 2012
sounds like it could be a winner
By hiranaseer25 (I just got here) on Apr 03, 2012
[ADMIN DELETE: Wow a bot!]