I really enjoy RTS titles and luckily there have been a good stack of them releasing recently or even on the horizon. Forged Battalion is a game that wasn't at all on the radar, but working with Team17 I thought I'd give it a go. What we get here is a charming entry into the genre that lets players create their own troops. The more you play, the more points you get to work through a skill tree and you can have your own entirely personalized weapons of war. I would like to have some smaller tweaking options with them, but any changes to make an army more personal is appreciated.
You can then select a number of these troops for your core battle crew and wage war with them. The troops are broken down into categories such as infantry or heavy vehicles. Once in a match you progress by quickly producing all the buildings you can. It's a slow build, yet an open one where it creates a somewhat even battle. You create additional buildings to produce more things and go from there. There's even an ultimate weapon that can be unleashed after a time limit once it's built.
I absolutely love how streamlined Forged Battalion is. You get all the important options in your main command area where you can produce troops or structures. You don't need to go through each building to create things and there's nothing complex or slow in how you access production. All of your current purchases share a pool of money as well so you don't need to do that silly wait until you have enough money aspect of other RTS titles. Everything is really intuitive here and it's a nice evolution for the genre. Aside from building things, the world itself is charming and greatly varied. The art looks strangely like it's from Life is Strange and I'm fine with that soft drawn graphic style. The particle effects look great and you can just stack the quantity of troops you have for some gloriously large scale battles. There's also a full map editor aspect where players can create their own environments.
This is currently an Early Access title so it could change a fair bit, thought it was worth mentioning that since they said the art isn't final. I'd prefer it to say the way it currently is since it looks so distinct. I like how balanced it all feels, at least for quick matches and the scale of combat is grand. The campaign needs some work since the story doesn't seem well integrated and that AI is brutal. It basically just locks you in a never ending battle if you're decent enough, but that's being adjusted apparently. The levels are also few in number, I'm not sure what their plans are for it so we'll have to wait and see. I feel the core of Forged Battalion will be building custom troops, battling against others online or locally against the AI. I'm not sure what they'll do to tweak it as it's already a compelling entry in the RTS genre.
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