Reviews - Updated on December 16, 2022

The mobile multiplayer action War Robots from the Russian studio Pixonic was released in 2014 and achieved success: it was in the top of the most profitable mobile games in the United States, grew its audience to 1.5 million people daily and appeared on PC.

The developers are making a sequel – War Robots: Frontiers, moreover, on Unreal Engine 5. Most recently, Frontiers went to limited early access, which is available in Russia on the VK Play platform and is part of the “Join the Game” activity. We were among the first to test this version and want to share our impressions.

What’s at the core?

We have seen a lot of games about robots – we immediately remember MechWarrior, BattleTech, MechCommander, Armored Core, anime Gundam … But War Robots focuses on multiplayer battles, and in this segment its closest analogues are MechWarrior Online, Mech Arena, Hawken and a little Titanfall. And according to the concept, Crossout and World of Tanks can be called close.

Battles take place in a six-on-six format, where the winning team is the one that takes the opponents to pieces or gains an advantage by capturing and holding control points (they are called beacons here). The level of the player and his robots can be upgraded, but the main thing is that there are ample opportunities for customizing mechs that open just as the user levels up. In War Robots, you can assemble your vehicle build in the hangar by combining active and passive robot and drone modules, weapons, and pilot skills.

 Original War Robots.

The original War Robots.

There are many combinations, as well as roles for mechs – there are fast, but weakly armed, designed to break through to control points and reconnaissance, classic “tanks”, support robots and those who do not fight, but repair allies. Finally, there are especially powerful “titans”.

Same plus Unreal Engine 5

War Robots: Frontiers is a direct continuation of the previous game: the action takes place 200 years after the events of the original, and we have to fight for a system of worlds called Wild 10. The sequel remains true to the concept: the same six-on-six battles and battles for control beacons. But the difference is still noticeable – thanks to Unreal Engine 5.

It’s not just about some reflections and detail – the level of destructibility pleases. In Frontiers, you can not go around the enemy, who is standing inside a fragile building of steel and glass, but go ahead, demolish the obstacle and be immediately in front of the enemy. Better yet, follow him. This opens up new tactical possibilities.

All this beauty, of course, requires good iron. The minimum requirements are impressive – Intel Core i5-6600, 16 GB of RAM and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6 gigabytes. But, surprisingly, the game ran at medium, and even faster at low settings, even on my laptop. So a separate respect to the authors for optimization.

In addition, War Robots: Frontiers feels more dynamic and mechs feel more agile. And not only because they move faster – all robots available in the early version can fly and make dashes in different directions. And in the previous game, jumping and flying are not available to everyone.

War Robots: Frontiers has full vertical gameplay. Players constantly jump, take off, shoot opponents from a height, fly into their rear, climb onto roofs and structures. The main thing is to have enough fuel – this is an analogue of endurance: the fuel itself is gradually restored, but there are abilities that allow you to do this instantly. The same system applies to health.

Myself a design engineer

The three free robots, available to anyone with an Early Access Pass, initially have different abilities. In the hangar, you can remove and rearrange them to other mechs, as well as buy and install new ones. The choice is rich – a shield, recharging with fuel, a healing field for allies, an area-of-effect missile salvo, invisibility, and so on.

The robots themselves, of course, differ in characteristics. A lot of health and armor, but little speed and vice versa – everything is classic. Characteristics can (and should) be combined with the skills of pilots, which we are also free to assign ourselves to any mech. One clearly puts on skills and receives a bonus to damage when using them, the other differs in the speed of fire and reloading, the third is designed to deal increased damage and can restore 10% of armor for each kill.

For the gold received in battles, you can buy weapons, abilities and parts of robots. Alloys are credited for each purchase – they are needed to purchase equipment blueprints and abilities, which will be useful at high levels. And then in the hangar you can assemble your mech by inserting parts into the slots of the torso, chassis, left and right shoulders.

You can combine elements of different machines. Your imagination here is limited only by the limit of weight and energy. In addition, not everyone will be able to put heavy guns. Interestingly, unlike the original War Robots, robots cannot be upgraded in Frontiers – only the character level increases, which opens up access to new parts, pilots, abilities and weapons in the store.

When you reach the fifth level, an alpha robot will appear in the hangar. This is an analogue of the titans from Titanfall and the original War Robots: they are the largest and most powerful. In battle, they are allowed to be summoned when the corresponding scale is charged. Alphas don’t regenerate, but have devastating abilities like Orbital Strike.

Something is missing?

My hand itches to write that there is too little content in Frontiers – only eight robots and one map. In the original War Robots, 45 mechs and many maps plus tasks are available. But it should be remembered that this is only early access, and the plans of the developers are clearly defined. Two robots, three types of weapons, two modules and new game features will be added this month. The same is in the first update, scheduled for the first quarter of next year. Also, a full-fledged exit to the open “beta” stage is scheduled for 2023, not only on PC, but also on consoles.

Some have complained that the game is too cartoonish and less serious than the original, but it’s probably rash to judge by early access with one map. It is also impossible to assess the level of donation – it simply does not exist now.

But the dynamics and destructibility can definitely be written down as pluses. The only thing I missed was that when shooting at robots, parts of their armor effectively fall off, but it’s impossible to aim at enemies with arms and legs or weapons, as, for example, in the latest BattleTech. I hope this mechanic will be added in updates.

Robots join the game

Russian players can try out these updates without shamanism with a VPN – in the CIS countries, War Robots: Frontiers is available exclusively on VK Play. The platform has ambitions to become an alternative to Steam – there is a diverse library of games, divided by genre, gaming media, cloud gaming, streaming and eSports.

And right now, the “Join the Game” activity continues. Let me remind you that collections from popular bloggers are constantly updated there, including both already known and new projects. The latest of these is called Adventure Magic and includes Blade & Soul, Diplomacy is Not an Option, Liber, and Love, Money, Rock and Roll.

The conditions are the same – you must complete the challenges associated with these games, and then receive gifts, including VK Play stickers and unique “achievements”. Each user who completes a certain number of challenges will get a chance to win the main prize – VK Capsule with Marusya. And any registered user can pick up a promotional code for VK Play Cloud cloud gaming.

 On the map, you can put marks for allies.

On the map, you can put marks for allies.

Despite very early access, War Robots: Frontiers leaves a good impression. Of course, there is still little content, but it is already clear that the authors are focusing on the increased dynamics, maneuverability of robots and the destructibility of the environment, which is here not only for appearance, but also for tactics. At the same time, the game made on Unreal Engine 5 is perfectly optimized and runs even on not the most powerful hardware. Let’s just hope for some really big updates.

Join the game on VK Play!

Advertising. VK Play LLC. TIN 7714487512.

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