Beachy: War Inc. Battlezone Open Beta

By John Walker on July 19th, 2011 at 12:23 pm.

It's oddly not this pretty when you're moving.

War Inc. Battlezone is proof that Atari don’t defend their trademarks well enough, and a free-to-play third-person shooter that has just this very day gone into beta. And the sort of beta that doesn’t even require faffing around with a registration email. You apply, then it lets you download the game. Well, download the downloader, which then downloads a more up-to-date downloader, which then downloads the game in such a way that the rest of your internet is useless for the duration, with no pause option. But then you can play it. And “it”, as its press release so sweetly describes it, is a “shooting game”.

It’s not wrong there. I skipped through about 309 pages of instructions and options that would presumably have let me understand my character an awful lot better, but my goal was to shoot men and shoot them quickly. So I promptly picked a man who looks like a zombie Wookiee and joined a game. It quite literally is a game in which men shoot other men, while trying to capture bases and the like. And it did nothing wrong, really. Nothing exceptional when on the field – this isn’t the game that’s going to make Battlefield 3 close down and hide – but there were guns and there was shooting, and I believe that’s what’s required. Look – I don’t do multiplayer shooter, I’m sorry. But maybe you do, which means you’re the right person to get involved in the open beta and tell everyone else if they should bother.

It’s a tactical clan-based game, which developers Online Warmongers say is aiming to be realistic and “community driven”. However, the leaderboards, clans, and so on are yet to be added. It’ll use Steam and Xfire should people wish to (although runs completely independently of both, at least at the moment), with up to 64 players in battles. Persistent player characters can be customised to bits, either with stuff you’ve gathered, or through spending your pennies.

It’s all free, and free forever, but boy oh boy does it ask you to spend money an awful lot. It’s not too cheap, either. For instance, to buy the Night Stalker stuff, a set of clothes and a special weapon, will cost you over $10 at its currently half price offer. And there’s some sneakiness here too. In-game “GP” is purchased in very peculiar amounts, that just happen to fall short of the prices of in-game items. So that Night Stalker set will cost you 12,450GP. But you can only buy 11,470 for $10 or 22,380 for $20. To permanently add the Beserker ability to your character will cost you 4,790GP, but the smallest amount you can buy is 4,270 for five bucks. And so on. It’s certainly nowhere near as egregious and foul as Microsoft’s similar system for Xbox purchases, but it’s rather a shame they’re doing it.

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36 Comments »

  1. coldvvvave says:

    Hope it improved since closed beta. Funnyh thing that invitations to closed beta were given pretty much to everyone who wanted at least among users of a Militaryphotos.net, one of the devs was an active member there.

  2. Churba says:

    I wonder if it’s on the Path engine. That screenshot quite seriously reminds me of Just cause 2, to the point where at the glance at it in my RSS feed, I thought this was going to be news about a TC mod.

  3. Evoc says:

    I’ve acctually been looking for the original War inc and only getting this game on my search hits, boo!

  4. Xan says:

    It’s a ‘meh’ game.
    Can’t buy items permanently so you need to keep grinding points for items, the gun sounds are laughable and sound like you’re shooting people with paintballs.
    Overall I don’t see why anyone would play this as there are better alternatives.

    edit: also without a vsync option I have the stupid problem of trying to render the Menu screens at over 800 FPS and making my GPU almost overheat and work harder then it should.

  5. mandrill says:

    How not to do microtransactions. This is example 2, EVE’s latest snafu being example one.

    • IncredibleBulk92 says:

      Why was the Eve online thing such a big deal? All I ever read about was that players were annoyed at unreasonably priced cosmetic items. Was that all or did I miss something?

    • Unaco says:

      That was about all… But, you forget, this is the Internet.

    • Tusque D'Ivoire says:

      True, I thought unreasonably priced cosmetic items are exactly what makes TF2 such an evergreen…

    • Batolemaeus says:

      And of course all the other things, like removal of functionality, tons of bugs, showing absolute disdain for customers and tons of broken promises and dreams and rapidly degrading gameplay left to rot.

      This game looks, well, “eh”. Sounds like the peudorealistic counterpart to Battlefield Heroes except with no clear identity. The worst thing to happen to a game is mediocrity as it’ll just drown in the sea of mediocre games that do not even manage to incite any emotion apart from indifference.

    • Alex Bakke says:

      Batolemaeus, whatever your grievances with Eve are, you need to be quiet when someone is talking about microtransactions only

    • Batolemaeus says:

      Alex, you need to understand that monocausalities rarely exist and learn to accurately follow comment threads, as clearly you did not read this one.

    • Alex Bakke says:

      Huh, that’s… Really weird. I honestly could only see your comment, thus thinking you were getting carried away. Apologies for any confusion.

  6. Web Cole says:

    Was on the paid Beta, a reasonable if un-exceptional offering.

  7. IncredibleBulk92 says:

    The microtransaction system sounds exactly like Battlefield Heroes which means that I wont be playing thank you very much. Free to Play is fine so long as its not also pay to win.

    • 4026 says:

      Also, of course, the items in BF:H (and maybe this, too? not sure) are rentals. Which is pretty horrible. If you’re going to make me pay real money to obtain imaginary items, at least let me keep the damn things afterwards.

  8. Tams80 says:

    Their site is a bit of a mess.

  9. Stevostin says:

    A third person shooting game. God helps us.

  10. Anthile says:

    I just played it for about an hour. It’s bad. Really, really bad. The sounds are awful, the graphics look like they escaped from a game made a decade ago and the actual gameplay is horrendously dull. Just wow.
    I have played mods with higher production values. Not to mention that it goes all the way with the F2P gazebo and it even lets you buy larger mags and such.
    Baffling in many ways.

    Screenshot I made: http://cloud.steampowered.com/ugc/541774101756850090/5971211FFD3AF8EB593019A45DF5F262364144C7/

    • Flaringo says:

      Yeah it’s pretty awful. I think somehow Oblivion managed to do 3rd person better, and that was a first person game. There’s no diagonal strafe animation.

  11. VileThings says:

    Steam told me about the game via one of its convenient pop-up windows. I downloaded it, started it, read through all the instruction, played it for about five minutes, then exited and deinstalled it. This is nowhere near a good multiplayer shooter like MW2 or BF:BC2.

    • _strictmachine says:

      Your experience mirrors mine.

      I commented in game that “Wow, this is pretty bad. Looks and feels like old tech.” and was immediately pounced upon by foul mouthed kids saying:

      “Shut up and don’t play it then”

      “Why is it bad? Because I just owned you?” (then i shot the little twit in the face on my next spawn)

      “it’s OK that it sucks because it’s free” (i pointed out that league of legends and TF2 [now] are free and don’t suck) – and wait, you agree it sucks but you’re still going to play? huh?

      “are you even running it on high settings” (I was, and there were no shadows. I had to run custom and flip everything to ultra and high manually to get shadows. Sure, it’s beta. Fine.)

      So it seems some people, who I guess don’t have TF/TF2, any of the BF or MW series, Counter Strike, Counter Strike source, Half-Life series DM, Quake series multiplayer, and etc… are having some sort of fun piddling around. Or trolling. Likely both?

      I had no idea it was “Beta” – I didn’t see anything in Steam indicating that it isn’t a finished product. The store really wants you to spend real money on unlocking things – I was surprised to see that unlocks using in-game earned points AND real money are merely temporary – counted in days. Be prepared to spend a chunk to “permanently” unlock gear.

  12. Dana says:

    Its available on Steam as well.

  13. Wozzle says:

    A game with Zombie Wookie-men should be interesting. Why is this not interesting?

  14. Dana says:

    Ok, this is the worst game I ever played in while. I couldnt bear more then a single round. Stay away.

  15. Tom De Roeck says:

    damn, and I was hoping for a sequel to BattleZone..

  16. porps says:

    another realistic style shooting game, just what the world needs!
    think i’ll stick with quakelive a while longer

  17. lonewolf80 says:

    It’s still cheaper than that APB:Reloaded game, where it costs $40-50 for a permanent gun, and around $10-30 to rent for 30-180 days.

  18. Sajmn says:

    New Battlezone yeah!….

    wait what?

    [ http://www.battlezone1.net/home/index.html ]

    many <3

  19. Burning Man says:

    That… is EXACTLY what a Zombie Wookie would look like. Well done!

  20. Crius says:

    “It’s all free, and free forever, but boy oh boy does it ask you to spend money an awful lot. It’s not too cheap, either”

    But you get rewards of GP for leveling, same for GD, so you can buy these things using the rewards, doesnt take long to level either.

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