By John Walker on October 14th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.
Free to play browser RTS/RPG Wartune makes something very clear through its advertising: it is FOR MEN ONLY. Well, I’m a man! Doctors have verified this. So I thought, equipped with the right qualifications, I’d better take a look. NO WOMEN HAD BETTER READ THIS POST!
Let’s take a look at some of that advertising, now that all the pesky ladies aren’t reading, eh fellows? Eh? EH?
Woo-hoo! Tits! What’s it going to be like? I’ve not even included the one that tells me I deserve an orgy!
Of course this isn’t a new nonsense. It began with Evony, which discovered its success was directly proportional to how nudey its banner ads became. That all anyone found when they got there was an Age Of Empires rip-off didn’t seem to matter. There had been boobs, and there then were players. And Wartune certainly isn’t alone in performing this. An especially unpleasant and disturbing example doing the rounds at the moment belongs to a game called Scarlet Blade. This one:
But what’s bewildering is that anyone would stick around long enough to make these games money. I tried to figure out why they might with Wartune. It didn’t last long.
The game itself is yet another nothingness RPG with an RTS base camp. But it’s especially egregiously empty. To complete the RPG stuff, the wandering through tiny, tiny locations and battling enemies in sort-of turn-based combat, you need only click the left mouse on the quest text a couple of times, and sit back and watch. You can, but don’t need to even move your character. Just clicking on the quest text will do that for you. Battles are so astonishingly uninvolved and perfunctory that the needlessness of your special abilities is entirely irrelevant, since the chances of a fight lasting long enough for you to have a turn are pretty slim. The troops with you get their goes first. Even when you reach tougher baddies, there’s still absolutely no need to interact.
The RTS stuff is slightly more involved. Haha. I mean, you have to click slightly more often. Upgrading buildings lets you upgrade other buildings so you can upgrade other buildings. This lets you, um, I don’t know. It’s around this point that the game starts offering your its VIP programme. You get an hour of it free at one point, to show you what the game is like without having to wait for increasingly long and entirely arbitrary cooldowns on upgrading things. It doesn’t, however, give you any freebies of its real-world pretend currency, which extra advantages gradually start to need. But, in fairness, for the couple of hours I stuck with it, I didn’t need to pay for anything to continue through its bland emptiness.
As for anything salacious, and indeed my promised orgy, no such thing appears. Instead it’s about killing wolves and recruiting more archers. Oh, and fighting Taurens. With absolutely no shame, the game includes the cow race is if they’re just part of generic fantasy lore, rather than something specific to World Of Warcraft. And they’re the first enemy you encounter, making up what I guess counts for the game’s allusion toward a story.
And there’s farming. Yes indeed, this most boobalicious of games is, quite dominantly, a farming simulator. Not one you can actively enjoy without paying real-world money, of course. And even then I think “enjoy” might require a severe dose of the crazies.
The reason I stopped playing wasn’t pay-to-play nagging, however. In fairness, at least as far as I reached that wasn’t too bad. It was instead an Adobe Flash Player Settings popup asking me to give the game unlimited space on my hard drive.
So what have we learned here? Firstly, that this is all a bit pathetic really, isn’t it? And that then I’ve stopped paying attention.