RTSFPS Executive Assault Out On Steam Early Access

Executive Assault screenshot

It must be very lonely, being a corporate executive. You sit in your expansive office, alone with your thoughts, largely focused on acquisitions and gross revenue and profit margins and double mocha frappuccinos and flipcharts and the like.

Executive Assault [official site] goes one further, because as far as I can tell you don’t even have human playthings employees to boss about, giving you for a brief fleeting moment the joy of human contact. Nope, it’s just you. You and your army of robots.

Executive Assault launched on Steam Early Access this week. It’s a one-man project and clearly a labour of love, since it’s been in continued development by Robert Hesketh since a Kickstarter campaign fell short of its target. I’ve a few preliminary thoughts on the game – not a formal review, just my initial reaction to playing the game for an hour. But first, a video in which gigantic robots are gigantic, exploding things explode, and a couple of executives discuss their origins on the Unity asset store (probably).

The FPS bits feel largely optional. At the moment the mouse sensitivity is pretty extreme and can’t, I think, be tweaked. As an RTS, though, it’s pretty good fun. I’ve played a few skirmish matches versus the AI, all of which I lost, and that was despite the AI’s strategy following the classic C&C approach of “walk individual soldiers toward the nearest guard tower or pillbox”.

There’s a lot to manage even in the early game: power levels, researching new structures and unit upgrades, collecting special resources to boost research or power, designing units and optimising defences, stringing power grids across the map to access new resource extractors… it’s a bit overwhelming in that “I just started playing a new RTS” way. There’s loads I’ve not even seen yet, including mega-units that look like Supreme Commander’s experimentals, internal structure defences to protect your executive from robot assassination squads, and whole swathes of the tech tree and unit design options.

At present I suspect that the AI would be a doddle to beat if I knew the game better and could counter their really basic strategies, and I’ve not played online so can’t comment on how that performs. There are plenty of rough edges, too, and it’s far from the prettiest thing in the world, but as of right now it’s playable, it’s fun, and I feel like it’s tugging on the bits of my brain I’d expect a good RTS to tug.

15 Comments

  1. Artist says:

    Oh look, its an RTS….
    Next!

    • Nackertasha says:

      That username/comment combo is the most obnoxious thing i’v seen all day… and i work in retail.
      On topic: Does anybody know if going into FPS mode actually give any advantage or is it just for fun?

      • Shaun Green says:

        Hey nackertasher! I think that further on in development, FPS mode will open up new possibilities. The one that sticks in my mind from the developer’s site is controlling a robot, assigning a few others to escort you, and then trying to infiltrate the enemy base and assassinate their executive.

        This sounds really cool to me, but as of the current build I found the FPS mode pretty difficult to control and thus unhelpful to use, hence the “feels optional” comment above. That said, that’s just my impression from dabbling with it a bit, and I did lose every game I played, so do take that with a pinch of salt.

        • 88GJS88 says:

          Yep, this reminds me of the possession mechanic in Dungeon Keeper – although in that it was absolutely necessary if you wanted to lead creatures in, as the strategy layer didn’t actually allow precision RTS commands. I suspect it might be a touch less necessary in this game, akin to boosting the effectiveness of a unit (assuming you’re good at FPS), rather than providing game-changing battlefield leadership.

    • Dilapinated says:

      What’s the point in such a comment? Really it’s just disheartening to see.

      I wish the dev lots of luck, he’s obviously put a whole lotta time into this.

      • airmikee says:

        It’s a return of the ‘FIRSTARDS’, but with even less interesting things to say than ‘FIRST!’

    • RARARA says:

      Oh yeah, because this is the mid-to-late 90s and we are swimming in new releases of RTS games!

      OT: Looks interesting, will check it out.

    • MadTinkerer says:

      I almost admitted I was annoyed at this comment, since this is the year 2015 and it’s not like we’re swimming in new RTSs anymore, but then I realized it was just a troll.

      Next!

  2. xfstef says:

    This could have been Earth 2160.
    It’s a massive project and tribute to the, sadly, dying RTS genre.

    • airmikee says:

      lolwut? RTS dying? The Dawn of War series is still getting updates from Relic, the most recent just a few months ago to fix the new lack of GFWL. The Company of Heroes series is still thriving. Sins of a Solar Empire may not have been Homeworld, but it’s still a fun series, and then there’s the release of the Homeworld Remastered Collection. The Total War series has been hugely successful, and still loads of fun to play. Rise of Nations Extended Edition was released just last year. Starcraft 2 is getting its second expansion here soon. Etherium is coming up, along with Total War:Warhammer, War for the Overworld and quite a few other sequels.

      Or did you mean ‘Return to Sender’ is dying because people are using snail mail less and less these days?

  3. Legion23 says:

    Such a RTS/FPS hybrid is tempting for me personally because I have a soft spot for RTS but I am terrible at them. Beeing able to jump into FP from time to time could be enough to keep me playing. Hope this turns out good later down the road.

  4. Distortion says:

    This, more of this please! I love it just for the sense of scale.

    I never thought about it, but I would have loved to run around Supreme Commander in a FPS mode. I bet it would have felt epic.

    Oh…to have driven a Monkey Lord.

    Even if it’s never the best it could be, the simple fact that someone is trying to make a game like this causes joy.

  5. jrodman says:

    I was hoping the title belonged to a game where I could punch-out CEOs.