Review: Confrontation (PC)

I don’t play real-time strategy games as much as I play turn-based strategy games, because things that happen in real-time stresses me out, so RTS games need a bit more effort to convince me which, sadly, Confrontation couldn’t do.

Confrontation is the role-playing video game adaptation of the tabletop war-game. Having never played the tabletop original, I cannot give a proper perspective on how similar the two are, although it does take place in the same universe. The game drops you in the land of Aarklash, in the middle of war, no less. You are given control over a squad of Griffin soldiers out to stop the mad scientist-types of the Scorpion faction and their cloned beasts.

The game starts you off with a pretty straightforward tutorial to show you the ropes, a regular click here to go there affair. Your opening task will also gradually introduce you to your first team of four. Your squad are filed into four different classes, each with their own strengths and weaknesses, making them varied for use in attacking or support.

Each player character comes with a range of skills they can be commanded to use, such as an increased accuracy on a target or the healing of allies within range. Skills each have different recharge rates and they consume Mana or Stamina. When not commanded to specifically use anything, your soldiers will just duke it out until either side falls down.

Enemies come varied in the way they attack. They can numb the skills of your characters or your characters themselves. This means reckless pointing and clicking will doom your characters soon enough.

Soldiers who lose all the HP got into agony, and will slowly ebb away if not healed up by other members in time. If things get out of control, you can pause the action to plan your next move. Each character has an action queue, so you can pile on your commands to utilise skills or use health aids.

When enemies are defeated, or when you reach a sanctuary, experience is gained. Gain enough and you’ll level up your characters, allowing you to add points to their attributes through strength, constitution, agility, vivacity, intelligence and wisdom, strengthening them for the battles ahead.

I did have a few problems with the game, such as the controls. The default controls assign camera controls to the arrow keys with attack skillets assigned to QWE and ASD. This is probably a personal preference of mine, but it did fix the problem I had accidentally issuing commands through controls I’m not used to. It’s hard to call out specific members of your team with the mouse when they are all brawling, but you can also assign the 1-9 keys to pick out specific members of your party and command them, although that can be needlessly tedious, as well.

The game also has issues with targeting and path-finding. Time was wasted because my targeted character couldn’t reach an enemy or a fallen ally, despite the fact that they were directly in front of them.

There isn’t much to the game in the graphics department, either. The maps look good, but that’s about all you’ll be getting. Your characters also chirp in repetitive quips signifying their understanding of command, which, with their lack of interaction with others, doesn’t add much to the story. There are no spoils of war (just bandages and weapons upgrades, no new weaponry), which doesn’t reward the player in anyway sans story progression.

Tabletop games are generally open-ended and are fuelled by the players’ imaginations, which is the general issue with the limitations of a linear, story-based game like Confrontation. Players may be better off gathering friends and playing the original tabletop war-game instead.

Graphics 6.0
The world’s map looks nice, but most of it is utilised repetitively.
Sound 6.0
One-liner chirps that come from your squad get old really fast.
Gameplay 6.0
There is some merit to the fight system, but it’s marred by poor targeting controls and path-finding abilities.
Lasting Appeal 4.0
Besides the multiplayer mode, there is no treasure to seek or anything to collect (unless you want some Steam achievements).
How the RGB Scoresheet works

Confrontation is a real-time strategy role-playing game developed by Cyanide for Focus Home Interactive for Windows PC. Multiplayer modes were not tested. A Steam account and client is required to install the game. Tested on a 2.93GHz Early 2009 iMac running Windows 7.