Build-a-Mech and Conquer the Battlefield – Antraxx on Kickstarter (UPDATE!)

Dreams of building a mech empire are currently up in the air. Read my review of the demo, the current state of thier Kickstarter & the fate of Antraxx.

“Antraxx is a massively multiplayer mech shooter with a heavy emphasis on teamwork and replayability with completely customizable mechs and zones. Boasting multiple game modes and in-depth faction politics and economy systems, allowing you to play the game how you wish.” – Antraxx.com

If you build it, they will come and then you can destroy them. That’s how that goes right? Well, if it’s related to Antraxx then it’s spot on. Antraxx gives you your very own mecha to hug and squeeze and call George. You can customize it to your hearts content with anything you find on the battlefield. Or happen to pick up after crushing another mech.

Antraxx is an isometric game with enough 3D engine rendering and hand drawn pixel art to slap you in the face. And it succeeds in their demo that you can find here:  http://www.play.antraxx.com/#/play (Update: Demo is currently still live as of 10/17/2016. But the servers will not be up for long. No ETA at this time.)

nikobattle

-Gameplay-

You start off at the loadout where you can select Mechbay and pick parts of your body to customize to whatever play style you wish. You want chicken legs? Got ‘em. You wanna hover? Sure, why not! You wanna stomp your enemies into the ground? Go for it!

There’s also a nifty and very informative tutorial that takes you through all the basics of what you need to know on how to play the game like a true Gundam pilot.

At the ready, there are numerous choices to pick from that represent different types of weapons or skillsets that come with each loadout. There are flight, teleportation, dash and much more.

loadout

There are different colors as well and once you find more parts, can really get into the depth of this Mechbay. I played in a browser, Chrome to be exact. It does play on other browsers to an extent, but you’ll know if it doesn’t play nice with the browser.

After making your selections you have a choice in locations. At the moment, there are 2, The Lab Day and The Lab Night. This area is also where you’ll see locations you control.  I went to the The Lab Day when there was a recording session going on, so it was pretty packed with flying mechas and pew pews and thrusters galore.

demomap
Image from: Antraxx Kickstarter Page

“There are various game modes present in the game, alongside the opportunity for endless creativity with our map creation tools. Join in player-hosted public events, giveaways, and battles. Charge and fire your lasers for a big impact, fire cluster missiles from great distances or get up close and personal with a heavy machine gun. There are countless ways to achieve peace in the never ending war known as Antraxx.” – Antraxx.com

highres

Goal is to destroy the other teams beacon, find a spot of land, claim it as your own and establish your empire. Sovereignty, son.  Sounds easy enough right?  Enemies will have turrets that WILL fire and kill you. But if you own the map, you can actually heal these turrets.  Gameplay can be as fast or calculated as you want it to be. If you have enemies who work together, you’ll find yourself in trouble. Much of the game is spent finding ways to out maneuver the other team without getting killed in the process or making peace with them.

Oh and TEAMWORK, TEAMWORK, TEAMWORK. This is crucial. A good team makes for a powerful enemy. You rather be a part of that team vs against it. So you can either join an existing faction or dare to create your own and overthrow the establishment. However you wish to do it, bring your squad. You’re gonna need  the numbers.

attack
Image from: Antraxx Kickstarter Page

-Controls-

Up top you’ll see the stats of your mech (Health, Energy, Shield, Weapon Status). Moving with the WASD and turning is with the Mouse. Blue lasers heal you by the way.  Spacebar is your Ultimate as well as your jump/hover. Be mindful of your gauges though because you use up Energy. Left Mouse button and Right Mouse Button fire the Lasers and Q is how you can switch weapon sets.

Combat can get a little crazy sometimes. During the demo, I found myself getting overwhelmed with the action on screen. It was also slightly difficult to control.

I found it difficult to shoot but maybe I just suck. I spent most of my time flying around but I did manage to get a few hits in. Shots and attacks feel solid and gameplay is generally very exciting. There’s a little chat box to talk with whoever is on the battlefield too; which is pretty nifty.

3mechs

The controls are tight, however, but when I played, perhaps I was not as skilled as the others. Using he keyboard and mouse was simple enough and the arcade-esque style of visuals is enough to get anyone to remember the glory days of Battletech.

-Visuals-

The game is hands down – GORGEOUS. From the mechas, to the map to, to the battle scenes and sequences, the art is fantastic. Add to that that it’s hand-drawn and you got yourself a great looking game.

mecha.gif

The game’s high detail and high quality work is very nice to look at. Battles are vivid, shots look explosive and the effects all work in tandem to make for a very pretty looking demo. The mechs are all drawn up down to the last pixel. The colors pop as you move about the battlefield and take it all in. It looks exactly like a 90s era shooter looks, but crisp and sharp in detail.

There is no music, just ambiance and the pew pews from the lasers. In my opinion, there not being music gives you a better chance to focus on the task at hand. Music can distract me sometimes and I have horrible attention as it is.

-Conclusion-

The demo plays nice, looks like your circa-90s era arcade shooter and doe sa damn fine job of recreating it and looks just as beautifully as it plays. The gameplay is simplistic, yet strategic with it’s combined teamwork tactics and a command and conquer like sovereignty.

————————-UPDATE: 10/17/2016—————————-

As of this writing, I happened to pop into the Antraxx server for a moment and I see the creator, Leendert, standing off to the side. He remembers Dawn and I and we spoke for a bit and he mentioned that unfortunately, Antraxx is NOT getting funded via Kickstarter.  He also stated that the server will be down for a while but did not give me an ETA.

leendertbattlefoe

But fret not, he had this to say:

“While we try to find a way to finish the game and financially survive, we still want to continue development. That’s for sure!” – Leendert, creator.

View their campaign here:
Antraxx – Kickstarter

You heard it first here folks.
This has been NeedtoKnow and I’m Niko.

Stay in the know, gamers!

Cheers!

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