You play as a counter terrorist group called EPSILON who is somewhere in Eastern Europe combating the local militias. Planning is the name of the game. Guns, attachment, and secondary’s are only a small part of the planning process of your mission. Developed and published by Serellan LLC, released October 1, 2015. EPSILON is currently $7.99 and is in Early Access on the Steam store, this game will test your pre-planning and commanding abilities as you take down the terrorist.
As you’re the starting mission, right of the bat you can tell it’s a more or less in a modern setting. The guns look like modern weaponry you can probably find in the military or a better visual representation, firearms from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. The armaments are noticeably different and even change the way it looks based on some of the attachments you put on. The character models in this game are basically clones of one another. Even the female looks like the male, which is very bizarre considering the fact that the cut scenes and even the portraits portray them to look different. In other words the character models don’t add up.
There is only one cut scene I saw that was in the fashion of a comic book, transitioning page after page leading up to the mission. Alongside with the weaponry and characters, is also the planning screen giving you the sense you are looking at a computer or mobile device as you plan your next move. The two map/level designs are very similar yet different. One is in a headquarters of sorts and is filled with enemies and upper levels. In one hand as you are exploring there are open areas that leave you exposed to gunfire and in the other hand there many offices that are very isolated that made me feel like I was a cow lining up to get slaughtered. The other map is in this icy, very underground facility. In this map instead having upper level, there is a descent to be made. This map is not very open as the headquarters, but there are very narrow passage ways and points of entry that give the feeling of not knowing where your enemies can come from.
A.I. is basic in design. There is two or three character models dressed up in a green commando type outfit. The animations very much need work. Weapons fazing through walls, the reloading animation is off, the leaning function is very off and is ultimately not very useful as it’s very hard to lean from a corner without your guy shoving his gun in his face. Whether these are how the animations are supposed to be or these are glitches/bugs I personally don’t know, but one thing is for certain they don’t look right to me.
From the audio that can be heard the music has more or less a serious tone, nothing upbeat, nothing sad, just music that sets up for this type of serious counter terrorist game. The weapon sounds are pretty much all the same with the exception of the shotgun and maybe one other , but all the guns practically sounded all the same. Even when I put a suppressor attachment it sounded the same as if I had no suppressor. Barely voice overwork at all. Maybe just a few grunts from when your teammate dies or the enemy you killed, but even then I barely heard anything. When you breach a door the explosive noise is there, but doesn’t have that oomph that you thought you would hear. It sounded like a firecracker went off. There is also trip lasers so that when you step on it the enemy gets alerted to your position, and it was really weird because sometimes I would be randomly walking and I would hear a beep like if an alarm went off, but I swear there was no trip laser there. Either I was going crazy or the audio cues were off and I would put my money on the latter.
Gameplay was simple: plan and execute. Let’s start with the planning. When you first start the mission you are greeted by a map. From there, there are quite a few things you can do. You can put a sniper to eliminate and unsuspecting enemies. You can view security cameras so that one: you can survey the area and two: mark targets so that they are displayed on your map. On the map also is your primary objective so you know where they are at.
There is also a map key so you know what the image means. Lastly you can mark pathways for your squad to follow, so that at a press of a button they will follow the determined path you have setup. All of what I have just told you is optional. You don’t even have to plan; you can just go in blind and guns blazing. After you have chosen whether to plan or not, are equipping your squad with weapons. You have a limited amount of weapons to equip because this game is still in Early Access.
All squad member have the same stats and as of to my knowledge you can only be one of the squad members. After you have chosen your weapons and attachments for those weapons for each individual character, you can officially start the mission. At this point you can tackle the objectives however you want. You can follow your plan or you can totally forget about it and just do whatever you want. You can have your squad do whatever you want. Follow you, follow the designated path if you picked one, open up the wheel menu and have your squad stack up and breach doors, you can have your squad be fodder and send them directly in front of the doors so that they can shoot enemies as you open the door, the choice is yours. To finish the mission you must complete the objectives in their entirety. Some of the objective can be easy as planting a bomb and has hard as rescuing hostages, the order in which you do them is up to you. There is only one difficulty at this time (moderate), and the A.I. for moderate can be punishing, so make sure to be careful because they can at times end your life with one shot.
There is a story, but it’s like one comic strip and it’s basically to stop terrorist. You are highly trained combatants know as EPSILON and you are to go to Unipol and Terrarum (somewhere in Europe) to counter militias that are involved in human trafficking. In one part of the comic you see a hostage get executed by one of the terrorist. That is when you are appointed to go to the Unipol HQ. That is where you mission begins.
So I’m going to be doing my replay value scale from low too high, in the middle being medium, so low-medium-high. As of now there is very low replay value. Not that many guns, I say around ten. Two maps, one difficultly, and two game modes, one being the story mode and the other being elimination (only secure or neutralize the target) that is not a whole lot to go on. This game could be done at a minimum one hour and that’s story mode, maybe another hour for elimination and that’s it. You basically did everything there is to do. If you want more you could of course try out different guns and new tactics, but by the point it all gets repetitive. I give this overall a low replay value.
This game definitely has potential to be really good. From its gameplay to its graphics I can see it bloom to something more, but man does this need work. I must admit after playing it for a bit the game grew on me. I really did like planning for my missions. It was great knowing how I could carry out the objectives in any form I wanted to. The operations didn’t always turn out so good because the A.I. just had god like aim. The A.I. hit detection system felt really inconsistent. At times they barely take away your health, and then others the enemy’s just one shot kill you. It was really frustrating to the point where I didn’t feel like playing. I liked having the squad to command and use them to my every whim. My squad could definitely hold their own. I really like the fact that your squad doesn't just rush the door when you tell them to breach a door, they just go in one by one as they clear the room/area. It still also needs work, but it’s these types of gameplay elements that really show this game potential. Where this game really needs a fixing is the glitches/bugs. Your gun fazing through walls, audio cues of trip lasers going off out of nowhere, while still playable by all means it’s these type of things plus its funky animations that really ruin the game for me. With it's complications in the form of glitches and animations, it doesn't do this game justice.
Keep in mind this game is in Early Access and will change and get better has time goes by, but as of right now this game is just too short, lacking in content, and riddled with problems, that it leaves a sour taste in my mouth and leaves me not wanting to comeback.
A.I's hit detection towards player
Poorly designed narrative for a game
Barely to no Voice overwork