Offensive Combat: Redux Review

High character customization and upgradeable guns join forces in this irreverent first person shooter. Whether it's against bots or other players, you will be battling with up to fifteen others in tight alleyways and multi-level buildings. Do you have what it takes to snipe, blast, or club your way to become the "Best Player This Round?"

Offensive Combat Review

Intro

Offensive Combat: Redux is a reboot, if you will, of a web-based shooter in which you try to frag as many other players as you can. There are a few different game modes, so you aren't always on your own, but these types of games tend to lend themselves to lone wolves. Three Gates AB have resurrected this cult classic and released it as a standalone, downloadable game.

You can purchase it on Steam starting Aug 18, 2017 for $19.99.

Story

There is zero story to this game, but perhaps there should have been. Even a short campaign mode with some bots would have been preferable to yet another "join the lobby and wait ten minutes" shooter. Granted, this would have led to time and resources spent on creating something entirely new, as the original Offensive Combat lacked this as well.

Gameplay

Character and Gun Customization

This is probably the only positive thing I can say about this game; the customization is the way it should be done. They give you the ability to purchase different heads, chest, legs, arms, and hands with the money you earn from playing matches. Some are your standard soldier pieces, while others are off the wall Gecko and Panda suits. If playing as a Trump/Hillary inspired knockoff or having the poop emoji as your head is your cup of tea, then have at it. Clearly, most of the time has been spent on making items that you can unlock in this area, as each category has quite a few options. Along with the look of the character, you are able to choose up to three PWNs, or taunts you do over the body of someone you kill, provided you reach their body before the PWN timer runs out. Most of these are tame dances, but the Fart, Armpit Fart, Wanker, and Green Teabag are clearly going to be the most used, unsurprisingly in this day and age.

Offensive Combat: Redux - My Robot/Gecko/Panda/Stripper is complete
As far as guns, each has its own tech tree with the ability to choose different barrels, stocks, sights, ammo, and paint schemes. Not every gun will have something to unlock in each area, but they make up for this with multiple options in the ones you can. The only time to change your loadout is while you are in the main menu, waiting for a match. It would have been nice to give you the option to do so either in between rounds or between deaths. Kind of annoying when you are facing off against snipers that you can't get close enough to use your shotgun against for an entire match.

Gunplay

The industry standard WASD is present, but that shouldn't be a surprise. A shooter would be risking a lot to go with a different layout these days. Mouse movement is fluid and as you would expect of a shooter, despite some other games feeling clunky or sluggish. Running and jumping, however, feel cumbersome and unfinished. Sometimes you are able to jump on top of a shack but others you can't even get over a small pipe without some effort. There are no double jumps or power-ups to give you a seemingly unfair advantage and feels like the game was made for a broad audience, rather than the super twitchy mechanics seen in more recent titles. The power-ups that are in the game are basically reskinned versions from Quake or DOOM. Not sure if it is a design flaw or intentional, but there is a large amount of bullet spray and I found that aiming down and to the right a bit resulted in more shots hitting. Overall though, nothing you don't experience in every other FPS on the market.

Maps

Every map seemed familiar, but in the "I've seen this same level design a million times" way. Play a map for two minutes and you already know every nook, cranny, and hiding spot. Granted, we have had shooters out the wazoo over the last 20 years, so coming up with something fresh is not exactly easy. Still, while you could jump up on boxes to reach a roof, it still didn't feel like there was much verticality to how things were set up. A snipers nest shouldn't make it seem like you could reach down and touch an enemy that walks by. As with everything though, there are little things I did enjoy about the levels. The lava level, Burninator, reminded me of Quake III: Arena or Unreal Tournament, and it was one of the few times I actually enjoyed looking at the game.

Game Modes

Anyone who has played a multiplayer FPS has encountered the modes of Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, and Capture the Flag. There is nothing new here and while many will say "it's tried and true" about this, with a game that lacks any real hook, I wish there would have been some different modes. Take some ideas from other shooters and use those, like every game does. Have an attack and defend mode, escort mode, bomb defuse, or any number of others we have seen. Heck, try something off the wall and new, no matter how crazy it might sound. Anything would have been a welcome addition to these modes. If you are needing some practice or want to learn the maps without other players shooting you, you can do Explore or Bot matches too. Just don't expect these to offer much challenge or fun.

Community

With a game focused around shooting one another, in game chat is bound to be a cess pool. Accusations of cheating or name calling run rampant. It is an inevitability and something you cannot avoid if you wish to play with friends. Unless you have a third-party VoIP program, the only way to communicate is through text. Moreover, there is no grouping system to ensure you end up with friends on the same server. There is no server or region selection and is almost inexcusable if it weren't for this trend popping up more and more. The quickest way into a match is just to hit "Any Game Mode" and hope there are enough people online to get a match. Whenever I tried joining a specific mode, I was the only one in the lobby for ten minutes. The most people I saw online in a match was eight and everyone cheered when someone new joined because they were tired of seeing the same names. Whether or not this game attracts more users, I want to be able to group up with my friends in these games and play on a server that is equidistant, but not having that option is a little infuriating.

Presentation

This game seems meh to me in the graphics department, something out of 2010. Gotham City Imposters or Dirty Bomb are very comparable, with a slight cell-shaded touch. Everything seems overly in your face, from the guns to the powerups. Even the grenades seem like they just grabbed the model for it and upped it to 200%. Some of the guns don't even look like what they are supposed to be representing. Regardless of the so called "humor" in the rest of the game, I want my guns to look like they are supposed to, not like a teenager tried making it in their beginning Graphic Arts class. Also, the amount of stuff that pop-up on your screen when you kill someone is a little overwhelming. Why can't we just have a small notification like the good old days?

Offensive Combat: Redux Review - So much screen clutter
By far the worst and most offensive aspect is the sound design. All guns sound the same except the silenced ones, but every silencer sounds the same as well. You can be on the complete opposite side of the map but it will sound like you are in the thick of the battle. Pistols, shotguns, and grenades sound incredibly generic, or worse, like it was the intern's job to come up with them on the spot. Even turning down the volume didn't help with any of this and I was left in near physical pain with how bad everything sounded when put together. The directional sound is decent, but determining how far away a sound is would have been nice. Is it just around the corner or two hundred yards away, it just all sounds the same. The one semi-redeeming piece is the music. As far as I could tell, it only has one track, but has a good beat and fits the style of the game perfectly.

Conclusion

Offensive Combat: Redux does not promise to be the next best shooter out there, but there is nothing in this game that makes me want to come back. In the twenty or so matches I was able to actually get into, I ran into three or four incredibly suspicious players that were maybe, probably, hacking and it is such a downer when it is that common to run into them. I feel this is for those who love super corny voice overs, the ability to get a "Cockshot" or just want a game they can hop into a game quickly and be done before your Hot Pocket is finished. However, with plenty of free-to-play games out there that do a better job in every meaningful aspect of an FPS, I am confused by the reasoning behind making this game and the pay-to-play model. Nostalgia for the original maybe? Regardless, I don't think this game is going to do well on Steam, but as with all games, there will be those out there that like it. I am just not one of them.

Offensive Combat: Redux - Yes, you read that right, you can get a Cockshot! in this game

PROSCONS
+ Large amount of customization– Horrible sound design
+ Controls felt good– Small player-base with frequent hackers
+ Lack of game breaking bugs– Not enough game modes
– Lackluster level design
– Guns all felt the same
2.3
Awful

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