Today, ladies and gentlemen I have something really quite rare. It truly is a phenomenon. I’m talking of course, about a game that has been uploaded to Steam that is still in early access. I know, hold on to your hats. If you weren’t quite sure, I am being sarcastic. It feels as though every game on Steam is an early access title (all 7000 of them). And thus, we come to Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator.
Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator
As it sounds; Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator is a battle simulation game. Similar, if not slightly more realistic, than Totally Accurate Battle Simulator (TABS). It was created/ is being created by Brilliant Game Studios who’s only previous soiree into the video game world is with a game called The Last Sniper VR. Although not having the pedigree of other companies is by no means a reason to write a company off. We have seen some true masterpieces from independent developers before, recently in fact with Paradigm. So let’s get into it.
Ultimate Epic Battle Simulator is a game where players can generate teams to fight against each other. There is multiple variations of warriors ranging from Chickens to Chunk Norris (Not a typo) and from Giant Ogres to Archers. You can pit teams of thousands off against each other and see how the carnage unfolds.
However, you can’t pit teams of thousands off against each other. I am fortunate in that I own a pretty good computer. Currently I am using an Intel I7 7700K CPU, a GTX 1080Ti GPU, 16GB of Corair Vengeance DDR4 ram, a 1TB SSD among other peripherals but when I load in 10,000 units I’m lucky if I reach the dizzying heights of 4 frames per second. It takes an unbelievable amount of processing power to load 10,000 AI controlled assets and calculate their every move. It makes for the world’s slowest war rather than a true to life “Battle simulator”.
Also, I have an issue with Chunk Norris. I understand that he was put in as a kind of joke character but if he is on one team, it won’t matter how many enemies are on the opposing teams. Chunk will win. I even tried to surround him with thousands of soldiers at one point. They managed to slowly get rid of 10% of his health. I then proceeded to blink and suddenly he was back up to full health?! I don’t know whether it was some kind of glitch or whether he is supposed to be indestructible. If it’s the latter, then why even include him in the game?
Is it a game?
I’m leaning to the side of no, it isn’t a game. I don’t mean any disrespect by that it just doesn’t feel like a game. You just set the sides up and watch how it plays out. There’s no real sense of fun, joy, horror or any real emotion of any kind. It just feels like watching a movie where every species animation is the same. There isn’t a goal. I know that it is early access and things like that may be introduced in the future but I have to judge the game as it is now (seeing as the public can buy it for £12).
It just doesn’t feel as though the developer knows what he wants it to be. It has an interesting feel to it but it is stuck somewhere between a game and a standalone simulation.What would make it feel better would be to make it more like TABS. Introduce a budget system to it and create some scenarios where an army is trying to reach a certain point, you have to stop them using only x,y or z. That allows players to get creative with how they position teams to turn the odds in their favour.
It may be early access but a lot of work is needed; both for optimisation purposes and in terms of making it fun.