Scraps: BattleBots with GUNS (Review)

http://www.scrapsgame.com/

Hey everyone. You might have noticed that in the last period, new information was scarce. So I decided to make something new: a game review. You know how much I like Battlebots (and tanks), so this game was appealing to me from the first minute. What it is about? You build your robot and fight. It is like fighting rovers from Kerbal Space Program. Like mounting weapons on a RC Car and rolling away. You can mount tank turrets too!

The truth is that the game is really balanced, like rock-paper-scissors. It has good weapons, but each design is weak against another one. For example, vehicles with heavy cannons being vulnerable to fast flankers on flat maps, and flankers being vulnerable to plasma weapons (which, in turn, are also rendered useless on hilly maps), which destabilize the vehicle, making it easy to shoot at. Click this paragraph to get the free demo, which will be available on multiple platforms. (only Windows currently)

After I got the game, I researched all the parts in exactly 100 minutes, because I had some experience left from the demo. Still, the game is in development (Early Access), and it has only the basic modules. But look at what I made with those:

ddddI call this the „BEST”. A heavy machine with cannons, perfect for owning noobs. A bit damaged.

faaaaa This is named „Tepig”, after the Fire Pokemon. Laser flanker – and it actually works well against designs like my BEST – but only on open maps.

If you are not confortable with your vehicle design, you might as well try this:

Now, for my experience with the game: I like the fact that it has a demo. A good demo, not 60 minute trial & stuff, you just make a vehicle and test it (against destructable boxes), for over and over without a time limit. Pretty fine! Also, by destroying boxes, you can level up to some extent and test the heavy cannons. Not bad at all. (by the way, the vehicles you make in the demo remain saved even if you get the full game)

After I got access to the full version, I played some single-player at first to get used to the mechanics, eventually tweaking my designs in order to make them more effective. Cool stuff: AI robots use your designs, so it takes actual skill to beat them. They also have multiple difficulties, and even the Easy one is not that easy to fight against. They will shoot you anyway when they get the occasion. I mostly used the single-player mode for grinding XP in order to build more advanced robots for the multiplayer mode.

Any big vehicle can be made a lot faster by mounting some heavy engines. My „BEST” design was really slow until I got those in the full version. However, really fast vehicles are bad, since they are hard to control and can do a barrel roll really quick if they have a high center of mass. You have to balance your scrap car, since there are engine efficiency values.

The building interface is really well-made, you can mount various useful (and useless if you want, but the game does not focus on that) parts in a style that reminds me of Kerbal Space Program. You can, of course, rotate every block by 90 degrees sideways in 4 directions. Big components are vulnerable, but really useful, and you can also add some armor plates to your designs, at the cost of making them heavier. You can see the shooting angle of every weapon you mount. There is also the center of mass you have to balance – the game uses realistic physics. It is not that hard to do that.

The various parts you can use for your vehicle also have an HP value – they get damaged before getting destroyed. You can repair them in special areas available on every map.

The multi-player mode (the core of the game): I played with a Russian and an Australian. Also, a game with the developer. All were good people, the Russian guy had a good heavy design (I guess it is better than mine, but that thing was vulnerable to my flanker) and he also knew English. The guy from Australia had a big ping value – so he was easy to beat – unless you stood in one place. The developer does have a laser design too! 😀 Overall, the multiplayer is okay – with the only major problem being the lack of players. But it can be always compensated by adding some AI ones.

The developer (only one person, named Nition on the forums, from New Zealand) is actually really active, and is working on improving the game. The last weeks were full of small patches that fixed some bugs. Check it out: http://steamcommunity.com/app/350150/discussions/0/535151589889915571 – recent discussion about balance.

He told me that in the future patch a fun low gravity mode will be added!

There is still a lot of stuff to be implemented, but the idea of the game is even older than the Robocraft one – work on it started since late 2012. In the future a lot more stuff will be included (including tank tracks, hover/flying vehicles and omni-directional laser turrets)- so buying it now (the game is on sale too) pays a lot in the long term.

Pros and cons:

Pros:

-Anyone can start a server in every location of the world;

-Single and multi-player modes;

-Fun gameplay, with 4 balanced weapon types, more to come in the future.

-Realistic physics;

-Joystick support;

Cons:

-No default European server, but you can make one anyway for little resources;

-A little lag spike when starting the game;

-Not too many people on the servers (but still enough and can be compensated by adding AI enemies);

That’s all. I enjoyed the game. Rating: it deserves a 9.5. Simple, fun, and never gets boring.

Gameplay:

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5 thoughts on “Scraps: BattleBots with GUNS (Review)

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