Atlas Reactor Free Mode Overview
As reported earlier last month, Trion Worlds’ arena based team strategy title Atlas Reactor has opened up a Free Mode version for players to access. Previously, the game only had a pay to play option with the developers promising a free option at some point. Well, it has arrived and gone live and we thought we’d check it out to see what we think.
The game itself has a roster of 20 characters (currently 10 DPS, 5 Tanks and 5 Supports) that, if you are a paying customer, you get access to in their entirety as well as a bunch of other features (as mentioned below). For the “Free Mode” you get access to six characters that are unique to your account that will rotate at the end of the week, we checked this out with two different accounts and can confirm that we got a choice of 6 different characters with both accounts. Of our six on both accounts we had access to 4 DPS, 1 Tank and 1 Support, which we presume isn’t a coincidence and lets players sample all the different class types, with emphasis on the DPS given that assassin type roles in MOBA and such games are generally the most common (plus there are double the DPS role characters than there are the other two).
With your preferred character selected you can jump into Practice mode, Vs Bots (with or without AI teammates) or PVP, with ranked and custom games being greyed out and restricted only to pay to play accounts. By playing the available modes the Season rewards (different quests) are still fully available and so players can earn XP and level up in Free Mode, you also still get the chance to open the Loot Matrix rewards earned from match XP and increasing your season, however you can only open one every 36 hours and there didn’t seem to be an option to buy them for cash in the Shop (where normally you can).
So is it a good option? Whilst it alleviates the barrier created by being only pay to play (which as the only option initially was more a “pay to play in the beta”, which is pretty standard anyway for most online titles) we’re not entirely sure what to make of the free rotation system. Unlike other MOBA-esq titles that generally offer a free rotation and the chance to pay cash or earned in game currency to get full access to a character, Atlas Reactor hasn’t gone down that route, but with the smaller roster of characters (though 20 is most definitely not a bad thing) we can see why you wouldn’t want to allow players to purchase mercenaries ad hoc. The reality is that the business model is no different from Blizzard’s newest FPS Overwatch; you pay an upfront price to play the game for all characters, features and modes, and can purchase Loot Crates to acquire new skins, taunts. At least with Atlas Reactor there is a free trial of the game and, if you like the game we don’t think the minimal asking price is all too steep and one that would be the equivalent of buying two or three heroes in other MOBA games anyway. The try before you buy that the likes of Overwatch don’t provide can only be a good thing and so overall we’d say this is a good move for Atlas Reactor.