GENRE: Strategy Arena
DEVELOPER: Trion Worlds
A team based strategy players must work cooperatively to battle AI challenges and other players in turn based combat where everyone makes their choices at the same time, removing the waiting around that players typically find in turn based strategies. Atlas Reactor has a stunning and memorable graphical design that matches the sci-fi environments of Atlas City and the intriguing cast of Freelancers that fight there.
- Multiple characters to choose from
- Exciting turn based combat with simultaneous turns
- A wide variety of skills and abilities
- Multiple maps and modes
At its core the game is a turn based PVP game, generally focusing on two teams with an objective to wipe out their opponents. Each round all players get to choose what they wish to do in their turn, both an action and movement, then locking in their choice; when all players lock in then the turn happens and different actions occur depending which type of phase their abilities come from. The main strategy for players isn’t just working out what they want to do, or what the team collectively should do, but trying to work out what the opponent is likely to do and acting accordingly, creating an endless offensive-defensive tug of war.
The four turn phases in the game are:
- Movement Phase – Using right mouse click players can choose a location within range that they wish to move to, or create a series of waypoints for heading in a certain direction and dodging certain tiles. The Movement Phase is the last phase to happen in a turn.
- Blast Phase – Here is when the majority of damage dealing abilities occur, when making attacks players can line up their shots using targeting AOE reticules to see who they are likely to hit… providing the player stays in place. The Blast Phase happens before the Movement Phase.
- Dash Phase – This allows players to trade any attacks for movement or dodge abilities that will occur before the Blast Phase, this gives players a chance to evade any expected attacks that may be coming in their direction.
- Prep Phase – The first phase in a turn to trigger, Prep abilities allow players to try and protect teammates or lay down traps for enemies; snares that might restrict movement or explosions if you can predict where they are going to head if they try to use a Dash ability.
Each characters acts as their own class with their own four abilities and a single Ultimate attack; standard abilities can be used each turn and build up Energy, which powers up use of the Ultimate. With a selection of offensive, defensive, support, melee and ranged characters then players have lots of choice to find someone that suits their style of play, and a lot of customization to make different team compositions and work on different tactics.
- Lockwood – The most notorious and, in most cases, loved Freelancer he uses his pistol attacks to take out his opponents, bouncing trick shots off walls to get around cover and using his quick evade skills to keep out of harms’ way
- Rask – Created in the Evolution Solutions Birthing Vats this evolved catlike beast is their crowning achievement, with an uncontrollable rage it is literally a monster on the battlefield able to claw its opponents to pieces and pounce on them from a distance
- PuP – One of the last sentient AI, this robot dog is fellow Freelancer Zuki’ companion, but he’s a little fighter in his own right with a huge mechanical bite coming from such a cute and cuddly fellow, he has a Walkies ability to leash enemies and drag them to a new location
Various abilities will either give an area of effect marker when selected to show where the ability will hit, or where the character will move to; targets that may be caught in the effects (providing they don’t move with a Dash ability) are highlighted. Players can try to use the terrain to remove line of sight, or take cover behind low walls and objects so that they only take half damage.