Triad Wars Preview

Triad Wars - Review thumpnail
8 Overall Score
Gameplay: 7/10
Graphics: 8/10
Performance: 9/10

Amazing fighting and vehicle chases, great graphics.

Open world content gets a little tedious, doesn’t feel like a multiplayer online game.

We’re heading back to Hong Kong to check out Triad Wars. Coming out of closed beta a few weeks ago the doors have been thrown open for anyone to play, so we thought we’d check things out to see where the game is at. For those unfamiliar the game is an open world action sandbox where players control their own character, roam around an open world picking up missions and from behind the scenes build up their own territory and base of operations.

The game is the spiritual successor to Sleeping Dogs, where players infiltrate the Triad as an undercover police officer, though the game is a single player title, Triad Wars loses the guise of being able to do bad things but still being the good guy and simply says “You’re one bad mother, see how bad you can be”. Developed by United Front Games the game has a duality to the gameplay, there is the running around the world as your character to earn cash, XP and booster cards and taking on other players rackets; then there’s the territory building aspect, buying and selling resources, building up your defenses for when players inevitably try to attack it.

Triad Wars preview F2P1

We’ve talked about the details of the game before and you can check our old initial review about it as, in all honesty, since Closed Beta six months ago there’s very little that appears to have changed from what we can tell. The developers have no doubt kept themselves busy with balances and bug fixes, tweaks and changes, but from what we could tell as a lowly level 5 player (level cap has been increased to 50) the core of the game has remained the same… for better or worse.

There is a LOT we like about the game, whilst the building up of your territory is fine it really is only a small part of the game; it’s a place to spend money and essentially acts as bragging rights to show how powerful you are. The main gameplay is in the open world content; roaming around Hong Kong and picking up the various missions, activated by reaching a waypoint once accepted you have a target or a time limit (or usually both). These are the mission portion of the game that give you direct rewards; we were fully able to beat up passers-by, steal vehicles, do drive-bys on rival gangs, get into gun fights with the police and exciting vehicle pursuits, though with the more open world portion there isn’t much in the way of rewards for the most part which is a bit disappointing.

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It’s completely fair to say that whilst playing the game it does have that strong Grand Theft Auto vibe, but lacking in a lot of story driven content outside the single linear storyline that players will slowly progress. The missions you pickup are pretty much dialogue/story free, it’s taking action for the sake of taking action and getting rewards, you don’t get any cash for gunning down the public and mugging them, there’s nowhere to take vehicles to for cash rewards outside of a specific mission. The problem with this is that things can start to get a little bit tedious after a while, in total we’ve probably played the game for about 6 or so hours and the attacks on players hideouts, fighting through familiar buildings, taking on an Enforcer, picking up open world missions… it gets a little repetitive.

The open world portion is still extremely fun, half the time we find ourselves not taking on the missions and instead just trying to get into trouble for smashing a hammer in the back of a pedestrians head, or hanging out of our vehicle whilst driving and unloading a shotgun into the cab of a passing lorry. The visuals are brutal as blood spatter explodes over dashboards as people are peppered with bullets and shrapnel and it doesn’t take long for the police to come by, then the armed police, then the riot police, and things really do escalate quickly. The good thing about this type of activity is that you do get rewarded for going on kill streaks once you trigger the police a countdown begins to see how long you can keep away, earning points for blowing up vehicles, killing enemies, causing damage; so one of the most common experiences in the game has had a reward attached to it. The controls can be a little awkward at times, and we’d also manage to pull off combos (that we’re not sure how) such as grabbing a pedestrian or police officer and using them as a human shield as we shot around them. There was a brilliant moment where in a police firefight we took one hostage in the middle of the street, all the riot police stopped shooting but then started moving from cover to cover through some trees to try and get behind us and get a clear shot. It was very cool.

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With our provided account we did have access to some Gold, the premium currency for purchasing vehicles and loadout cards that you can attach to your character for various boosts, perks and weapons. The items you get are random, but there’s a bit of a pay to win element as well we saw when we unlocked an Infinite Ammo card and a level 5 shotgun and Rare level 5 pistol; we ploughed our way through enemy bases and went on a ridiculously long kill streak in the open world. Jumping in a vehicle and driving around made us pretty indestructible, especially when we got into a Riot Van and were taking no direct health damage, shooting out pursuing police vehicles tyres in car chases causing their cars to flip… very cinematic, very fun. That said the vehicle really didn’t show that much damage and then suddenly set on fire, and very soon after blew up killing us. Boooo! The problem is that after a while this could start to grow a little thin and unfortunately the mission content isn’t so remarkable that it makes you want to take a break from going on kill sprees to complete it.

Our biggest issue, however, is still that the game just feels like a single player MMO. There’s relatively no Multiplayer content and near no impact/interaction on other players outside of attacking their territory or getting a message if someone attacked yours. There was a moment where we’d just gotten away from a firefight with the police, who were still in the area but not after us, and we were ambushed by rival gang members seemingly belonging to another player; not sure how they did it but it was cool for a random fight to take out (and subsequently got the police involved again). Aside from that it does feel like you’re playing a single player game, but without the story content that you would expect, hopefully the developers have identifies this (we doubt we’re the only ones who think it) and will at some point be doing something about it. A fun game to pick up a play from time to time, but the setup feels more like a Castle/Empire Building RTS but the on map battles are done with an open world combat element.

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One Comment - "Triad Wars Preview"

  1. Dr. Doggder 09/10/2015 at 17:53 -

    Is it better than *APB Reloaded*?