Oh how one wishes death upon one’s cause of suffering. The agony, and disgust I felt while playing solitaire and losing 5 times in a row was immense. However, the failure filled card game was only a cool down after playing the dump that is Shock Tactics. I wanted nothing more than to stop and bash the game upside the head after I played my three hours. “No! Don’t rip the camera control away from me! No! He is literally two feet dead ahead on open ground, shoot his stupid ass!” It has been a long time since I have played such a pile of garbage, so let’s dig in and find the half rotted fried rice that makes up this mess.
Shock Tactics is a tactical turn-based strategy game from Point Blank Games. According to the press releases, it draws heavily from games like XCOM. However, the only things that shock tactics did right was anything it directly took from our favorite alien basher. When I looked into who could have made this digestive waste cloud, it turned out to be a small time developer in Germany. Oh the internal debate raged to stop playing and right shit on it or to continue playing and make a professional review for bad quality, giving it a break in the process. I won’t harp too much on it for being a horribly designed, awfully translated, disgustingly frankenstein’d, bag of chopped dicks, but I will point out some of the gameplay elements that didn’t fall on their faces.
The game starts you off with a disembodied voice narrating your gameplay from your perspective, regardless if you actually do it or not, and you are expected to quickly learn the game’s mechanics. Run here, shoot this, climb this, defend this, easy day right? The first things that I noticed was that there were translation mistakes, such as ‘Them’ turning into ‘em’ or ‘this’ turning into ‘it.’ It drove me mad! I couldn’t focus on anything else for the rest of the mission! It then pushed my squad of little fuckers into a combat level against PMC types who had already build a fully functional base around a massive (what I liked to call it, cosmic-erection) obelisk. A fully functional base? The narrator lady told me we were the first science teams on the planet! How did these guys already build a fucking base? Painted with the classic PMC red on black with white skulls and everything.
To my dismay, the 2nd mission was god awful. Not only did the distance seem to matter only when the giant willy-god approved, or the fact that bullets did no damage one turn and became the finger of death the next, or even the fact that the enemies could turn invisible while in my line of sight, it was that the game let me go right into the action and only let me continue once I’d set one of my poor bastards in a meter of gravel that we could progress. Mind you I had passed that rock heap three turns ago, so I had to backtrack up to this little spot by the cover near our drop off point. As soon as I did that, enemies appeared out of thin air inside of my troops, killing them all by firing ‘point blank’ as it were. After reloading the level, I took advantage of this awful game mechanic and set all my troops up on high ground to ambush them, thinking “Oh yes, high ground will give me accuracy bonuses!” Oh boy was I wrong. Not only did the enemies spawn directly in front of me on open ground, we have less accuracy than we did if we had been shoving our asses into each other’s mouths on the dry dirt! Furious, I tried to fight back, only to lose when the enemy shot one of my nameless troops across the map with perfect accuracy through 6 feet of metallic box. Man, I guess this really is XCOM, psionics for the enemies but not us I guess.
After that miserable excuse for a 2nd mission, the game puts you in a risk style hexagon overworld board, and instructs you to the, what I would loosely call ‘base building.’ It gives you resources to place three buildings in which case it screams, “OH YES, LOOK AT US! Just like the blockbuster XCOM right guys? We can base build too!” Wonderful, it’s cocky and retarded.
Then, it happened. I gave up. I couldn’t do it anymore. The awful waters had come up to my neck and I was about to drown in feces. If there was a bad but functional award, it would be thrown at this game with the intent to kill. On that wonderful moldy chocolate award would be the following…
‘I didn’t mean to click that!’
‘He is right in front of you, literally two feet straight ahead, why can you not see him?’
‘You have height on him and could spit on his head, why can’t you shoot him?’
‘Why is there no cover?’
‘These voice overs sound awful.’
‘Your models keeps flipping out and their arms look like they are breaking, what is this, gmod?’
‘Stop ripping camera control away from me damn it!’
‘Atrocious writing Award’
‘Camera Glitches Galore.’
‘Line of Sight is absolutely terrible.’
‘’Everybody must survive’ isn’t a side objective if it fails the game.’
‘Enemies didn’t even spawn unless you went to an objective.’
‘4 Feet away, 14% chance / 3 feet away 75% Chance what?’
‘Object in question is a massive monolith, somehow the narrator holds it up in his hands?’
‘Finished the mission before all main objectives were finished.’