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Gamebanshee Reviews Cyanide's RTS/RPG Confrontation

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Gamebanshee Reviews Cyanide's RTS/RPG Confrontation

Review - posted by Crooked Bee on Thu 26 April 2012, 09:22:35

Tags: Confrontation; Cyanide

Gamebanshee's Steven Carter has penned a review of Cyanide Studios' recently released RTS/RPG hybrid Confrontation that we covered in a news post not so long ago. Suffice it to say, he isn't exactly impressed with the game, even though he has positive things to say about Confrontation's combat engine:

Confrontation is an RPG / tactical strategy hybrid from French developer Cyanide Studios, which is also set to release the RPG Game of Thrones in the upcoming weeks. Confrontation is based on a miniatures and dice war game, where small groups of soldiers battle each other.

[...] The best part of Confrontation is the battle engine. The game is good at creating opposing groups of enemies to challenge your party, and you have to pay attention to who you're fighting so you can eliminate the most potent threat first. Most of the challenge in the game comes from avoiding debuffs. Things like provoking, charming, silencing, fearing, and immobilizing prevent your soldiers from using their skills, which is where most of their power comes from, and so if you just attack enemies randomly, or allow your soldiers to pick their targets, then you're going to get into trouble. You always have to knock out the annoying spellcasters in the back first (such as the Neuromancer for the Scorpion faction), or your entire party might get disabled and slaughtered, no matter how powerful it is.

Unfortunately, Confrontation has several problems that prevent it from being fun to play. The first of these is the interface. Because you're controlling four soldiers, the game uses an overhead view, where you left click to select your soldiers, you right click to make them move or attack, and you press the space bar so you can pause the game and issue orders. So far so good, but everything else is a mess. There isn't an auto-follow mode for the camera, and the camera is currently hardcoded to the arrow keys, which is awkward at best. The game wastes the 1-9 keys by hardcoding them to select soldier groups, even though the F1-F4 keys already select individual soldiers. The game includes a codex of information about your enemies, but you're not allowed to access it during missions. There's an option to queue up or replace commands, but the game forgets your choice every time you start a mission or load a game. And the interface has numerous clarity issues. For example, your soldiers have a chance to dodge attacks and score critical hits, but this information isn't shown anywhere. And for a long time I couldn't figure out why the game wasn't allowing me to learn the final rank of skills, only to eventually discover that the final rank costs two skill points instead of one. Pointing this out somewhere in the interface would have helped. Really, Confrontation is just sloppy all over the place.

[...] And then there's the gameplay of the campaign, which isn't any better. I mentioned earlier that the battle mechanics are fine. The problem is that you just fight one battle after another, without any motivating force behind your actions. The campaign is just a linked sequence of about 500 battles, with the occasional boss fight thrown in for good measure. A boring campaign can still work if character development or equipment hunting is fun, but they're not. Confrontation uses a level 40 cap, which means soldiers get to learn just about everything, and the equipment of your soldiers is fixed. All you find during the campaign are weapon / armor points and glyphs, which are used to upgrade equipment, and bandages, which one soldier can use to heal another. Enemies never drop anything.

And so, clearly, I did not like Confrontation at all, and I don't think it'll be any fun to play even if it eventually gets patched up. About the only silver lining I can think of is that it might work well enough for multiplayer skirmish matches -- assuming you can reasonably control your party without pausing the game, which seems iffy -- if that's the sort of thing that interests you. But there's little to recommend about Confrontation for RPG enthusiasts, especially at its $40 price point. Sometimes I recommend waiting for prices to drop before making a purchase, but in this case you should just look elsewhere.​

Sounds bad enough. You can also check out the full review, but it doesn't get any better anyway.

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