Project Aftermath is perhaps not a new indie game, but it only recently flew into my radar (I know, I know). Coming across as a Adventure RTS with a few new mechanics, it certainly does mix up the old Paper-Beats Tank-Beats Infantry-Beats Dogs-Beats Helicopters-Beats Carriers-Beats Fish-rock-scissor + base building.
The winner of PAX10 breaks a few conventions, but it does it in a positive light. The campaign features no base building, no unit building, and only one resource that acts as a global mana pool and your high score. “So were are my units?” I hear you ask – you start off each mission with a number of Hero’s who have their own squad and their own gear. The Hero’s weapons and armour are linked to his squad, you swap his gear – theirs changes too. You don’t command the individual units either, just the Hero and he commands the individual soldiers. It makes for simpler gameplay than Company of Heroes, and twice again for Men Of War.
Simple isn’t always good, I felt that the management of my troops was missing an element. Cover doesn’t seem to play a factor, nor does flanking or hitting from different sides. I was a little bit let down here, but that could just be the hard core Man Of War talking. They did an interesting mix up with the Inf>Helicopters>Tanks>Inf play, or one unit beats another. Attack type and armour type is dictating by colour. Red for Physical, Green for Plague, Blue for Energy, Yellow for Field. The same colour armour blocks the same colour weapon. The resistance is almost never 100%, but it’s closer to 80% – far easier to switch to the other weapon your Hero has equipped and keep fighting. But you cannot retrain individual fallen soldiers, you can only revive them when you revive your hero – using GOOP.
As mentioned before, your Hero’s have abilities and they draw their mana from a global GOOP pool. This allows them to cast devastating tide turning abilities, from 4x rate of fire to massive energy blasts, or nullifying armour. I make it a point to never use them, as even obtaining a silver medal is hard enough! It’s a clever idea, and certainly makes the game a little tougher – but to make it easier, you have Tactical Deployments that charge over time and don’t cost anything. We are talking Turrets, Weapons, Armour, and even more Troops (that you can’t control) – all the colour you want them to be!
Mind you, I am only a few missions in. I hope the difficulty ramps up – but it is insanely addictive. Give it a shot, it’s a lovely learning curve.
Rainbow RTS games? In my PC?