Only on PC
Focus Home Interactive
Release Date: April 5, 2012
Preview by Steven Mills
If you’re a fan of fantasy or tabletop gaming, you’ve probably heard of French Developer Cyanide Studio. In recent years they’ve developed Blood Bowl, a game based off the Warhammer universe, two titles based off of the hit book series and recent television series “A Game of Thrones”, and now the Confrontation Game, a game based off the popular tabletop fantasy miniatures game from Rackham.
At its core, the Confrontation Game is set in the world of Aarklash where four factions fight for global domination. Like any good fantasy game, these four factions are incredibly unique. First off is the “Wolf” army. As you may have guessed, these lycan-like people are appropriately named. Next is the faction called “Jakal’s” which are essentially the orc-like faction. The final two factions are the “Griffon” army, which are crusader-like in purpose, and the overwhelmingly science oriented “Scorpion” army. The preview build we were given to preview consisted of the first two missions of the game where you play as a squad of Griffin soldiers on a mission to stop the Scorpion army.
Let me start by saying that Confrontation is a tactical game. It’s essentially a mix of RPG and RTS, but placed inside a well-versed tactical shell. If you’ve ever played an online RPG of sorts the roles of each character should be no surprise to you. In our build, we only had four characters to choose from–though we’ve been told there are many more characters you can choose from to build your party in the full game–and each had their own roles. In this preview build our four characters were: Darius: tank and light buffer; Zelia: magic damage and crowd control; Lothair: physical melee damage and ranged debuffer; Lanwys: healer and melee damage. Each of the character also had both a ranged and a melee weapon which allowed me to start a fight from afar, then move in close when the battle demanded it.
While Confrontation can easily be compared to similar games such as Diablo and Dawn of War II, it’s important to note that this game isn’t as forgiving with the traditional “Just go in and kill stuff” method of gameplay. Many of the battles in the game require you to do a little bit of planning or at least approach them with some strategy in mind, or you’ll find yourself losing the fight or at least winding up with a few dead units. One of the most exciting features of Confrontation is the constant threat of having to adapt to scenarios on the fly. New tactics are required of you pretty consistently to keep yourself victorious in battles, and new challenges await you frequently.
Like any good RPG, Confrontation gives you new abilities and the option to increase your stats (Strength, Intelligence, etc) when you level up your characters. Also scattered throughout the game are treasure chests which when opened will give you loot such as weapons or the ability to upgrade weapons and armor. One of the important aspects of the game is decided which characters to upgrade and who to give which weapons. In the end the leveling up and upgrade system provides its own type of progression and separation for multiple playthroughs.
What kind of preview would this be if I didn’t talk about the story? A majority of the game is linear missions with a few branches here and there. The story is admittedly much better than is usually expected for a game adaptation of a tabletop, and the character development (and voice overs) do the game justice in terms of bringing it to live. While the graphics themselves are certainly nothing breakthrough since they are using a rather exhausted graphics engine, it’s still worth pointing out that the well drawn artistic environments and cut scenes make the trip worthwhile.
Overall, Confrontation is shaping up to be an exciting addition to the tactical RPG / RTS genre and I’m excited to see the final product. With Diablo 3 still being a couple months out, Confrontation is looking to be worthwhile to fill the void. While there’s a few bugs and a bit of clunkiness to the press build we played, I expect those to be mostly ironed out in time for release early next month. To top it all of, the game has an exciting looking multiplayer feature that wasn’t available in our preview build. Definitely keep an eye on Confrontation when it launches April 5th. (Oh yeah, and be sure to look out for our review around then too!)