Real-time strategy games don’t have to be overcomplicated or full of graphical gimmicks and serious storytelling, as Petroglyph‘s 8-Bit Armies shows.
A long time ago I was very much into RTS games, playing all the latest Command & Conquer, Warcraft and Starcraft as well as Age of Empires titles. I tried out other games as well, but these became very samey and added more complexity than necessary. Taking into account how much time it took to complete them, I fell back on shorter adventure or action games, so it’s great to see a developer embrace the simplicity of the genre and add a voxel art style to it.
Petroglyph isn’t new to the genre, as part of the team also worked on Star Wars: Empire at War, but there’s certainly something quite unique about the presentation. Reminiscent of action-adventure RPG 3D Dot Game Heroes, it looks simple and appealing at the same time with blocky pixels being blown into smithereens. Despite the war theme, one shouldn’t expect a deep story or memorable characters, as the emphasis is on the battlefield fights.
25 offline campaign and 10 co-op missions, 10 multiplayer/skirmish maps sound intimidating, but the gameplay about base and unit building should be accessible for RTS beginners and more comfortable to get into for those who don’t want to learn new mechanics. It looks and sounds lovely, especially with musician Frank Klepacki who did the C&C score being involved.
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