Versus: Battle of the Gladiator has officially gone into Early Access on Steam on June 20th, 2016, but the game had a pretty rough start for their day one launch.
Versus: Battle of the Gladiator got my attention for looking like a sword melee version of Gunz: The Duel. Players will be able to compete in stylized melee combat against one another in a battle to the death in this gladiator style arena game that pits fencers, Samurai and knights against one another.
However, players had some complaints about lag stutters, crashes and ridiculously high ping that made combat tedious as they were teleported around the arena and killed by random invisible enemies that magically appeared out of nowhere to score a kill, while others had trouble with the game not even loading. As a result, a little more than a dozen players gave the game a negative review and said they weren’t happy with what they played when the game officially launched into Steam Early Access for the first day, some even went as far as uninstalling the game and getting a refund because they thought the current game wasn’t worth the price the development team is asking.
Steam user Matyvalien gives a short but sweet review that sums up what all the negative reviews are talking about and lists a few of the major problems that Versus: Battle of the Gladiator currently has in the below quote.
“Really unfinished game , not even translated, really really unpolished , if they patch like 50-100 times , it maybe playable and maybe it would be fun, but NOT NOW.”
However, don’t let those handful of reviews turn you off. In the short time that Versus: Battle of the Gladiator has been up for Early Access, it has now received close to 50 additional reviews that all rate the game positive, this has sent the overall rating from mostly negative on day one, to a 73% mostly positive rating just two days later.
I think it is safe to say that it isn’t really fair to review a game or product from the first day you have it, without providing proper feedback or a chance for the developers to correct the issues, especially for a game that launched as an Early Access beta title.
Even AAA game titles can sometimes have a tough first day launch and need time to weed out glitches and flaws for the server and game optimization. Just to give an example, Website Game Rant covered The Division for the first day and how it had severe server issues. Even to this day with all the patches, there are still numerous glitches still in the game.
The players that stuck with Versus: Battle of the Gladiator agree that day one had bugs, translation errors and UI glitches, however it appears that the Devs were watching the feedback closely and has sent out hot fixes to remedy and patch a few of the issues to make the game playable, and for most, quite enjoyable.
Based on the reviews that are currently up, the core gameplay mechanics are solid and everything works, but based on the feedback it sounds like the developers need to work on balancing weapon damage, fixing the lag and optimizing the performance of the game so that everything runs smoothly. Steam user Jaeger posted up a short review to tell why he recommends the game in the quote below.
“A terrible tutorial hides a surprisingly complex combat system. While this game suffers from latency issues and some balancing issues the foundation is solid. Combat flows but is based on MMORPG stunlocky combat. This can either be a feature or a flaw depending on the person. Recommended because there are no other games like this and shows promise.”
The developers at Netker Inc. have released a new gameplay trailer video on June 16th, showcasing the gameplay and announcing the release for Early Access, you can watch the video that I linked down below.
Although it is still too early to tell how the game will turn out in the long run, so far majority of the player reviews are happy with the way the developers are handling the game, update patches, and addressing the major issues that the community has complained about. The developers have a list of frequently asked questions and problems and how to resolve them, so majority of the issues in game are known and are being worked on. After I found out that they are a small development team of only seven people, I was rather impressed with what they have accomplished so far.
If you are interested in buying the game and joining to lend your feedback for Early Access, you can purchase Versus: Battle of the Gladiator for about $19.99 from the Steam Store page. I haven’t played the game yet so I can’t say officially if it is worth buying, but even with all the positive reviews I would suggest to play it on the safe side and wait for a great sale before buying the game, or waiting a few more weeks to give the development team time to work out the kinks to deliver something worth buying.
What are your thoughts? Did you participant in the Early Access beta? Is the game playable? Lend your voice and share your thoughts in the comments below.