Rocwise Entertainment’s Soldiers of the Universe only stayed in Early Access on Steam for 78 days. The developers didn’t want to keep the game baking in the development oven for too long. However, in attempting to issue three major updates to fix the game from September to the end of November, they still didn’t quite tweak some of the core mechanics from top to bottom, and now gamers are saying that the game should have stayed in beta a lot longer than it did before fully releasing.
The game puts you in the role of a group of Tier 1 operators in the Middle-East known as Akinci Warriors under a secret Turkey organization.
The objective of the Akinci Warriors is to fight against the “enemies of the state”.
In Soldiers of the Universe, players travel throughout Anatolia, Northern Syria and Istanbul fighting against terrorists. The game sports a single-player campaign and a co-op mode. It’s available on the Steam store for $14.99.
However… gamers are both praising and criticizing the game in equal breaths. The good part is that the animations, models, and general graphical fidelity is said to be decent enough in some areas, but muddy and smeared in others.
The problem is that the game has some serious mechanical faults. Spraying wildly across the screen is to said to be as effective as attempting to ironsight and precision aim at enemies; enemy AI is said to be just as hard on the lowest difficulty setting as they are on the highest; and a lot of people note that the plot and cinematics are extremely cheesy and laughable.
EElectric Productions‘ review from back in September mirrored a lot of the more recent reviews of the game, noting that it still has bugs and issues to work out and that it feels like a game that comes out of 2007, set to be a clone of Call of Duty…
“This game has more bugs and issues than a Starship Troopers sequel! What is a Universal Solider? I hear that term and immediately think Guardian of the Galaxy, aliens and space. This little gem is unfortunately totally grounded here on earth, in the browns, grays and greens of ever other wanna be Call of Duty out there.”
JCDent also has a very thorough review, noting that the enemies always fire at you at all times on full auto. They also can kill from outside the draw distance. He explains that the levels are basically designed to be linear corridors and that there isn’t much room for freedom or exploration. He also brings out how the sights and recoil are completely unbalanced, creating a spastic feeling during the gunplay…
“So, imagine you’re an idiot playing this game (me) and you’re trying to kill a terrorist. You’re aiming at him down the sights. However, if you can see the enemy, they can see you too, and if they AI isn’t glitching out, he’s shooting at you. And when you’re hit, the sights hop around the screen like crazy. So either you clip the enemy at extreme range while their accuracy poses little threat to you, wait for them to reload, or just fire away, hoping to score a headshot.
“[…] This game is bad and people giving it thumbs up should feel bad. They’re either the family members of the developers, Chinese spambots that spontaneously gained some sort of semblance of self awareness or alien infiltrators trying to build up a cover story by commenting on human entertainment products in some approximation of English.”
There are a lot of positive reviews for the game as well, which is why it has a mixed rating. Some of the most “Helpful” rated positive reviews look like the following…
There are tons of Turkish gamers giving it a thumbs up because the developers are Turks. One gamer gave it a thumbs up even though the game didn’t recognize his mouse and he was unable to turn it left or right, which gives you some inkling of an idea as to how so many positive review scores have made their way online.
There are others who openly recognize that the game still needs help and better levels but are giving it positive reviews to help support the developers, almost as a means of national pride.
However, one thing still seems clear: Soldiers of the Universe still needed time in the Early Access oven based on the impressions so far. Even in the Steam forums there are users still complaining about the difficulty scaling not according to their settings, with many players still dying even on the easiest settings due to the perfect AI.
Maybe if they can fix some of the glitches, spruce up the levels, improve the AI, and diversify the palette beyond sewage browns, maybe Soldiers of the Universe could turn into a decent game.
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