Another strong game from the maker of the Royal Warfare series. Has some rough edges when it comes to balance but is a satisfying experience overall.
-Great art and animation. Lots of exploding eye candy and support weapons plowing through the battlefield. Good stuff all around.
-Challenges were engaging and were all at a reasonable level of difficulty. Most normal/hard levels were also on a reasonable difficulty curve, except for resurrectors (see below)
-Offensive classes were well-balanced and I feel each had a good role.
-Class ability system encourages fielding a diverse squad rather than trying to cheese one kind of soldier.
-Similarly, each enemy is threatening in its own unique way. All of them have strengths that make the enemy feel quite balanced, and most of them do not become obsolete in later levels.
-I loved the robots writing letters with their formations and was sad to see that stop after act 1.
-Lots of room for postgame upgrades after completing everything, adding to completionism and replay value.
Significant problems, in rough order of importance:
-Resurrector robots are FAR too powerful. The player is forced to drop everything else to stun & kill them IMMEDIATELY because they will flood the battlefield in robots if left alone. They also raise each other and since that doesn't seem to reset the cooldown on their resurrection ability, it is entirely possible a single survivor of a group of resurrectors can regenerate their squad and then the entire damn battlefield in 5 seconds if you are unlucky.
-Offensive upgrades are vastly more important than defensive upgrades. It is very rare to lose squadmates during a wave to shooters attacking my soldiers, as long as I have a medic. Many enemies (AA kamikazes, artillery kamikazes, guncrabs, hammerbots, resurrectors) do their job just fine no matter how much HP, evasion or damage reduction the squad has. If you don't kill them fast enough, you will die, no matter how much defense you have. The only kind of defense I feel that matters is stun defense, for dealing with grenade bots. I ignored upgrading my medic, upgrading defensive relics, and saved defense grids for last after maxing out attack protocols, and largely I got away with it.
-EMP ability is terrible. It has a pitifully short range and always affected few enemies even when I was being flooded with rushing bots. Also the damage it dealt was zero even with a fully upgraded damage relic, and the stun time was negligible.
-The walking bomb and engineer turret are visually impressive and can contribute a decent amount of damage, but are impossible to control. The turret frequently misses and the bomb is often used opponents who are alone or get immediately shot to death without triggering the bomb.
-Fire Team doesn't seem useful. It's very expensive and I used it exactly once in the entire game and it wasn't spectacular when I did. Magnetic Storm is far more useful for half the cost, since it stuns everything on the field for ages.
-Story was merely adequate* and didn't feel like a victory due to the ending.
-How do the resurrectors bring back the AA rocket robots? Those are launched off the battlefield and don't leave visible corpses!
-Only once did I get more than six soldiers. It would have felt a lot more epic to have larger squads for boss fights. Six soldiers is only enough for one of every type of soldier (in order to get all special abilities), with a single duplicate if the player doesn't have premium. Not much room for customization there.
-I never felt like switching classes after upgrading cadets. I don't see the point in doing so, since it just wastes AP and a balanced squad can do everything already.
-Heavies don't have terribly noticeable combat animations, aside from the drone (which is awesome). Marines get missiles, grenade launchers, stun bullets, and incendiary attacks, which feel like they have a lot of oompf to them. Similarly, Engineers get 1337 hacking, lasers and massive turret strafing. Forcers get chain lightning, headshot indicators, and also have lasers. Commanders have artillery, fire support and constantly pose while marking targets and encouraging allies. Even medics get nice healing icons showing up to let you know they're actually doing stuff. Heavies... throw a flashbang now and then and shoot out little energy balls which hit multiple enemies without any explosion. It's rather underwhelming.
*Robots go evil, big smart evil robot shows up to wreck shit, squad figures out how to kill it, squad kills it. End of story, except big smart evil robot wins anyways. Not terribly satisfying.