Pete Witcher is a Feature and Community Writer for Blowfish Studios.
War Tech Fighters immediately puts you in the cockpit of a giant battle mech in space fighting hostile enemy attack ships. Track and target your enemies as they swoop through asteroid belts and home in on you. Fire your light and heavy ballistic weapons, then lock on to their positions and unleash a barrage of homing missiles. The action starts early and does not let up, except for breaks between missions. Its multifaceted gameplay and indulgent depth make War Tech Fighters an absolute feast of a game.
Created by Drakkar Dev, an indie developer in Italy, War Tech Fighters bears the hallmarks of a game created by true gamers. Not only does the action start as soon as the game begins, but story elements and tutorial tips are woven into the first several minutes of gameplay as well. So you get to absorb a lot of information about how the game works and what’s going on in the story as you destroy enemy ships and mechs with a variety of weapons and special attacks.
And the backstory is detailed and earnest, which shows the genuine care taken by the creators when crafting this game: In the distant future, mankind colonizes the galaxy and discovers other alien races with their own colonies. Eventually, one alien race, the Zatronians, makes war on all the others in an effort to dominate and rule all the colonies in the galaxy. The Zatronians are rich with resources and wealth, and their battle mechs are fearsome. They easily crushed the smaller colonies’ defenses, until a band of teenagers from the planet Hebos took mech piloting to a new level. They joined forces under the leadership of Nathan Romanis, the best and oldest pilot in the galaxy, to defend their homes.
War Tech Fighters has a strong RPG element to it, much more than I expected. There are quite a few NPC’s, all with high-quality artwork and character design, as well as decent dialog. You earn XP and money for completing missions and other challenges. Earning XP and leveling grants you new abilities and access to weapon and armor upgrades; money pays for upgrades that are available at your current XP level. And to add more depth to the upgrade process, you can discover and unlock research projects like Laser Technology that in turn unlock more powerful weapon and armor upgrades.
The heart of the game, though, is battle mechs fighting in space, and there is plenty of it. You can choose from light, medium, and heavy mechs, each with standard buffs and debuffs (light is fast but with weak armor, heavy is slow with strong armor, etc.). For a ballistic arsenal, each mech is fitted with a full-auto machine gun, a slow-firing but more powerful rifle, and homing missiles. Targeting is intuitive and, in the missiles case, adjustable to one or many targets. Being mechs, they are also very capable of melee combat with enemy mechs, using a giant sword and shield combo. All of these weapons are upgradable in extensive tech trees. I counted over 50 upgrades for the machine gun alone. When you consider that you can upgrade all your weapons as well as different components of your mech itself, the possible combinations are staggering. That is a lot of depth and a lot of replayability.
The fun factor just won’t quit in War Tech Fighters. For example, your mech can “exterminate” enemy fighter ships after you’ve dealt them enough damage. Exterminating enemies undoes some damage to your mech and shows a random “kill move” animation where your mech dispatches the enemy in some cool close-up way, like impaling a fighter ship on your gargantuan sword, or smashing it with your giant shield, or simply grabbing and crushing the enemy ship in your mech’s massive hand. All while dogfighting against aliens in space with asteroids and sci-fi debris floating around!
There are many missions to complete, and while they do contain a generous portion of action, the RPG side of the game is never far away. It really balances well with the fighting sequences. In most missions, you reach a certain checkpoint where you must search for clues that answer questions that further the mission, or advance a research project. Other times you must “pick a lock” on a compartment in a satellite. The mechanics for picking locks is amazingly intuitive and satisfying; your progress and success are beautifully represented by slick UI elements.
The UI itself is remarkably easy to understand, and aesthetically pleasing. You’ll need to reference the 3D “radar” at the bottom center of the screen during dogfights; the action gets fast and furious, and when your enemies’ ships and mechs are moving all around you in a huge 360-degree space, orienting yourself to those red flags becomes vital to your survival. And the workshop where you install upgrades, select missions, and tackle challenges feels vast and is beautifully rendered. No corners were cut in the making of this game, no shortcuts taken.
War Tech Fighters is a symphony of battle mech action and futuristic role-playing. It is so full of things to discover you could write an entire book about it. This game is an indie work of art and It is absolutely worth trying. If you’re not yet a fan of mech fighting games, you will be after playing War Tech Fighters.
War Tech Fighters is arriving to Nintendo Switch, PS4 and Xbox One on June 27th.