Pete Witcher is a Feature and Community Writer for Blowfish Studios.
When I reviewed War Tech Fighters for Blowfish last month I reached the conclusion that this very fun mech-battle game has a lot to offer: loads of action, a detailed universe, and hours of engaging gameplay. So I’m glad Blowfish asked me to write more about this game because there is plenty to talk about. This game is epic. It’s like stepping into a sci-fi book or movie.
The game opens with you in the role of Jacob, a teenager piloting a giant fighting mech - called a War Tech, obviously - in an asteroid field near Athena station in the Ares colonies. A quick conversation with your NPC ally is interrupted by a surprise attack: a squadron of enemy ships drops out of hyperspace with weapons blazing. The small and fast Condor light assault fighters swarm around you, peppering your war tech with chaingun fire, while the larger Sule high-speed battleships provide support with high-speed lasers.
The first time I played this intro mission I was a little overwhelmed: enemies and allies flying everywhere, and a trio of powerful weapons at my fingertips. I got the hang of it quickly enough to survive that first battle. It’s easy enough to figure out how to use your primary weapons; the fast machine guns hit targets in the large reticle of your heads-up display, and the more powerful heavy rifle hits targets in the smaller reticle. Your homing missiles automatically track targets but are most effective when you keep targets inside the large reticle.
After getting my bearings - and accidentally shooting my ally a few times - I settled into a spaceship-shooting groove. I weakened the small Condors with machine gun fire, then easily finished them off with rifle shots. At one point I flew in close to a damaged enemy fighter, and when I had it in my sights the game briefly gave me the option to “execute” the enemy ship. I hit the button indicated on the screen and a quick cutscene played, where my War Tech backhanded the damaged enemy ship careening into a nearby asteroid where it exploded on impact. It was over in an instant, and I was back in the thick of battle. Executing enemies restores some of your mech’s health and uses a variety of melee moves to finish them off in very short cutscenes.
I took down the lone Sule battleship with the help of my ally and her War Tech. The Sule battleships have multiple targets on their hulls, including laser cannons, and you must destroy all the targets to eliminate the ship. As soon as my ally and I defeated the enemy squadron, another wave of fighters and fast battleships appeared, this time with a War Tech of their own. Initially, I tried to wipe out the enemy ships before focusing on the enemy War Tech, but that plan fell apart quickly. A single enemy War Tech is a much bigger threat than a squadron of light fighters, so I focused my fire on the mech and hoped my NPC ally could hold off the fighters.
I duelled with the enemy mech, unleashing all my firepower against it while dodging fire from the dogfight happening around me. When my energy got critically low I took cover behind an asteroid and recharged. I relocated the enemy War Tech and moved in, hoping to outmaneuver my foe and deliver some up-close damage. Suddenly both mechs engaged in one-on-one melee combat, giant swords drawn and massive shields at the ready. I attacked aggressively with several short attacks followed by a long swing that staggered my opponent. But he recovered quickly and started swinging. I deflected one blow with a perfectly-timed shield block, temporarily stunning the enemy mech. As I rained down a flurry of short sword attacks, the enemy mech lunged forward and locked swords with me in a grapple move. When this happens, the game UI shows you a large circle with a smaller circle just outside it. You can quickly move the smaller circle into the larger one and reveal what button to push to break free and take a few unanswered swings at your opponent. Or, if you hit the wrong button, your enemy gets to take a few swings at you.
I eventually defeated the enemy mech, fighters, and battleships. But this was only the beginning, like the first chapter in a series of books. This initial battle introduces the basics of what you can do in the game, but it really just scratches the surface. There are many, many more missions to complete, ships to discover and defeat, and War Tech technology to discover and install. For example, you and your enemies can arm and upgrade war techs with different kinds of weapons: ballistic, laser, magnetic, or antimatter. Likewise, mech armor can be bolstered to defend against those same specific types of damage. Some shields actually absorb certain kinds of damage. So if a mission comes with enemies that favor magnetic weapons, you might want to armor your mech accordingly. And of course, if enemies seem impervious to your lasers, you might want to switch them out for bullet-type guns.
War Tech Fighters is an utterly satisfying gaming experience. There’s just so much variety. You could spend hours just customizing your mech and perusing the extensive knowledge base that describes characters, locations, and enemy crafts in great detail. You’ll never run out of action in this game, or strategy for that matter. You and your enemies have strengths and weaknesses, and War Tech Fighters provides you with plenty of moves and countermoves. If one aspect of the game starts to lose its charm (like mech battles and shooting down spaceships), you can switch to another gameplay area like the training simulators or mech design. After a while, you’ll be ready for more battles, discoveries, and revelations. This game just keeps on giving. It is absolutely epic.
I strongly recommend you get this game, currently available on Nintendo Switch, Xbox One and PlayStation 4.