Tacticular Cancer: We'll have your balls

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Review RPG Codex Review: Battle Brothers

Discussion in 'RPG News & Content' started by Infinitron, May 12, 2017.

  1. Make America Great Again Infinitrongender: ⚧ Trade Master Patron

    Infinitron
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    Tags: Battle Brothers; Overhype Studios

    As I said a number of times before its release, Battle Brothers was one of the Codex's most anticipated and hyped up games, and its final release appears to have been fairly well-received. A game like that deserves the most prestigious of reviewers. Darth Roxor, however, isn't much into hype. In a review that was as arduous for him to write as the game was to play, he finds Battle Brothers to be a skeleton of a game, containing the basics of a solid combat system but cripplingly repetitive and lacking in content. Have a snippet:

    But those are just details compared to the biggest combat flaw in Battle Brothers that, to me, nearly invalidates the entire game’s purpose – the non-existent level design.

    The combat maps in BB are generic tiled surfaces. They are flat as a pancake, with only some “elevated” hexes that just give you stat bonuses from height advantage or make running around slightly more inconvenient. They almost always start with the same “your dudes on the left, their dudes on the right” setup. There is nothing to actually do on them, because any sort of extended manoeuvring is pointless, except on mountain maps where you run to the nearest hill and bunker up, swamps where you have to run out of penalty-inducing water tiles should you start in them, or forests, which arguably is the only tile set with any room for some movement due to all the trees and shrubs that form natural chokepoints (and bring you even more “fun” moments with line of fire).

    Worse yet, this lack of level design directly diminishes the value of BB’s otherwise robust bestiary. While the enemy types are fairly numerous, they get predictable very fast, to the point that you need just one or two fights against a “new” enemy to know everything he has to offer – this is particularly sad because many of the foes actually have various tricks up their sleeve and really clever AI scripts that will take you completely by surprise during your first encounter, like a necromancer who will always keep a “bodyguard” zombie next to him to obstruct the firing lines of your archers. But after that, it becomes routine, because the setup is always the same, and you can never expect something new to happen. Compare it, for example, to X-COM. Four sectoids with plasma rifles don’t appear like much. But depending on whether they landed or crash landed, in a medium or large scout, on a farmstead, in shopping mall or a jungle, your hunt against them will vary greatly. There is hardly anything of the sort to find in BB.

    I can’t stress it enough how fatal are the two aspects above when it comes to any “staying power” Battle Brothers could have. A large, a huge part of all games like this is working with and against the environment. Setting up ambushes, moving carefully around corners, navigating through rooftops, tearing down walls that stand in your way, all of that is incredibly important to add a layer of emergent gameplay and replayability that is vital for everything. Without this emergent gameplay and the sense of unpredictability rising from enemies hiding somewhere in the fog of war, Battle Brothers gets old very soon. Same maps, same fights, same enemies, all the time until the bitter end is the name of the game here. As the game goes on and breaches a certain point where the strongest enemies start appearing, it’s over. The only new thing you’re ever going to see are increased numbers, with enemy mobs going from 6 to 12 to 20 and finally to 40. It’s nothing but tiresome.

    [...] Much like its character sprites, Battle Brothers just doesn’t have a leg to stand on. It feels more like a tech demo of a combat engine, with some trappings of a full game haphazardly glued on to it. Sure, the basic battle system might be nice, but there’s only so much you can do with it when there is no variety to speak of. BB is in desperate need of either modding support or a very, very big expansion that would give it some damned content.

    Furthermore, it’s a confused game that tries to pose itself as “fast and furious”, with lots of difficulty, lethality and roster shuffling, but it forgets to pair the extra high risk with a sufficiently high reward. I have no idea how anyone, barring the greatest of masochists, could play this on iron man mode without going crazy.

    With as little substance and as much tiresome repetition as there is to it, Battle Brothers just gets very old very fast. It feels good to great for the first 20 or so hours, when you’re still starry eyed, thinking of what the future of your warband might hold, sometimes getting surprised by new enemies and not feeling like you’ve been decapitated each time a character dies. But as you keep going on, you start noticing that you’re doing the same things over and over again, and the only thing that changes is the power with which you’re getting kicked in the balls. It turns less and less fulfilling, until it devolves into nothing more than a time sink, but one which is less exciting than Freecell.

    Out of diligence, I decided to finish at least one full playthrough before writing this review, where “playthrough” I defined as stopping the late game crisis. After the aforementioned first 20 hours, I just kept asking myself “why am I playing this instead of Xenonauts/JA2/X-COM mods/etc” all the time. You can assume I’d asked myself that question many times, because it wasn’t until 45 hours in that the game finally decided to grace me with an ending to my woes. Afterwards, I was legitimately happy that I’d never have to play it again, which stands in direct contrast with other representatives of the genre that can be picked up and played almost anytime you want.

    Still, at least for the first 15-20 hours it’s good enough, so you may try giving it a spin and find out if your tolerance for repetitiveness is higher than mine – you might just even become enamored enough by the combat itself that you won’t notice all the surrounding issues. Only remember to abandon ship once you start feeling burnt out because, I assure you, it won’t be getting any better past that point.​

    Read the full article: RPG Codex Review: Battle Brothers
     
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  2. Excidium IIgender: ⚧ Self-Ejected

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    kuality kodex kontent. :thumbsup:
     
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  3. Make America Great Again Kem0sabegender: ⚧ Arcane

    Kem0sabe
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    i thought codex luved this?
     
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  4. MRYgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Wormwood Studios Developer

    MRY
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    The entire review was just a wind up for this pitch:
    God bless you, Darth Roxor. Never change.
     
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  5. Iluvcheezcakegender: ⚧ Learned

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    Well written. A wee bit on the poseur hater just for the sake of hatin' side, but well written. :)
     
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  6. Make America Great Again Irenaeusgender: ⚧ Self-Ejected Patron Dumbfuck Repressed Homosexual The Real Fanboy

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    Come here for your brofists, you old buffoon.
     
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  7. Mr. Pinkgender: ⚧ Travelling Gourmand, Crab Specialist

    Mr. Pink
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    if piercing damage doesn't work...
    if they have shields...

    [​IMG]

    the solution should be obvious here. I think you're really bad if you're complaining about the easiest enemy type in the game.

    yeah. definitely bad.
     
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  8. Serious_Businessgender: ⚧ Best Poster on the Codex

    Serious_Business
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    The key to understand this review. They really should have made Ironman the only mode available, so that this little fuck could have keep jerking off somewhere else, like in your face

    Thing is, this game only makes sense in so far as you're willing to adapt and learn to survive and thrive on Ironman. It is entirely possible to do so - but yeah, it takes time to master the system. But this is the damn point. Without aiming to master the system, what the fuck are you even playing tactical games for?

    Say what you want about the developpers being anal about the "one way" to play the game, I do think they know what they're doing - they do mention that Ironman is how the game was designed. You can drone on about how the game is repetitive and doesn't offer challenge when you know the enemy's tactics, but when you play on Ironman you'll find that your abstract knowledge of the game isn't sufficient. Rng will always fuck you up and you'll cry about it, write a review on how sad your are, but I don't actually care about your emotions
     
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  9. Make America Great Again Eyestabbergender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

    Eyestabber
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    Gonna reply to this later™ but DUDE, the bit about skeletons is just plain embarrassing.

    As another guy already said, use flails early game. Use zweihanders mid game and duelists late game. From a meta game perspective skeletons are perfect. Archers and xbowmen dominate p. much everything in BB. Everything EXCEPT the undead. And if morale is a problem to you, here is a tip: your sergeant's passive has a range of only 4 tiles. Don't wander away from him and DON'T take on strong undead without a PROPER sgt. Man, if you had played until geists and Fallen Heroes started to show up, this review would've been even more hilarious. :lol:

    Seriously, just edit it out. For your sake. :roll: The Undead are THE weakest faction in BB, it's not even up for debate.

    Also, if you care so much about initiative mechanics, why don't you pick "adrenaline"? It's a legit perk, FYI. Spear mastery, OTOH... :smug:

    Oh, and my duelists NEVER act after the enemy. Ever. :positive:
     
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  10. HeatEXTENDgender: ⚧ Learned

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    lol, that was the EXACT SAME vibe I got from looking at the store page. Didn't get it :dance:
     
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  11. Unorus Jancogender: ⚧ Lurker

    Unorus Janco
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    Since I have yet to play this game, I can't tell if Roxor is a principled gentleman standing for what he truly believes or just a contrarian edgelord. Is Battle Brothers really another Darkest Dungeon?
     
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  12. HeatEXTENDgender: ⚧ Learned

    HeatEXTEND
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    Not just to master a system. Might as well just play Go or whatever.
     
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  13. oasis789gender: ⚧ Arcane

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    Brutal review, but not undeservingly so.

    If there's one line that needs to be bolded, italicized, underlined, and font sized up, it's this line. BB shouldn't be a <50h game put aside after a few weekends, it should be a >500h game to be played for years to come.
     
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  14. oasis789gender: ⚧ Arcane

    oasis789
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    It is completely unlike Darkest Dungeon, which would have to be redesigned completely to be a good game. At which point it would cease to be Darkest Dungeon and become, I dunno, Celerity's Catacombs. BB is merely a (somewhat) incomplete game, not a fundamentally limited one. Mod support would go a long way to extending its lifespan.
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
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  15. Invictusgender: ⚧ Arcane The Real Fanboy

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    Most Kool Kodexers cuddle and smile at Rexor's baddasery and edgy comments, like when your cousin's 3 year old comes in the living room smeared in shit because the little darling still doesn't know or understand the jump from dippers to actual clothes... everybody is revolted but smiling on the outside
    I am not among them
    He somehow dares to review a game he doesn't even full understand and then blames the game itself for beign masochistic and hard?
    Yeah the game could use more reactivity, a bit more depth and a maybe some honest to goodness content to flesh out the already excellent combat system... but somehow painting the game as a bore is crazy talk
    He even quotes good damn awesome games like XCom or Jagged Alliance 2 so he comes across as if he didnt care to experiment with the game enough to understand it or in his rush to burn it never even gave it a chance because he was always comparing
    :killit:
     
    Last edited: May 13, 2017
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  16. Make America Great Again Rogueygender: ⚧ Arcane Sawyerite Sawyerist Sawyer's Bride No Fun Allowed

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    Josh Sawyer has sunk dozens of hours into this, so the answer is likely some of both.
     
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  17. Doctor Sbaitsogender: ⚧ SO, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS. Patron

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    That's about what I expected.

    Ironman is the only way.
     
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  18. skystgender: ⚧ Savant

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    I dicked around for ~20 hours on beginner before getting bored and then jumped into iron man expert. It was harder starting off, needing to pick and choose encounters and contracts very carefully on expert. Some tense crisis circumstances withstanding, I reached about the same point of ease and boredom after the fun of gearing and levelling a new squad wore off.

    It really is a shame how incomplete BB is, it could be fucking magnificent. The game we have feels like a demo.
     
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  19. Excidium IIgender: ⚧ Self-Ejected

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    You have to play on ironman expert to keep the illusion of depth going longer. Bad review for exhausting content and realizing the game is shallow too fast imo
     
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  20. Doctor Sbaitsogender: ⚧ SO, TELL ME ABOUT YOUR PROBLEMS. Patron

    Doctor Sbaitso
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    It is light on content for sure. Hopefully they make enough from this release to take their ideas to the next level.

    That said, it had more charm than most and I dig the way these guys roll.
     
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  21. Make America Great Again ERYFKRADgender: ⚧ Arcane Patron

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    Indrick Boreale approves of this review.
     
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  22. Cadmusgender: ⚧ Arcane

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    It really does remind me of Darkest Dungeon in a way.
     
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  23. Habagender: ⚧ Harbinger of Decline Patron

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    Battle Brothers is one of the best games I've played during the past 20 years. I genuinely had fun with it.

    So fuck this so called "review". Fuck that retarded, perpetually butthurt muppet and the jew he rode in with.

    Fucking dumbfucks, Jesus. "Game is only fun for the first 20 hours, therefore it is shit". DO YOU UNDERSTAND HOW FUCKING RARE IT IS THAT A GAME IS FUN AT ALL? Not to mention that most games don't even last for 20 hours, Jesus fucking Christ.

    God damn X-Com got repetitive after the first 20 hours. You telling me that it is a shit game as well?

    FUCK YOU!
     
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  24. Andnjordgender: ⚧ Cipher

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    As much as I love BB, Roxor is completely right in his criticism of the lack content. Sadly it shows the limitations of what a three-man small, inexperienced team can actually achieve. Nevertheless, the combat system is amazing in the tightness, impactfulness and BALANCED! approach of its design.

    And Roxor is a fag for not mentioning this.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2017
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  25. Make America Great Again Darth Roxorgender: ⚧ Prestigious Gentleman Wielder of the Huegpenis, Hater of Eternity

    Darth Roxor
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    What you people are misunderstanding is that the skellingtons are not hard. They're cancerous because they are fucking boring.

    "LoL just use flailz". And what the hell do you think I started doing after a while? This is the entire point of everything, the skellingtons are one trick ponies that are there to be bashed with just one or two banal shit boring methods (aka equip 12 flails/axes) and nothing else is to be done about them.

    Swing and miss because I've seen both. Fallen Heroes are just wiedergangers with plate armour. Geists are meh.
     
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