Shadowgun War Games Closed Beta Impressions

Posted by Campbell Bird on January 23rd, 2020
+ Universal App - Designed for iPhone and iPad

Shadowgun: War Games is an upcoming free-to-play multiplayer shooter that’s essentially just an Overwatch knock-off. There are hero characters with special abilities, and you compete in 5-v-5 game modes where the goal is to use superior team tactics to win the day.

Depending on who you are, this might sound exciting, but given my time with the closed beta for the game, I wouldn’t get your hopes up. Although War Games looks nice and pretty, it doesn’t feel that different from other mobile shooters that have already tried the same thing (i.e. Modern Combat Versus).

It also somehow has worse controls that a lot of other mobile shooters I’ve played. The aim sensitivity in War Games feels really squirrely, and doesn’t feature the control customization options you’d want to be able to reposition hard-to-reach buttons or otherwise tune things to your liking.

More than that though, Shadowgun: War Games just doesn’t feel all that strategic. Its characters seem unbalanced, and matches rarely feel like they depend on team composition or coordinated attacks. Instead, the players that are able to sneak behind unsuspecting foes and take advantage of how awkward it is to quickly adjust to being flanked can rack up kills with relative ease. Whoever does that the most seems to win more often than not.

All of this also doesn't take into account what the free-to-play aspects of War Games might end up being. In this testing phase, there isn't any sort of hint as to where and how you might be asked to throw some money into the game. If any of it involves leveling up weapons, characters, or other things to make you somehow "stronger" than other players though, the odds of me even downloading it for the official launch are slim to none.

Of course, War Games is still in development, and as such, things may change. Maybe Madfinger will buff and nerf its characters to even them out a bit and dial-in the controls a little better. Maybe it will have a fair free-to-play model that actually facilitates competitive play. Even if they do these things though, War Games currently lacks an identity or some sort of unique hook to differentiate it from other shooters out there. It truly just feels like a product aiming to capitalize on the success of Overwatch, without much attempt to push that game’s ideas forward or add its own twist to the team shooter genre in any meaningful way.

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