Mobile games have always been the bane of the hardcore gamer’s existence, but what happens when there is a demand for a certain genre that goes unquenched? I’m talking about Mechwarrior of course. Does anyone remember how much fun it was? Sure, it came back in the form of an MMO, but if you wanted the quick frenetic battles from the days of old then you were out of luck. Well guess what, it’s back and you can enjoy it on your phone. That’s right, all the mech, none of the physical space, can you believe it? We couldn’t, that’s why we jumped into War Robots to see what it was all about.
Holy Nostalgia Batman!
Okay, so it’s not Mechwarrior, not by any means, but damned if it isn’t fun. There are mechs, there are guns, there are missiles, and there are other interesting mechs to meet and then kill. What more could you want? So first of all, you start out with a single mech, and it’s a bit small, but all good things start out small…sometimes. Well, a mech is kind of big no matter how you want to slice the cake. In any case, it’s been a long time since I’ve gotten to feel the thrill of trashing a battlefield with a walking mech. I’m not going to say it was exactly like the old days, but it was good enough to keep me planted on my phone for like four days.
Meching it Up
What I absolutely love about this game is that it doesn’t start by throwing you into some ridiculous tutorial. Instead it simply gives you your mech, all the options, and a ‘To Battle’ button in the upper right hand corner. How much easier could it possibly be? If you are familiar at all with how games like this work, then jumping right in won’t be a problem. One thing you should note is that you can aim your weapon while holding down the fire button, and you’re going to be holding down that button a LOT.
When I started the game, as with almost any game I ever play, I completely ignored the other options at the starting screen and dove right into a battle, which apparently everyone else did as well. How do I know? Because the default name for your account is ‘Player,’ unless you change it, and if you didn’t take a moment to look at the options that’s the name that will display above you when you enter the battlefield. Everyone in that first battle I played was named ‘Player.’ The match was over pretty quickly, but I found that later matches would last for a very, very long time, and with good reason.
After that match I figured out how to change my name and proceeded to join a few other matches on different maps, and eventually I was able to use the match rewards to buy a new mech along with some new weapons. There are two types of currency in the game. In-game currency allows you to buy mechs and weapons while the premium currency unlocks more powerful weapons, slots, and the ability to finish weapon upgrades instantly, just as with any other mobile game. The game does, however, give all new players a small amount of premium currency that you can spend however you want. We’ll get to that later.
What a Wonderful Cliché
There are three maps, all of which involve the same ‘point capture’ game mode that you see in Battlefield, Battlefront, and virtually every other shooter. I kind of wish that they had included other game modes but you know what, the game is fun as is. Essentially, the point of the game is to destroy the other mechs while capturing as many points as possible. You can win by either destroying all of the enemy mechs or going so far as to actually capture all of the points. Be warned, however, that once one side has captured enough points, the game will end sooner rather than later.
A Mech by Any other Name
When you’ve decided that you’ve had enough of the starting mech, you can feel free to upgrade a bit by purchasing a new one either with in-game currency or premium. Obviously the premium mechs are better but you may want to start out small before you spend serious money on the game. As with any other game, you can buy as many mechs as you want, but this game sort of takes it to an extreme by allowing you to bring all of your mechs into battle WITH you. No, that doesn’t mean you’re going to command a small army of mechs – wishful thinking on your part there. Instead, it means that you are able to switch to a new mech the moment you die, rather than leaving the battle.
You are probably already formulating in your mind the potential situations that this could lead to, and you are absolutely right. Every time you kill an enemy mech in the game, there is a chance that they will respawn in a different mech, and there is also a decent chance that the new mech will be more powerful than the old one. You never know just how many slots they have unlocked. You may have to kill each enemy up to four times depending on how well they have prepared. Hell, they might as well be running around the battlefield screaming “THIS ISN’T EVEN M FINAL FORM!!!”
When I first started playing the game I was hoping that individual parts of the mech could be damaged, but I also realized that this was a mobile game and it probably wouldn’t have that capability. Well hey, I was wrong. The game actually supports damage to the legs AND arms. Damage to the legs will cause you to move very slowly, making you a sitting duck unless you want to fight from behind cover for the entire match, and damage to your arms will cause your weapons to malfunction. The same will apply to your jump jets; if they are damaged, the jump jet icon will literally shatter. At some point, you will simply find yourself a limping hulk of metal, but the good news is that once you’re finally shot down, your pilot will eject from the mech and you’ll get to re-enter the battle as a brand new Walking War Robot! Of course you’ll eventually run out of mechs and have to return to the lobby, but all’s fair in love and robot battles.
The world of WWR is very easy to get into unlike some other mobile games I’ve played. Getting started is pretty simple, and the first time you play, you should go into the options and change your name. Once you’ve done that, you can jump into your first battle, get a feel for the game and most importantly, decide if you’re going to continue playing. Once you’ve done all of that, you will want to level up a bit and then start unlocking slots for extra robots.
Now this does cost premium currency, but as a new player you will be granted a small amount of it which should allow you to unlock about two other slots. The third I found would cost about 1000, which is far above what you will have at that point, but premium currency isn’t THAT expensive. Still, if you’re very good, you should be able to contend without premium currency as the game does a great job of balancing players and their abilities. Still, at some point you’re going to find yourself in a battle with someone who has a weapon ten times better than the one your mech is holding, and you’re going to pray to God they’re on your side.
Of course you should already know if they’re on your side, their name will be in your color…or not. There’s nothing worse than experiencing a hail of missiles and gunfire while you’re doing your best to get by with that silly little machine gun you equipped before the battle. Guess you’re not as big of a badass as you thought you were, huh? So to recap, play the games, buy weapons, buy slots, by mechs, and then buy premium if you still like the game.
Walking War Robots works on both Android and iOS and to be perfectly honest, I think it’s a fantastic game. It might not have all of the same customization options as a mechwarrior game but you know what? It’s a load of fun and the type of game I find myself playing every time I take a break from whatever it is I do. There aren’t many multiplayer mech games out there, and this one tends to fill the gap pretty well.
There are a few issues that I would like to bring to light. For example, sometimes when the player slots don’t fill up, you end with uneven teams, which creates an unfair advantage for one side. In addition to that, the physics are not entirely fleshed out, so sometimes the mechs seem to float if they drop off a ledge. Still, it’s a mech game on your mobile device, where could you possibly go wrong? Try it!
**+**Is a portable mech game
+Lots of people playing
+Good customization options
**-**What cons? It’s a portable mech game, get your priorities straight!
- Slight pay-to-win issues typical of mobile games