Tribal Wars 2, developed by Innogames, is a browser-based MMO that revolves around players building up their settlements by upgrading buildings, amassing an army, gathering resources, and attacking things. Sounds pretty generic, huh? Well, that’s only because it actually is.
From the same developer as The West, Tribal Wars 2 follows in the same vein of monumental waiting and underwhelming gameplay. As we all know, browser games are not and will not be any kind of innovative, unlike some AAA titles, but most often enough, browser games offer some aspect of entertainment that will hook a certain number of people. Unfortunately, Tribal Wars 2 does nothing of that sort.
Bland And Boring
Players start off simple enough. Too simple, in fact. After registration, you are placed immediately on your village screen, the main thing you will see for basically forever, adding on a very simplistic tutorial to get you started. The tutorial isn’t much at all as any person of the common intelligence can figure out how to play the game. Click here to buy troops, click there to upgrade a building, and then click here to use cash shop currency to hurry production; all of these things are as simple as they sound.
Upgrading buildings yield significant perks like increased resource gathering, unlocking building slots, and gaining access to stronger troops to attack or defend with. It’s very reminiscent of many other browser games, but simply with a different name. Much like those other browser games, everything is time based and can only be hurried, as stated above, by spending cash shop currency. This isn’t a part of the game you’d be heavily involved in due to the system, urging a player more to do something else for an hour or two and come back to the game to check up on how things are going.
The game doesn’t offer anything great visually either. With no real avatar, you have nothing to entertain your eyes with other than the gigantic patches of green surrounding your village and the village itself which is not a looker itself. It is simply the bare minimum requirement for the representation of your home base. Portraits of the buildings you build and upgrade, as well as the troops you recruit, are also very bland. It isn’t spectacular or mind blowing just as you would expect from a browser game, but there are many other browser games in the market right now that offer great looking set pieces.
There is, at least, a quest system that awards you resources and other nifty items that enhance your gaming experience. However, the objectives of these quests do not, at all, deviate from how the game works. From something as simple as attacking 2 villages to upgrading your Warehouse to level 3, the activities in these shallow quests are nothing more than a glorification of the game’s innately dull gameplay, slapping on a special description and title to an activity that you would otherwise be doing anyway, quest or not.
When you do get past the clicking on prompts and buttons, the highlight of the game, if you consider the word War in the title, is the actual combat. With the multitude of barbarian camps and player bases in the world map, it can’t ever be claimed that Tribal Wars 2 has a dearth of action. Raiding another village or encampment is simple enough; click on what you want to attack and allot the number of troops you wish to deploy against it, though, one must be careful as not to send all of the off, because you too could get attacked. Eagerly, I sent off my troops to their first battle, but to my dismay, the game actually times when your troops will arrive and the time it takes for them to come back. Ok, I though to myself, maybe the encounter is going to be awesome or, at the very least, engaging. I expected at least a little bit of a scene or trite animation to indicate the combat against an opponent, but all that anyone will ever receive is a message on your interface if the battle was a success or not, coupled along with some details on casualties and whatnot.
Then, I think to myself, “hey, maybe it’ll be far more enjoyable if the stakes were higher… I’ll attack a player, buahahaha!” Turns out I couldn’t even get into it. Tribal Wars 2 has this special protection system that players get for free for a few days upon their registration, but may extend this perk for a couple of Simoleons. Despite the massive map and almost endless supply of targets, I could not attack anyone, other than barbarians, at all. Sure, the protection will instantly wear off if I attack a player, thus also giving me the idea for someone to attack me, but I don’t think anyone else will, because nobody else wants to be vulnerable. In short, PvP is also crap and out of the question.
With PvP, you’d think it would be better to join a tribe, the game’s guild equivalent, to get to know people and do things together. Sadly, there really isn’t anything past the raiding of other player villages (which are impossible due to protection), and attacking barbarians, which is not really something you need people for, at least earlier on in the game. There is, at least, the nifty “support” option in which your troops will support any other friendly armies who spearhead an attack. Then again, it’s simply a reworded “attack with friend” option, and offers nothing real.
At Least One Direction Has Direction
If anything, a game only fails when it has a lack of direction. Players, no matter their preference, aim for certain goals or rewards within a game’s system. Winning is one of those things, but one can’t really win when one has no real opponent, hence the failure of the protection system. Questing could be a thing for other people as they offer some insight or knowledge about the world players are grinding in, but, again, Tribal Wars 2 has such a crappy quest and mission system that it may as well have just gone live without it. What about the social aspect? Surely Tribal Wars 2 has something to offer with that? Yes, but nothing special, really. The socializing can be done so in every other game and it, in itself, fails due to the lack of content and direction of what one wants to achieve within the game.
What is it that I wanted to do in Tribal Wars 2? Did I care enough to become the strongest village in my realm? Did I want to eradicate the threat barbarian villages pose on our world? No. No to everything. One of the last bastions a game can have of being remotely playable is if it had a story or engaging enough characters to keep a player curious and intrigued. However, Tribal Wars 2 is solely without NPCs that brighten the world and is dependent purely on player interaction. Games like these never last long, or even if they do, fail to become the spectacular marvel of MMO gaming they all wish to be.
But the final straw was already mentioned. The combat in Tribal Wars 2 is utter trash. It does not engage, intrigue, or even remotely entertain. It is nothing more than clicking, wait for 30 minutes to 1 hours, and then read message in your inbox to see if you won or not. Not to mention, you have to also wait the same amount of time it took your troops to travel from your village to the raided place in order for them to come back. The core of the game simply fails to captivate.
However, no game is completely bad; at least, not a hundred percent bad. The only thing that can be remotely likeable about this game is its music, and that really isn’t saying much. Upon registration and into my first foray into the village interface, ambient music greeted my senses. Music this decent should be an indicator to at least an enjoyable experience, even if you’ll play a game only for a few days.
Having reviewed Innogames other browser game, The West, the lackluster similarities are clearly seen, and the trend this publisher and developer is going for is all too apparent. However, the stark difference between The West and Tribal Wars 2 is that the former has at least managed to be relatively entertaining in its treatment of duels and fights, while the latter has no direction at all.