Boom Beach Promising a Better RTS Game
Boom Beach is the game that fights back as it’s being played. Gamers will not only have to contend with hostile invading evil blackguard but with the game’s graphics and controls as well. The game uses a graphics engine that perfectly renders worlds where objects routinely disappear into each other for no apparent reason, and where the human eye only operates at 15 or so frames per second. Gamers undeterred by astonishingly bad graphics then have to contend with a control system straight out of hell. The few gamers brave or foolhardy enough to fight past those problems will find an ultimately unrewarding and uninspired RTS game. Masochists may love Boom Beach, but there’s nothing that could possibly recommend this game to anyone else.
Boom Beach has a story that’s about as original and appealing as predigested bran flakes. Hostile Dr. Terror has arrived on the archipelago and are hellbent on humankind’s decimation. But, just when it seems like the human extermination is about wrapped up, a secret weapon is unleashed. Boom Beach are humankind’s last hope. They’re soldiers wearing metal suits with guns attached to the arms, and they’re ready to kick bug ass. Assuming bugs have asses, that is.
The very first task that players will have to complete is walking down a railed pathway to an elevator, a task made more difficult than it should be by the control system, which is simply horrible. Boom Beach is one of a very few mobile games to use touch screen in gameplay, but the actual manner in which the are used points to developer sadism. It’s a barely tolerable layout for going places; the real fun is in combat. Because firing is assigned to the X button, players must actually move their thumbs off the right thumbpad every time they want to shoot at something. This makes attacking on the move an impossibility for players not gifted with two right thumbs. Players can choose to forego the masochistic fun of the default layout, but only for one of three other control schemes laid out in an equally devious and sadistic fashion.
Anyone who does manage to overcome the game’s controller layout will have to contend with the set of challenges the graphics present. Like virtually all bad games, Armorines has terrible framerate problems. The game slogs along at a consistently choppy framerate even without any enemy characters onscreen. When a few bugs pop into view, the choppiness is so bad it can get downright unplayable. Clipping is always present, and objects have a tendency to disappear and reappear when the viewing angle is changed a bit. In an ingenious departure from standard clipping problems, though, the game occasionally displays objects that actually don’t exist. Powerups that have already been collected can somehow clip back into existence when players turn around. And thanks to the terrible clipping, bugs have the undocumented ability to put parts of themselves through walls. Only the most hardened of players will be able to come to terms with Boom Beach’ choppy world, where things disappear and reappear randomly.
Anyone still there? Well, those people will find a generic and boring RTS that isn’t worth their time and effort in overcoming the game’s controls and graphics problems. Poorly designed levels, which turn most missions into little more than a series of find-button-open-door affairs, cripple the gameplay. Along the way, players will encounter a bizarre gap in bug AI. Some bugs will repeatedly jump over an armorine’s head to keep from being shot, while other bugs will obligingly sit in place and let players walk right up.
Boom Beach variety of weapons, which looked good on paper, is much more disappointing in execution. The weapons aren’t interesting, and switching weapons in battle can amount to suicide because of the way the interface is designed. Players will mostly stick to the basic gun anyway, as it has unlimited ammunition and is the only gun that can auto aim. Even though mobile gamers have relatively few choices in the base building genre, Boom Beach should be avoided like the plague. The game has nothing that could possibly redeem it or give it any trace of fun. Additional source on Boom Beach can be accessed for free at www.boombeachhacks.net. Check it out.