Ladies and Gentleman, I’m BACK! *crickets* Ok, so maybe you haven’t noticed but regardless I coming bearing gifts: the full review of Confrontation! We pick up where we left off, with the fantasy world of Aarklash brought to life. Like table-top games such as Warhammer 40k, Cyanide Studios has put you in the middle of a fierce war that is waged between the heroic Griffin faction, the insidious Scorpion faction, the ferocious Wolf faction and the brutish Jackal faction. Also like most table-top games, Confrontation has a very rich lore and a detailed story, making it a suspenseful and entrancing plot to follow.
So, since I have written the preview article from this game (to check out our preview of Confrontation, please click here, what has changed from the test copy to the full game? Well, not much about the game has changed BUT my opinion has changed quite a bit. In the preview I talked about the army painter and what a great feature that is because it gave you a sense of ownership in your army. That hasn’t changed; it still is a huge bonus of the game. The storyline was also mentioned in the preview article. My opinion hasn’t changed on that either; for those that are fans of dark fantasy world games, the story is still right on. What has changed is the opinion around the mechanics of game play and the level of graphics.
The preview stated the environment was graphically detailed and immersing. Between the preview and the full version I had an epiphany. After testing the preview, I played the first Warhammer 40k: Dawn of War game. I realized the environmental detail we are seeing here in 2012 is really not that much better from 2004 with the exception of a few details and lighting. The same goes for units. While there have been improvements, some significant from the first Dawn of War, they are nowhere near on par with other games coming out this year that are similar genre like Diablo III. That said, my initial reaction to this game’s graphics was not one of disgust and it remains as such, just disappointment once realizing that we were here graphically circa 2004.
However, the graphics themselves are not what ultimately changes the overall tone of this review, it is the gameplay. By the third mission in I was incredibly annoyed with how incompetent the friendly AIs were! I had mentioned this issue in the preview and having played the game almost all the way through, there are not enough obscenities I could hurl at the screen at times in order to will my group members to act intelligently, especially in combat. Frequently they were blocking each other, preventing each other from getting to a designated target or getting stuck on random environment decorations. If it weren’t for the ability to pause combat, micro managing your group to address these issues would be an absolute nightmare. That said, because of the pause feature the gameplay becomes very slow and tactical, which can be a good or bad thing depending upon your expectations. Other features to the game like the interface and skill progression are a bit uninspired as well. The interface at times feels awkward and as mentioned in the preview, god help you if you are trying to play with a laptop because it just simply will not be easy. The skill progression was easy to get the hang of and largely self-explanatory in determining what you are spending your points on. This was a bit of a relief, as all too often games like this are developed with either no explanation or unclear explanations as to how the point allocations work.
So what can be said for Confrontation? It is perhaps best analogized as the kid that never realized it is no longer the ‘90s and still kept wearing blue jean jackets. The graphics are alright, but overall they are outdated. The gameplay is simply too buggy in a few critical areas to truly feel like a polished, modern product. However, if you are a fan of the Confrontation story and can overlook the aforementioned setbacks, then this game could suit you nicely. Yes there are flaws in it, but then again, Skyrim had plenty and that didn’t stop fans from flocking to it. It really comes down to what you value in this type of game: if graphically stunning and mechanically flawless gameplay is your M.O. then this falls well short of the mark. If a great story is what you seek in a game, then this game might work for you.
Final Rating: 6/10
Console Played On: PC
Approximate Time to Completion: Unknown
Game Achievements: 52 total
Price: $39.99 on Steam
Recommended Purchase Price: $19.99