Home > Games, My writing > MicroVolts (PC Hands on preview)

MicroVolts (PC Hands on preview)

Take a passing glance at Rock Hippo’s Mircovolts, now in open beta, and you’d be forgiven for mistaking it for Valve’s Team Fortress 2. While the art style does differ somewhat, the core gameplay of manic cartoon violence is very reminiscent of Valve’s excellent multiplayer shooter. MicroVolts does stand on its own however, not least because it’s entirely free to play. There will be micro-transactions down the line but as it stands right now, everything is free.

MicroVolts is a pretty basic multiplayer shooter, with the expected death match (both team and free for all) modes as well as a variant of capture the flag (with new ones still being added). The range of weapons is as you might expect: a melee weapon, a basic machine gun, a shotgun, rocket launcher and so on. You can buy better versions of these from the in game store but if you use the default versions well you can still hold your own in a fire fight.

A toy story

The loose premise of MicroVolts is that there is a war between toys for the control of the “Micro World”. All the characters you play are toys and the maps are generally real world environments to scale. This gives the game a great scale that you don’t see too much. There’s just something very cool about being overshadowed by a watering can.

But really, it’s all about the shooting and MicroVolts does a good job of replicating the feel of Team Fortress 2′s weapons (they even sound pretty similar). The difference here is that you have access to all weapons no matter which character you play. Most people seem to stick with certain weapons however, only changing when ammo is scarce or someone gets a little too close or far for their weapon of choice. Matches in MicroVolts are fast paced with fire fights often lasting no more than five or ten seconds. The turnaround is just as fast, with respawning only taking a few seconds. The matches as a whole do seem a tad long though.

This is a beta, so these things can and most likely will be tweaked. If the length of matches was brought down by a few minutes the game as a whole would have the same fast pace as the matches themselves. It would certainly make it easier to jump straight back into another game without hesitation. There is however, plenty to keep the dedicated playing. As you level up, you unlock the ability to purchase new weapons or customisation options as well as the points to buy them. It’s a formula that has worked well for many games before and uses the system well.

Free to play

Currently you don’t need to pay for anything in MicroVolts, but the hooks can be seen. The store has a “convenience” section which is currently empty. One can assume this will include items which will help accelerate progress, boosting the experience you get from playing a match and similar perks. MicroVolts has an in-game currency, “Micro Points,” which are what is actually used to purchase things from the store. These points are earned by playing matches. So, in addition to leveling up your character, you will be earning credits to help boost their arsenal.

There are a ton of customisation options for you to purchase in the games store. There are a small collection of guns you can buy as you level up but the majority of stuff you can buy is all about changing the look of your characters. Oddly, the different outfit pieces also have special stats attached to them. For example, that bitchin’ baseball cap you bought might give you 3% extra shotgun damage. It seems strange to tie these stat buffs to aesthetic changes as it means players will have to decide between what they think looks fun and what will help them during gameplay.

That being said, with the amount of modifiers gained from the different pieces of clothing and weapons, it’s not hard to imagine stat lovers creating that perfect build for their play style.

Those not looking to go quite that in-depth could probably get by with just making their characters look cool and buying better weapons and still have some fun. It’s a fine line, but MicroVolts does seem to straddle it well. When the game does officially launch and micro-transactions are added, it will be interesting to see how that effects the flow of things.

Originally published on Square-Go.com

Categories: Games, My writing Tags: ,
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