I didn’t know what to expect when I first tried Forged Battalion. I figured it would be a game I could blow through quickly and be done with, but so far that’s completely the opposite of my experience. It’s fun, bright, and brings me back to the days when I used my trebuchet in Stronghold Crusader to fling dead cows over my Dad’s castle wall. Sadly there’s no option to do that here, but I’ve been looking forward to playing this game during my free time the last few days.
After the opening story scroll, a game manual that pops up to show you where everything is, what to do, and customization options. The eleven pages are short, about 2-3 paragraphs on each one that explains how the game works. There is an option to skip this part if you want to figure it out alone and start playing, and you can always read it later by selecting it in the main menu.
It’s not a Robert Jordan novel so I advise at least glancing at it since it won’t take a big time commitment to read. You also get some pretty sweet background music to listen to as you learn the game mechanics.
You can customize your Factions before each match to suit your own play styles better. This is where you can have rockets instead of machine guns, and get better armor or tires if you’ve unlocked it in the Tech Tree. Rockets cost more, so I kept it balanced between machine gun and rockets on my vehicles to ensure I wouldn’t run out of money as fast.
I was pleasantly surprised how large of an area the map actually was. You can place different structures around your base to increase your area, or build small and fortify, however you choose to expand.
I suggest setting up turrets whenever you can, the cooldown is pretty fast and it beats wasting your mechs/tanks/drones on protecting every little thing. Keep watch of your harvesters as well, if they all get destroyed, then your money is going to dwindle to nothing and fast.
There is a gray “fog” on the minimap that keeps you from seeing enemies until you’ve expanded your base or send out some vehicles to scout ahead. Pick either strong vehicles that will last longer or a lot of mechs that are dispensable, because I’ve lost quite a few. You can edit the opacity of the fog in the game settings, but I haven’t done it yet because I’m too stubborn.
I left my game difficulty at medium and on the second level, and I kept having my butt handed to me. It is not a walk in the park like I thought it would be, and I probably suck because I haven’t played an RTS in a while, which is all the more reason to try it. It’s a challenge.
There is ranked play for those who wish to show off their domination skills on the Steam leaderboards, and unranked play to enjoy online multiplayer and Skirmish matches. I have not and will not try those until I’ve unlocked more of the Tech Tree.
All in all, I recommend this game. It’s fun, the graphics are good, and the music reminds me of a mix between Mirrors Edge and Subnautica. Keep watching for a full review once the game is officially launched.