Here’s a tip. If you’re a first time game developer releasing a game without a proven track record, try not to charge so much for a game. And even if you do decide to collect S$54 from each player, at least make sure that they do not need to pay for a PlayStation Network account just to play the game.

If the award winning Telltale Games can sell a game like The Walking Dead: The Complete First Season for US$24.99, you might really want to rethink your pricing strategy.

Which is a pity because ArmaGallant artfully blends a Real Time Strategy (RTS) game and a collectible card game, to create a unique console game for the PlayStation 4. The game plays like an RTS where players must dominate and control areas of the map. To secure a win, the player can use the cards in his hand to summon creatures, and send them to capture the objective nodes, to drain the opponent’s health to zero.

When the player’s creatures meet an opposing force from the enemy, he has the option to cast spells cards to support his creatures in battle.

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With 5 different elements and a variety of cards, there are a lot of combinations and combos one can pull off in the game. Things get even more exciting if you play the 2 v 2 multiplayer mode, where the permutations of combos and deck synergy among partners increases.

This is definitely not a game one can easily jump into, so it is recommended that players read and familiarize themselves with the many cards in the deck library, before setting out to do battle. As combat in the game happens in real time, there is very little time to figure out what card does what. The game allows you to get new cards by opening (ie, paying for) booster packs, and studying them to find out if the new cards obtained have any synergy with existing cards, to evolve your tactics and playstyle.

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Even if you’re familiar with Hearthstone, picking up the game can be quite daunting, especially if you have not played an RTS game before. Thankfully, there is a tutorial mode to guide the player through the game’s controls and mechanics. I managed to master the controls after a few rounds, and got really comfortable with the controls. It is possible that ArmaGallant’s control layout will set the standard for other RTS games developed for the console. If this game succeeds.

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As the game only has one map, and no campaign story mode, the price point of S$54 is really too steep, especially since it is an online multiplayer game and you need to pay for a PSN subscription to play the game’s online mode.

The game should really be free to play, and those who like it can invest in more DLC card packs if they want to. As it stands, I had some difficulty finding online partners to play with, simply because few were willing to invest so much, to try out an untested game from an untested developer.


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Review overview

Gameplay7
Story4
Presentation6
Value4

Summary

ArmaGallant has the potential to be a deep, thinking-man’s game, and a great console one. Its complex but well thought-out game mechanics draws from the best elements of RTS and collectible card games. The story of the different characters featured in the art of the cards should also be fleshed out, as without a campaign, there is also no method of delivery for an epic storyline. The game’s presentation is decent, and special mention should go to the beautiful 2D art and 3D models. But for S$54, it is just not enough to convince someone to invest in it at the moment.

5.3
SnapSniper

SnapSniper

SnapSniper is an avid geek who is both a huge fan of games and an even bigger Star Wars fan.