EA SCOUT the last line of defense for buying on Steam's Early Access
by Preston Dozsa
previewed on PC
Built For Battle
Petroglyph are a studio that is well-versed in creating real-time strategy games, though Forged Battalion is perhaps the most intriguing title from them in years. While it follows the typical RTS formula of gathering resources, building a base, amassing an army and destroying your opponent with said army, Forged Battalion places a heavy emphasis on unit customization.
Unlike a traditional RTS where you build numerous copies of the same unit, Forged Battalion lets you customize each type of unit before heading into a match using easily earned research points to create unique combinations that best suit how you want to play. As an example, you can equip your vehicle platforms with either a cannon or an artillery piece to turn them into a cannon or mobile heavy artillery, respectfully.
The Complexity Of A War Machine
And while the combinations start simple, the tech tree quickly expands until it is possible to create dozens of variants from the same base unit. After a few hours of play, I greatly appreciated the stealth armor that I attached to any and all units that I could. The result is a game where you can create your own personal playstyle easily, and where experimentation is strongly encouraged in order to succeed.
It’s fortunate then that Forged Battalion is very easy to pick up and play, no matter your experience level. While the game manual is rather long and dense, actually playing the game is relatively straightforward and, most importantly, quick. Matches never took long to finish, and the game feels fast paced in comparison to other RTS’ that I have played in recent memory. That doesn’t mean it is particularly easy mind you, as each player can develop wholly unique playstyles that will take you some time to figure out how to counter them.
In terms of how the game looks, it generally hits the mark when it comes to graphical and audio design. The visuals are charming, as the game uses a vibrant array of colors to make it all pop and stand out as you look at it, while the score is a particularly good blend of rock and techno that is perfect to listen to as you march your army off to war.
Eyes On The Frontlines
Since Forged Battalion is in Early Access, it should come as no surprise that it has its fair share of issues. Though bugs and glitches can be excused do to the fact that they could be patched out before release, the sheer number that popped up in my time with the game - which ranged from visual glitches to the occasional gameplay issues, is something that should be noted. This is made worse by the fact that the game isn’t the easiest to control, as I struggled to issue precise commands to my units, which is a big issue for a RTS.
Forged Battalion is an interesting RTS, with strong customization options that make it stand out from more recent genre titles. Petroglyph plans to add more to the campaign in the coming months, considering only an eighth of the game is in Early Access, which would certainly make the game worth looking into later on. For now, unless you would love to create scores of customizable units in your RTS, I’d wait and see how this continues to develop before pulling the trigger.
The game has potential, but we're not ready to jump in with both feet. If the game interests you, look, but don't touch - yet.