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Review: Future War: Reborn (Xbox One)By Nikola Suprak At 07.03.2018 00:38

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Future War: Reborn throws you into the role of some soldier whose name isn't important enough to remember. Zombies have overrun the world, and a small group (of maybe two or so, because they didn't have the budget to animate more characters) of Genome Fighters are tasked with fighting them back and saving what's left of humanity. Oh, and also these zombies are apparently from spaceā€¦ and there are little bug monsters that are here, too, in later levels, because the guy who wrote the game did so using a Mad-Libs. It's an extremely basic story, and there is a little bit of awkwardness here sometimes because this was not first written in English. None of it matters, though, because this could have been written perfectly and checked by the ten best editors in the history of editing and the plot would still be entirely incomprehensible. At the start of each level there is some dialogue between the Genome Fighter and her superior, both of which look like they are starring in an Adult Game parody of the actual game, but none of it matters. Mash through the dialogue as quickly as possible and absolutely nothing of value will be missed.

The game itself is a top-down, twin-stick shooter in the classic sense, where one stick controls the movement and the other controls the shooting. New weapons are unlocked and available for purchase as progress is made, and a variety of secondary weapons can be equipped and used in level, as well. From there, it is about as basic as possible, and the player will either be shooting or walking somewhere to do some shooting. Each level has three objectives, some of which are mandatory and some of which are optional. Most of them revolve around killing so many monsters or activating a certain number of locations, or completing the level within a specified time. The levels all sort of blend together, and between similar level appearances and similar objectives, it just feels like it is repeating the same level over and over. It isn't even a long experience, and there are only 21 levels in total, with each taking roughly three to five minutes to complete. There isn't even enough content to fill up that, and while the shooting technically works, that really is the only thing the game has going for it.

To try and break up the monotony, Reborn occasionally introduces new enemies and weapons at regular intervals. The issue here is that not much actually changes - regardless of how many little tweaks are put on it. New zombie types have slightly different attacks, and the various weapons do have slight differences between them. There aren't nearly enough types here, though, and not enough differences between the types that exist. Plus, considering how the upgrade system works, it doesn't make much sense to upgrade more than one weapon. Even though, then, they give out multiple weapons to use, most people are just going to stick to one. Most of the enemies just walk up and bump into the player to cause damage, and the only strategy needed is jumping over them using the jet pack and firing as quickly as possible.

It is boring, and made worse by the fact it only allows for minimal ammo to be brought into the levels. For a title that wants to throw waves of zombies out, it doesn't make much sense to limit the ammo, particularly when there isn't a way to pick up more in the actual levels. Even ignoring this, at its absolute best, this is dreadfully boring and there is nothing here beyond its very simplistic concept.

There is also this strange levelling mechanic that encourages multiple playthroughs of levels, presumably in the name of stretching out the gameplay as long as possible. Experience and money is gathered by completing the levels, and getting enough experience will boost the heroine up one level and improve her stats by some crazy value. Instead of health going from like ten to twelve, it goes from 7358 to 10116 and it is never quite clear why they are using such absurdly high numbers. Money can be used to buy new weapons and upgrade current ones, and it is very easy to over level these to the point that levels become fairly trivial. The whole upgrade system as a whole isn't fairly well thought-out, because there isn't much need for these in the first place. It is very basic and since it doesn't do enough to push up the difficulty along with these upgrades, some later levels can actually be easier than some of the earlier ones, and there really aren't any branching options. Most will just find a weapon or two they like best and upgrade that and ignore everything else.

To top it all off, Future War: Reborn just feels like the kind of game that was hastily thrown together in roughly two hours. Almost every single design decision is not just bad, but wrong, and it would take too long to list everything that is actually wrong. The dialogue that precedes the missions does so painfully slow, which is bad enough, but to move forward to the next dialogue box you have to press "A." The A button, however, is also used to trigger one of the secondary weapons, so inevitably at the start of every mission the player is going to wind up throwing out this weapon, whether they wanted to or not. The dialogue is translated poorly, and, in some instances, not translated at all. What is believed to mean "wave" number in the survival side missions is left in its traditional Chinese characters because apparently someone forgot to get to this part.

The action also freezes for several seconds when you deploy the mech. It somehow takes two buttons to pause, one to bring up the menu and another to pause it once you're in the menu, and on and on like this; a thousand terrible decisions all packed into one terrible little package. It would be a waste of time to detail every matter, so it can just be summarised thusly: this game is bad and you shouldn't play it.

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Final Score
[i]Future War: Reborn[/i] is a failure on just about every level. There is something about the basic concept here that almost sort of works, like if this had been put in the hands of a better development team maybe it could have made it halfway entertaining. As it stands, though, this is just a mess from top to bottom. It is boring, poorly made, extremely repetitive, and honestly just doesn't feel like it has a reason to exist. It's bad in ways games are rarely bad, and this is the sort of title that is going to appeal to just about nobody. Just avoid this at all costs and let the zombies win. It is better than the alternative.



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