Review: Engineer Arena

Engineer Arena, is a fast paced, first person shooter by WaveParadigm. With a focus on old school, local splitscreen multiplayer. Engineer Arena is a throwback to the retro count games of years past.

Story

Nope.

for Cats and Dogs

Engineer Arena, is an old school FPS title. There is no story, no singleplayer, no campaign. Engineer Arena exists solely to get friends playing together.

Gameplay

As an old school FPS at heart, Engineer Arena is mostly about shooting your friends. There are multiple game modes, Death Match, King of the Hill, Capture the Flag, pretty much the staples of the genre.

Death Match

As it says on the tin, this is a match to the death. Two, three or four players compete to see who can get the most kills. In this mode you can select the timer for the match and how many points to win, with a max of 40 at this stage.

King of the Hill

In this mode there will be a place on the map that is dedicated as “the hill”. The objective here is to become the King of this area by standing inside the specified field. When you stand in the field alone or only your team if you are playing with teams, the field will change to your color and you gain points. Another playing stepping inside the field will cause the color to disappear and the points will stop, until one leaves or more likely dies. Again in this mode you can select the match length and point limit, this one goes to 100 for points.

Capture the Flag

Another mode which allows teams. Capture the Flag is again what it sounds like. Each team will have a flag to protect, the goal is to capture your enemies flags and bring them back to your base. Being killed with the flag will cause it be dropped where you died. This means the battle can consist of a lot of edging the flag closer to your base instead of just running it straight back in. As in the other modes you can select the match length and point limit, this one maxes out at 7 points.

New mechanic

Now, the above game modes are staples of the genre as mentioned. So what does Engineer Arena offer to set itself apart?

A bunch of different weapons? Check.

Grenades? Check.

Abilities? Got those too.

But again these things are that unheard of, most FPS games will give you at the very least an arsenal of weapons to find.

And that is the operative word, “find”. In Engineer Arena, you don’t find weapons or upgrades. Instead you create them or purchase them, with a currency known as “bits”. What are bits? Well they are essentially money, you gain them from smashing respawning chests dotted around the levels, or by killing other players and scoring points. Once you have enough bits you can open a menu and use it to purchase a new weapon or an upgrade. This means that you don’t have to hunt around for the weapon you want, nor do you have to memorize where the RPG is so you can grab it first.

The downside to the menu? The game doesn’t pause when you enter it, so you’ll need to find somewhere to hide or be very quick to avoid being killed.

You’ll also need bits to reload your weapons. With the exclusion of the pistol and sword. The former is always free to reload, the latter is a sword so there’s nothing to reload.

Graphics

The Graphics in Engineer Arena can be described as, basic, polygonal and bright. As the game is a throwback to classic couch FPS titles, especially Goldeneye. The art style works fairly well, it’s brighter and more fun and whimsical than most FPS games I’ve seen in this style.

Characters are essentially posts with various objects as heads, everything from Toilets to Ships. With the guns sort of just floating in front of them as they have no arms. Another somewhat whimsical but fitting choice.

Sound

The menu has a song playing that is pretty great. Other than that, there isn’t any music during the stages themselves yet. The sound effects for the weapons are all pretty standard but none of them are obnoxious which is a good thing as chances are you’ll hear them a lot.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Engineer Arena is a really fun throwback to the days where you’d sit on the couch with your friends and blow each other up. It’s not a perfect game but the potential is obvious. With a little polish I could imagine Engineer Arena to become a LAN party favourite. With the interesting weapons and abilities. The fun and vibrant levels. And the potential new modes (how bout a sword and shield only medieval match?). Engineer Arena is a pretty easy recommendation for anyone that has a glint in their eye remembering nights of Goldeneye marathons. And no Odd Jobs!

Rating: 7/10 – Feels both retro and fresh.

Title: Engineer Arena
Genre: First Person Shooter
Developer: WaveParadigm
Publisher: WaveParadigm LLC
Release Date: 14 Aug, 2019

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