How Does a Free to Play Title Keep Players for Quitting
When gamers here the words “free to play” it usually earns large skepticism and even fear. Games like Clash of Clans or War Thunder are indeed fun to play but they, like many other games in their genre, have a serious design problem with micro-transactions. I could talk about what to do and what not to do with these dreaded things but much of it has been said by others. What I’m here to talk about is what the game Robocraft does well. If you do want to hear about Micro-transactions you can watch this excellent video by the youtube channel Extra Credits.
If you ask anyone why they decided to quit playing a game like Clash of Clans its likely because they either got bored or reached a wall that would force them to pay an outrageous sum of money in order to progress at a reasonable pace. Robocraft is able to maintain an interesting game with a number of monthly updates that improve and change the game for everyone.
(here are just a few possible vehicles a player could build)
The premise is very simple. You are given a few types of blocks some wheels and some guns. Then you build what ever you want and fight other peoples creations. There are tons of battle modes as well. From the elimination style Team Deathmatch and the league of legends style Battle Arena to the score based Pit mode. On top of that players can expect to see updates monthly with newly added content and a few changes to balance long found issues. For instance the most recent update got rid of tier leveled blocks and added the ability to paint your bot what ever combination of colors you want all for free.
Along with a variety of matches as players progress they each unlock a wide new variety of parts to their bots. They will unlock new guns like snipers, or even healing rays for those of you who like a healing class build. Along with new types of movement components such as propellers, wings, and even legs. Even with added mapping systems and armor plates. This game rewards player progression with variety in bot creation. Few games have such a large increase in user possibilities and play variety as you continue to play. This is the kind of thing that keeps players interested. And instead of micro-transactions that just allow players to skip a useless time lock on item creation or things like that. All money will get you in this game is a higher increase in currency and XP. However this is a great thing to get if you want to put in a few bucks as you will get a big return over a few days put into playing. This game does both the two things that a free to play game must do. It keeps players interested and it avoids useless or forced micro-transactions.
Of course sense this is a review and a review needs criticism I must point out the obvious flaws with the game. First off this game looks like poop. I mean people can defend it all they want but there are a lot of things wrong ascetically with this game. They have added higher quality textures within a few updates but no one can deny that the look of this game is not good. And with a high variety in player matches players can expect to see some unbalanced builds with each player. Some players bots are a lot stronger than others even with the tier based match making however with a 10v10 battle this does little to determine the outcome of each battle.
In all Robocraft presents an amazingly fun experience with some minor missteps but where it shines is where most other free to play games fall flat. It goes against the norm and establishes that indie games are here to stay in the gaming industry. Robocraft has been some of the most fun I’ve had with a free to play arena game in a long time and I would defiantly recommend it to anyone who enjoys user customization and competitive arena games.
By: James Murphy