The spectacular cinematic opening of Art of War: Red Tides introduces us to a post-apocalyptic scenario in which very different troops face off on the battlefield. The end of the charismatic hero on the bike, shotgun in hand and cigar in his mouth, clearly inspired by the protagonist of Metal Gear Solid, underlines how the experience developed by Game Science is not based on the contribution of individuals, but rather on group action. In particular, the battles in the game involve over two hundred units simultaneously even on iOS devices, thus staging highly frenetic and visually impacting clashes, but at the same time chaotic and difficult to read. Once one of the three available factions has been selected, a tutorial will introduce us to the basic mechanisms of this variation on the MOBA theme, in which the objective is, as usual, to overcome the opponent's defenses until the enemy base is destroyed. Unlike the Clash Royale blockbuster, the scenario in this case develops horizontally and is equipped with a central area that can be used by the troops to momentarily recharge the energy. However, the management of the units is completely automated and our contribution must be limited to placing them on the map, according to a strategic approach in which numerical superiority does not necessarily translate into success.
The freemium dynamics of Art of War: Red Tides are quite flexible and do not limit the enjoyment of the experience in any way, releasing rewards and new units to add to your roster at regular intervals. From a structural point of view, the game gives you access to regular or ranked matches, with one-on-one or three-on-three battles paired with a single player mode based on increasingly difficult missions. Leveling up will also allow you to play classified matches, so as to eventually climb the rankings and aspire to ever richer rewards.
The system works very well, thanks to a soft launch that has created a rich user base in Asia, and you enter the game within a few seconds, with the only difference in group clashes of having to wait your turn to place units on the map. In the lower part of the screen we find our troops, to be generated in greater or lesser numbers depending on the energy available at that time, while on the right there are three special abilities that change depending on the faction and require long times loading, but allow you to hit the enemy in various ways: petrifying the soldiers, carrying out a targeted bombing, firing a huge cannon along a horizontal trajectory, etc. As anticipated, the behavior of the units in the field is completely automatic: once the soldiers are created, they will proceed as a group against the enemy targets, literally fighting to the death.
Only in certain cases will we be able to directly activate special attacks, for the rest our task will consist in reading the situation in the best way and planning how many and which warriors to send to fight, also on the basis of the opponent's setup. Such limited interactivity undoubtedly lends itself to light-hearted games, albeit often and willingly the enormous chaos that at some point is generated on the screen makes it really difficult to understand what is happening, transforming the gameplay into a repetitive dispatch of new troops in the hope that their numbers will be enough to break through the enemy lines and destroy their base. From a technical point of view, the amount of characters in action is managed effectively, but the distant view and the impossibility of zooming in if not a little detracts from everything, preventing you from appreciating a good level of effects and some noteworthy animation. .
Art of War: Red Tides is a casual strategy game at first intricate and not very intuitive, but capable of giving some satisfaction over time, as long as you accept its chaotic nature. The many units that move on the screen create clashes of enormous magnitude, the problem is that our task will only be to replenish the troops by introducing new soldiers and possibly activate the special abilities that could provide us with an advantage during the match. If you enjoyed Clash Royale, however, the most daring and vivid vision of the title developed by Game Science could win you over: take a look at it.
- Huge and spectacular battles
- Several modes available
- It is played for free without any problems
- Too chaotic
- Limited gameplay
- Intricate at first