First of all let’s address the elephant in the room: I am a console gamer. A retro focused one at that. I have not played a PC game in literally decades. With that confession out of the way, I played a PC game this year at PAX Aus. I dusted off my ability to use a mouse and keyboard at the same time and received the opportunity to have a go at the latest Forts update Tons of Guns, with Nick Smith from developer Earthwork games at my side.
Forts is essentially: Build your Fort, arm it with shields and weapons, then fire away in real time against your adversaries. If I could compare it to anything it would be Worms, but it is not turn based. It is real time chaotic fun.
The version I played was the Tons of Guns Update, released a mere week ago. The reception has been strongly positive and I’m told it is selling extremely well. Whilst Forts is about building a fort and battling, PAX gamers were able to play a session with a pre-built fort and all guns available.
As mentioned, my PC gaming skills are well in my past. So when real time battles started, I was clearly at a disadvantage against the AI. The first match did not go so well for me, I was clicking random weapons just trying to do any damage I could. I was promptly destroyed.
“There’s a community building around this game, which the developers are more than happy to encourage and support.”
My second match however was different, my opponent had three forts set up connected by wires. A lucky shot or not, I started to get the hang of it and a single shot brought the front fort down and took the second with it. As I tried to destroy the third I noticed they weren’t firing back…. because they were rebuilding… and there gamers is the beauty of this game. Remember playing games in your youth and before the fighting begins, you would make a pact not to attack whilst you learn some moves?
In fact, that is one of the new features in Forts. Truce, essentially a two minute window to do what you need to do, then when its over… fire away. Earthworks have put a lot of work into multiplayer, 2v2 and 4v4 are possible team battles.
There is also quite the community building around this game, which the developers are more than happy to encourage and support. They support the discord channel, they listen to the feedback. Heck, updates are provided every few weeks. For a team of three they are doing a fantastic job.
Although I do not doubt playing against an experienced foe (unless they are prepared to show mercy) would result in my ultimate destruction, the learning curve is reasonably gentle, one match in I had a reasonable idea of what I was doing and started to build my own strategy based on the design of the opponents fort. A one match learning curve makes it a great option for a game session with friends. Of course, you wont be an expert in one match. But its enough that you could shout a friend a copy of the game on Steam and teach them how to play.
Earthworks are committed to frequent updates and feedback, so the game will continue to evolve over time. Their focus on multiplayer and community is admirable. Nick was tight lipped on what’s next for Forts, but I will certainly be interested to see what the future holds.
For more information check out our review of Forts from its original release back in April.