War Selection, the Real-Time Strategy game with the terrible name combined with an ambitious concept. In a nutshell, it aims to take an Age of Empires like setting and combine it with more chaos. War Selection’s main goal here is more battles. Where Age of Empires was an up to 8 man game of warlike chess. The team at Glyph Worlds have opted for much more hectic gameplay. Take a map, throw thirty to sixty-four people into it for a free for all or team deathmatch and you have a recipe for battles everywhere.
Chaos Abounds In War Selection
When I first boot up War Selection the loading screen reminds me of Age of Empires, chaos and war abound. It gives a feeling of nostalgia. The menu to pick gameplay is straightforward and to the point. Free for All and Team Deathmatch. The modes are the same, wipe out the other people or teams. The second mode of victory is building a wonder, which you get to by advancing your civilization to the end. Then throwing a massive amount of resources to build it while also keeping it alive for twenty minutes. Those that have played RTS’ in the past know, that’s an eternity.
Free for all and Team Death Match is where this game shines. Throw in the RTS gameplay you know, pit thirty or so players against each other and let the good times roll. I won’t sugar coat it, a little bit of luck and map placement will partly determine how you fair. Your game could last as long as fifteen minutes or hours on end. One minute you’re beating your enemy down and the next an enemy you’ve never seen before attacks your home base. Even with teams, it becomes easy to have the tides of the battle switch in an instant. I would bet this is Glyph Worlds’ intention, it’s arguably the best part about this game and I mean that in the best way.
There is also Armageddon mode, which is built on a huge map for sixty-four players. I’m going, to be frank, I couldn’t figure out how it works. I wasn’t the only one, myself and other players were in a chat on my third attempt. None of us could figure out how to “expand our countryside,” if you’re unable to do this, meteors rain hell on you until you either do the thing, or everyone dies. Sufficed to say everyone died for me each time, no one else in my chat had a clue either.
Real-Time Strategy Noobs Beware
War Selection can be a fun RTS that takes you back to the good old days. The only problem is if you’ve never had the good old days. The game is bare-bones when it comes to explaining… Anything. This game is not for anyone new to RTS’. Granted, it’s in early access and I have no doubt much will be added over the coming months and year. However as it stands now, I can’t see anyone who hasn’t played an Age of Empires or AOE like a game trying to jump into this. Much of what I did gameplay and strategy was simply me basing it off years of playing a similar title. That said I guessed plenty, I wasn’t sure what units did what. I wasn’t aware that building more houses at a certain age doesn’t do anything, simply stop building them until later ages. The only way to increase the population was at the center hub called the Temple, for a lot of food, you too can have more people.
It then felt very weird towards the final ages, things switched back and I needed to continue to build houses again. To build upon that (no pun intended), when advancing to the next age, the rest of your city doesn’t. What I mean by that, is not only do I have to pay to advance the age but I also have to upgrade my units, workers, and buildings separately. This ends up costing a lot of resources. If I don’t upgrade my workers for example, then those same workers won’t be able to build the new age buildings. Houses, on the other hand, I thought once upgraded would provide more population. Instead, it seems that for steep prices what I get is that they can take more damage. All of this took the feeling of accomplishment that I would normally feel for getting to the next age and replaced it with something that felt tedious.
A Reminder of Early Access
Keep in mind War Selection is in early access, some of the units or more importantly civilizations are not available. The UI is pretty barren and there are not many commands or formations for units to speak of. Also, when you reach a later age, you can choose between multiple civilizations to continue with. In theory, this will change your units, upgrades, and everything available to you. Each one with its unique strengths and weaknesses. Despite the allure of this feature, when given the choice, you only have one. While the other civilizations display content is coming message. Think of this as a less a knock on the game and more just a heads up.
Take this for what it is, a game that that just released in early access. What this small team has done is a feat, impressive no doubt. Yes, there are things to work on, some tedious gameplay elements and a lack of commands to give units. Not to mention a way to make it more inviting for newcomers to RTS’ or even people playing War Selection for the first time. Despite the negatives and complaints though, to take a familiar concept and blow it up to a large scale all-out war is not only impressive but fun. When War Selection is at its best is when all hell breaks loose. I can’t wait to see what they can do when the game releases in full.
Former podcast Co-Host, current freelance writer and lover of everything video games and the community along with it. Nintendo, Sony and Xbox are all great, @ me anytime on that.