The best way to let you know if this review is worth reading is to start by asking if you are a fan of movies and TV shows like Pacific Rim and Mobile Suit Gundam? If your answer is yes than you should absolutely stick around and read this review of War Tech Fighters, the new game from Drakkar Dev and Blowfish Studios. It originally released on PC around a year ago but has now made its way to consoles. Games where you pilot giant mechs have always looked interesting to me but I’ve found they usually aren’t as much fun when you get into the gameplay. If you’ve experienced the same thing in the past then War Tech Fighters might be for you.
While the best parts of War Tech Fighters is in the gameplay, I’ll start by talking a bit about the story in the game. You play as pilot Nathan Romanis and are from a colony that is part of the Zatros empire. The empire is basically trying to take over everything and it’s up to you and your team to fight back against them and save the day basically. There are over 30 missions in the campaign in total so there is quite a lot here to play through. If you finish that you can play a training mode, over a dozen challenge missions, and a few survival missions. While the story is here to just push things along, the mechs and the combat are the stars of this space show.
The giant mechs in this game are called War Techs and you will pick from three different ones at the start of the game. These are the Rhino, Lynx, and Hawk and each one has certain strengths and weaknesses so study them and pick which one sounds better for your playstyle. Each War Tech comes with a missile launcher, turret, heavy cannon, sword, and shield to fight with. You can also upgrade the parts on them by using materials that you obtain by finishing missions in the game. These parts include the head, arms, legs, body, sword, and shield as far as parts that affect the gameplay but you can also pick from different colors for a more personal touch. Some parts you’ll need to research before you can upgrade them and this can be done at your research station. Here you use that money you earned to perform research and unlock those new upgrades. Certain other upgrades will need special tokens in order to be accessed. These can be found in missions so be on the lookout for them.
One of the key things you’ll have to keep an eye on is the stamina meter on screen as this is critical to your ranged attacks and your War Tech’s ability to boost. To fill it back up all you have to do is not use either of those two things while it recharges. Another more flashy way to recharge it is to perform Execute attacks. These are attacks that become available when an enemy is close to dying. When this happens just get in close to them and press the button on screen to perform it. I really enjoyed doing these as much as possible as the cinematic feel to them was always satisfying.
Using your light and heavy weapon attacks feels good and there are times where you can fight in hand to hand battles as well with your sword. For defensive capabilities you can use your shield to deflect damage or dash out of the way. The moment to moment combat gameplay is very engaging but the actual mission design isn’t quite so much. Many of the objectives in the game you’ll be doing over and over as you play. Things like going to investigate some area or fighting off hordes of enemies. It’s a shame that they couldn’t come up with a more varied repertoire of tasks as doing the same ones so many times had me bored a lot.
The graphics in War Tech Fighters look good but also are a bit lacking in areas. It needs more variety in the environments and enemies you fight as I felt like I was looking at a lot of the same things throughout my playthrough. It ran pretty smooth though on the PlayStation 4 Pro that I reviewed it on. The music in War Tech Fighters is my kind of thing though with it mostly featuring rock music. It’s the perfect type of music for blowing up and slicing up other War Techs in combat. The voice acting though was pretty poor and yet another reason why I just didn’t care much for the story in this game. If you’re wondering about the trophy list the game has a total of 46 trophies with some coming quickly for doing various things for the first time while others requite a lot more time to unlock.
If having giant robot battles in space is your jam than War Tech Fighters is probably worth jumping into. While the story is forgettable, the actual combat and ability to upgrade and customize the War Techs was very satisfying and engaging to me. More variety in the visuals and the mission design would’ve helped make this something really special but I still feel like this is worth checking out despite those faults.
*War Tech Fighters is out now on PlayStation 4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch, and PC. Reviewed on a PlayStation 4 Pro. Review copy provided by the publisher for this review.