Posted: July 14, 2014
Early Access Review
* Please disregard Steam time; game was available pre-Steam.
** My 'full' review is available here[www.zam.com]
is a popular game in the making. Movement feels tight. Lighting is gorgeous. Sounds are immensely satisfying. Don't be fooled by the Early Access tag: OGAT
is already a blast, and it can only get better.
To start: OGAT
's strength lies in the fact that any game mode is possible. The mainstay, of course, is Guards and Thieves. Guards defend six objects, but only one is the Thieves' target. In a battle of misdirection, it's a tense standoff where sharp timing is key. Classic gametypes execute perfectly in OGAT
, but the game's core is so strong that the devs can (and do!) experiment.Classes
As you'd expect, each class has strengths & weaknesses. Cobras are quick and strong with terrible HP. Juggernauts are strong with high HP but painfully slow. You'll have preferences based on your playstyle, but all classes are fun and effective. Many more classes are on the horizon: Sniper, Engineer, Hacker, etc. Also on the way are "Gadgets", a wide variety of tools to customize loadouts.Lighting
The game centers heavily on its lighting. For Thieves (and Zombies), their main advantage is night vision. For Guards, it's a constant struggle to keep the map well-lit. Bright red light switches line the walls. When switched off, Thieves can impose their advantage. A suddenly-dark room compels moments of risk / reward for Guards. Do I rush in, or consider the room "lost"? Darkness is dangerous territory. To counter, Guards have flashlights...but their beams are of little comfort.Sound
When light is scarce – which it often is – you need to locate action with your ears. The rustling of a bush. A distant knife swing. A shattering window. Since the game's sounds are so useful, verbal communication (not incl. in-game) is a borderline disadvantage. It's a bizarre feeling at first, but it works very well. As an alternative to voice chat, holding Mouse 3 brings up a radial menu with commands like Go Left
and Follow Me
. Text chat is always an option too, mostly used while dead on the floor.ProblemsOGAT
's biggest stumble is currently a lack of dedicated servers. When you want to play, sometimes you can't find a server that works – let alone one on the same continent
. Dedicated servers are in-progress, but the simple fix is: more players! More players = more player-hosted servers. So, ultimately, a Steam release alone should go a long way to address its main issue.Verdict
In my opinion, Of Guards and Thieves
is a powder keg of potential. Even in its current form, it's an absolute ton of fun with friends and strangers alike. With a solid core and great features on the way, there's simply no reason to pass it by. Get in on the ground floor and let's go!