Menu

Warborn: Variable Armour Command Review

Warborn: Variable Armour Command stimulates long-forgotten memories of a 90’s pop culture phenomena that swept over Japan and the Western Hemisphere. Giant mechanized robots fighting to the death has been a staple in the animated entertainment industry for decades, as the rise of Transformers, Voltron, and the legendary Gundam series captivated the minds of children and adults alike. Warborns’ salute to the fanbase is a refreshing experience that compels you to appreciate a genre that felt lost, but ultimately falls short as a holistic turn-based strategy game.

Warborn is a traditional turn-based tactics game by Raredrop Games, a small Indie team based out of the UK. Players command one of the four unique commanders in their struggle to defeat tyranny across the Auros system. Other features include a 40 mission campaign, an offline Skirmish mode, multiplayer support, and a limited map editor that could provide a lot of long term potential pending updates. Warborn brings just enough meat to the table to keep it interesting.


90’s Mecha Anime At Its Finest

In 1956, Mitsuteru Yokoyama created the popular Manga Tetsujin 28, in which a young boy controls a giant robot. This would later be adapted into an anime known by the same name that featured the very first giant robots facing off against one another in combat. Yokoyama’s inspiration would go on to pave the way for the titular titles that we know and love today such as Mazinga Z, Super Sentai, and popular Gundam series that would become a staple mark for Japanese pop culture.

Warborn isn’t ashamed of who it is and for good reason. 90’s mecha anime is painted all over the place, with detailed unit visuals and character animations that even Yoshiyuki Tomino would be proud of. Units bear an uncanny resemblance to those in the Gundam series, and do a decent job of depicting what a modern mobile mech suit would look like. The graphical style chosen by Raredrop is simple by today’s standards, but works well when you complement it with a stellar soundtrack.

Three mechs fight against each other in Warborn Variable Armour Command

The campaign is broken up between four playable factions where you control a strike force of Variable Armour units tasked with completing their mission. The story was longer than expected for a title of this size, taking just over twenty hours to complete at a casual pace. Here lies the biggest problem – each mission’s objectives hardly vary from taking a specific outpost and finishing remaining units on the map. Sure, there are narrative situations spread throughout, but the only context given is through conversation during vague mission briefings resulting in slow character development. Luella, Vincent, Aurielle, and Izol all struggle to overcome personal conflict, but Warborn fails to provide players with any sense of empathy or consequence for your decisions.

Warborn compensates for its lack of story with fleshed-out gameplay, which was the highlight of my twenty-three-hour playthrough. Maps are set up of multiple hexagonal tiles littered with different types of terrain, each with their own defense ratings and effects. Movement is as simple as it gets, requiring you to select your units and move to a tile that is within your designated range. Once you reach your destination you will then have the option to use one of your Variable Armours attacks, given your opponent is within range. Certain unit types will additionally be able to capture resource outposts that will reward you with Strategic Points (SP), the currency you will use to purchase additional troops. Complemented with terrain movement effects and buffs from ally units, you are given situations that will test your skill and patience.

 


With a competent lineup of different variable armour and damage types, Warborn allows for fluid, strategic gameplay. Building a good ratio of snipers (Insights), medical units (Aegis), and basic foot soldiers will give you enough firepower and utility to handle most of the opponents you face. Even in moments when you feel outgunned and outmaneuvered, swift action from your commander will swing the battle in your favor. Super-Mech units are piloted by your faction commander and are equipped with special powers and bonuses that apply to your units. It’s all good and fun blasting three enemies down at once, but halfway through the game, it becomes a repetitive sequence of dominating the map with no real consequence. There is no doubt that enough pieces are here to allow for high-level strategic gameplay, but the AI won’t satisfy any itch of competition you might have.

Warborn supports multiplayer functionality that allows you to play as any of the four factions included in the main campaign. You can challenge your opponents to the pre-made selectable maps, or create custom maps through the map editor. My experience with the skirmish mode and map editor was brief, but it’s easy to see with the limited terrain and outposts options there could be some issues for long term applications without further updates.

Verdict

Warborn: Variable Armour Command is a fleshed-out, turn-based tactics game that is limited by its overall simplicity. Varying unit types and commander traits offer an intriguing experience when utilized properly to subdue enemies on the map. Warborn has limited replayability in the campaign once completed, so any long term potential would rely on future updates to the multiplayer and customized map editor. This is a title that has all the workings of a popular turn-based strategy game, but ultimately doesn’t live up to its potential.

 

This review is based on the PC version of the game. A review copy was provided by the publisher

Warborn: Variable Armour Command stimulates long-forgotten memories of a 90’s pop culture phenomena that swept over Japan and the Western Hemisphere. Giant mechanized robots fighting to the death has been a staple in the animated entertainment industry for decades, as the rise of Transformers, Voltron, and the legendary Gundam series captivated the minds of children and adults alike. Warborns' salute to the fanbase is a refreshing experience that compels you to appreciate a genre that felt lost, but ultimately falls short as a holistic turn-based strategy game. Warborn is a traditional turn-based tactics game by Raredrop Games, a small Indie…

0

User Rating: No Ratings Yet !
  • 7/10
    - 7/10
7.0/10

Summary

Warborn: Variable Armour Command is a fleshed-out, turn-based tactics game that is limited by its overall simplicity. Varying unit types and commander traits offer an intriguing experience when utilized properly to subdue enemies on the map. Warborn has limited replayability in the campaign once completed, so any long term potential would rely on future updates to the multiplayer and customized map editor. This is a title that has all the workings of a popular turn-based strategy game, but ultimately doesn’t live up to its potential.

No comments

Leave a Reply

Newsletter

PlayStation’s State of Play 08.06.20 Round-Up

Sony recently presented yet another State of Play presentation, which was the longest episode yet at over 40 minutes. The presentation focused mainly on third-party and indie PS4 games, with…

August 7, 2020, 164
The Darkside Detective 2 Cover Art

The Darkside Detective 2 Now Published By Akupara Games

Akupara Games is adding The Darkside Detective 2 and its predecessor to their library of games according to a press release on Tuesday. Akupara Games is already known for publishing…

August 4, 2020, 115
Games and Online Harassment Hotline

New Games and Online Harassment Hotline Provides Emotional Support to the Gaming Industry

The gaming community now has a free, dedicated place to get emotional support thanks to the Games and Online Harassment Hotline. The hotline is a text message-based service that allows…

August 3, 2020, 214
The Last of Us Part II Review

The Last of Us Part II Review – Back With a Vengeance

It’s quite the task to discuss The Last of Us Part II without spoiling anything. This review will attempt to dissect Ellie’s journey as vaguely as possible. I hope to…

August 3, 2020, 249
Shakes on a Plane Cover Art

Shakes on a Plane Comes to PC, Switch November 12

Shakes on a Plane was announced on Thursday by Assemble Entertainment, the publisher behind Leisure Suit Larry – Wet Dreams Don’t Dry. Shakes on a Plane is developed by Huu…

July 30, 2020, 225

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice Update Releasing on October 29

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice has sold over five million copies ahead of its new update release on October 29. The new update will serve largely as a way for players…

July 29, 2020, 152
Promotional image of Destroy All Humans showing the player's UFO firing its Death Ray upon a forest

Destroy All Humans Review — Ancient Aliens

Whether it be due to a growing discontent with the trend-obsessive AAA industry or the fact that we are running out of unimpeachable masterpieces to reissue, the remaster-and-reboot initiative has…

July 27, 2020, 312
Ghost of Tsushima Artwork

Ghost of Tsushima Sells 2.4 Million Copies in First Three Days

Ghost of Tsushima is breaking PS4 sales records! PlayStation Tweeted Friday morning that Ghost of Tsushima is officially the fastest-selling first-party original IP. That’s a lot of qualifiers, but regardless,…

July 24, 2020, 207
Halo Infinite

Xbox Games Showcase 2020 Roundup: Halo Infinite Gameplay and More Xbox Series X Exclusives

In Thursday’s Xbox Games Showcase, we finally got a comprehensive look at what people can look forward to with Xbox Series X, such as gameplay for Halo Infinite and an…

July 23, 2020, 244
Ubisoft Logo Video Games

Ubisoft Games Will Cost $60 on PS5 and Xbox Series X

In an earnings call on Wednesday, Ubisoft stated that their games for PS5 and Xbox Series X would cost $60 USD, the same as current-gen games, as reported by Jason…

July 22, 2020, 203