If 'Starship Troopers' Had A Purpose, 'Shock Tactics' Might Be It

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Shock Tactics is a turn-based strategy game where you will command soldiers to achieve certain missions. You're part of the Free Space Pioneers who explore new planets and help protect them. Essentially, you look for new alien tech while protecting colonization and mining facilities from alien threats, as well as rival troops from the Imperial Consortium. There's a lot to be explored and protected and none of it comes easy. Some missions are simple like killing all the enemies and staying alive. Others not so much as they become time-sensitive and require quick and decisive action to make them happen.

credit//EuroVideo Medien
credit//EuroVideo Medien

The game is best played on mouse and keyboard as WASD will move you around, while the mouse and the wheel will control aspects to your view and movement. The green area is normal movement while the blue area is a sprint movement, each taking up a certain amount of time in your ability to perform actions. The minute you run into an enemy, the turns start to take effect and will determine who goes at what time depending on how many people are within the area of play. You'll be given so options toward your strategy like shooting behind a wall or attacking up close, each other benefits and drawbacks depending on the enemy. The nice bonus is that enemies will have a percentage above their heads for how successful your attack will be. Anything over 85% is a surefire hit in our experience, anything below has the chance of missing or the enemy seeing it coming.

credit//EuroVideo Medien
credit//EuroVideo Medien

As you progress you'll be taking on more people and a multitude of missions. Each person you command has different movement styles and weapons that can be used in various ways. You can get the drop on people from afar easily, or you can blister the hell out of them with a coordinated assault, it's pretty much up to you. But beware of friendly fire as getting in the way of shots can bring about damage, and also be aware that not every team-up is a guaranteed win. Death is very permanent when it comes to team members so if you lose someone, there is no bringing them back mid-battle. You're left with what you got, even if it's just you. At the end of missions you can give yourself and others upgrades to weapons and armor that will help you out in battle, but sometimes you need to choose wisely as

credit//EuroVideo Medien
credit//EuroVideo Medien

The big drawback to Shock Tactics is the pacing and the enemies. A lot of who you face as you progress have advantages that are just cheap. A good example would be some enemy troopers have advanced tactical sniping that can nail your guys from across the board. If I've got few items to hide behind in time, that means I'm looking at assured deaths between me and my team, regardless of how well I play. Sorry if my Captain Kirk is showing, but I'm not a fan of no-win scenarios where I have to lose someone even if I'm a badass. The pacing of the game can cause single missions to drag out forever. If I need to kill a particular enemy who is smart, and they're in an area I can't reach without getting through a specific field, that can take forever and a day as I send my troops their way to take care of the job.

credit//EuroVideo Medien
credit//EuroVideo Medien

The graphics are pretty good, I don't really have complaints about the design and makeup. They fit well within the universe that's been created with animations that look and feel natural to a turn-based system. Even the standing position for the characters is pretty well done. The music, however, is almost non-existent as there are periods of time where I'll be running through a mission and it's quiet except for the sound effects happening in the back. Even if the buildup is slow, give me some kind of rumbling cello in the background so I feel like I'm working my way up to something epic.

credit//EuroVideo Medien
credit//EuroVideo Medien

Overall, Shock Tactics is fairly well done and gives a nice variety of issues to overcome as an individual and a team. Aside from the problems I had above, there's a lot to be discovered in the game as you wind your way to the eventual goal of having successful missions for the company and unraveling what the aliens are doing on this hostile world. As well as what the rival factions are trying to pull off. Highly recommend for people who enjoy these games, but I also acknowledge that it may not be everyone's taste.

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About Gavin Sheehan

Gavin is the current Games Editor for Bleeding Cool. He has been a lifelong geek who can chat with you about comics, television, video games, and even pro wrestling. He can also teach you how to play Star Trek chess, be your Mercy on Overwatch, recommend random cool music, and goes rogue in D&D. He also enjoys hundreds of other geeky things that can't be covered in a single paragraph. Follow @TheGavinSheehan on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Vero, for random pictures and musings.

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