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Auto Age: Standoff Review

Auto Age: Standoff Review

'80s style soundtrack, cheesy evil villain, retro art style and battle cars with rocket launchers, Auto Age: Standoff has all the makings of an '80s cartoon show.

Playing the tutorial puts the player in the shoes of Val Vega, an intrepid wasteland courier who finds herself in the centre of a fierce war between the evil warlord Dark Jaw and SAIGE (an AI tasked with rebuilding America) for the only resource of value in the wasteland, Energite. Gifted with a vehicle that looks like a beefed up Delorean with machine guns attached to it I was set to the task of defending SAIGE from Dark Jaw’s goons. The tutorial sets up a cheesy yet interesting story, unfortunately there is no single-player campaign mode and the multiplayer does not expand on the story, leaving the plot to be left open.

Driving the cars in Auto Age is a joy. The controls are tight and responsive, although extremely unrealistic, cars can spin, cartwheel, bunny hop, boost and perform barrel rolls while mid air. But it works, being able to turn a corner, spin around kick into reverse and fire dual machine guns at a car previously in pursuit is extremely satisfying. All the while a heavy retro 80’s tune is pumping through my headset amping up the adrenaline making me feel like a pro race driver in a deathrace, these elements combined makes Auto Age shamelessly fun to play.

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Unfortunately the novelty wears a little thin, as the AI bots have a tendency to get stuck or attempt to slow down and target the nearest enemy, turning the high speed chases into a slow ring around the rosy affair. This shouldn’t be an issue since online multiplayer is the meat of the game, unfortunately the servers are a ghost town. The most players I have managed to get in a single match with was three. Considering each game mode allows up to 12 players, it is disappointing to be versing bots the majority of the time. That being said, the matches I have had with players were a lot of fun, I found myself trying to single out other players. Creating a fun cat and mouse game, finding them mid combat with a bot and destroying them only to have the same happen to me later.

The variety of vehicles to choose from can be broken down into four categories: light, medium, heavy and tower vehicles. The last of these is a very odd tower on wheels that cannot boost but instead packs a huge amount of firepower and survivability with a repair ability. Each car can be equipped with a different loadout, my personal favourite being the small, fast dune buggy equipped with an auto cannon that, once activated, will automatically fire at nearby enemies for a short period of time. I especially enjoyed driving between groups of enemies, dropping a mine and destroying at least two enemies at a time. The customisation feature is a little lacking,  there are no cosmetic options but instead it is possible to make a custom vehicle loadout. This feature feels a little redundant as each map offers a large variety of vehicles to drive that cover most of the loadouts anyway.

My biggest gripe with the combat is the weapon lock on system, requiring the player to be pointed almost directly at an enemy and at a precise medium range. Get too close, too far away or point slightly off centre and the weapon tracking instantly unlocks, making firing with single shot weapons such as the rocket launcher frustrating. When a vehicle is damaged it will start to smoke and when severely damaged it will set on fire. There are several repair kits dotted around the landscape that can be driven over to repair damage over a short period of time.

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With a total of three game modes, capture point, team deathmatch, deathmatch, and four maps, Auto Age does not have much to offer. With the lack of a player base and story content, Phantom Compass will need to either market their title to bring in the players it needs to survive or tweak the AI to work well enough for a single player campaign. This is unfortunate as the style, soundtrack and core gameplay makes it a fun game to play.

I still highly recommend this game to fans of similar titles such as Twisted Metal, Destruction Derby or even Rocket League. If Auto Age: Standoff can find a regular player base and continue to update and provide content then this is a game to keep an eye on.

6.50/10 6½

Auto Age: Standoff (Reviewed on Windows)

Game is enjoyable, outweighing the issues there may be.

I still highly recommend this game to fans of similar titles such as Twisted Metal, Destruction Derby or even Rocket League. If Auto Age: Standoff can find a regular player base and continue to update and provide content then this is a game to keep an eye on.

This game was supplied by the publisher or relevant PR company for the purposes of review
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COMMENTS

Acelister
Acelister - 10:24pm, 17th October 2017

The lack of single player content is a real bummer.

Reply
LittleBigBoots
LittleBigBoots - 10:45pm, 17th October 2017 Author

It was such a shame, I was really getting into the story during the tutorial and it just ended rather abruptly. I really hope that the devs stick with this and just polish it a little more and get that player base they need!

Reply
NikholaiChan
NikholaiChan - 12:12pm, 23rd October 2017

Really love the style this title has. Shame about the player count.

Reply