Of all the things I love in the world, I love free games the most! Now, it does bother me a bit when an indie game is free because it means, to me, that a developer is making little to no money on their title. This article is going to assume you’re poor like me. Granted, the Steam Summer Sale has made it so players can buy all tank parts and upgrades for only 8.99$, but the Steam Summer sale has sapped what petty funds I have, thus I am doing the old-fashioned way: guts and glory, motherfuckers! Starting from nothing, you will suck for a good fucking period of time. The base gear isn’t terrible, but relative to some of the one-shot-kill weapons that lie at the higher end of the damage spectrum, you will be using spit-balls. Each kill in the game gets you 30 xp, and for a while I thought the number of upgrades I could purchase was dictated by my level and xp. Fuck no! That shit is totally inconsequential. At some point I noticed a number next to a G symbol at the end of matches. For the sake of conversation, we shall refer to them as Gear Coins (GC). GC accrual seems to be dictated by your standing in number of kills versus the other players in a match. Each player gets an amount of GC relative to placement with highest being 4 GC. These coins let you buy propulsion units, turret chassis, hulls, decorations, support modules and, of course, the weapons. When you start off, your tactics will be those of a mouse with a toothpick attempting to stab a lion to death. You will wait until stronger players duke it out, and swoop in to make a kill or two before you are spotted and greased.
Of course, when you get the cash, you might want to invest in a new hull. Hulls cost 5 GC each, and they are the main body of the tank. The stats for hulls are Mass and Armor. Mass is important as too much will make you a slow, easy target. High mass will also give you fierce momentum, and could result in tipping your tank on sharp turns. Armor is fucking armor. More armor results in a tougher tank. usually it makes you less maneuverable, but after duking it out with these mass-monsters I can tell you this: the easiest way to defeat those players is with speed and maneuverability. A slugfest with one of them usually leaves you respawning.
Soon after you get a little tougher or a little lighter, you should really look into propulsion systems. Obviously, these systems are how your tank will be getting around the board, but use some imagination. Some systems use the standard treads, which make your character maneuverable and speedy. At times, they can be a little frustrating to operate, but you start with a pair of these and you acclimate to them quickly. Then there are the legs. As you can see above, these fuckers are fun. legs are considerably slower than other propulsion systems, but they enable you to get into positions that are hard to detect, and even harder to adapt to quickly. Finally, there are the hover systems. The one I took were the hover pads, and they look cool as shit! Unfortunately, you have all the limitations you would expect from hovering systems. It is tougher to stop yourself, you make wide turns, and generally have less armor. Granted this also makes you speedy and allows you to hover over water, which can be extremely helpful in maps with bodies of water. Everyone else sinks and drowns in water. You hover over water like canon-mounted Jesus. This makes unconventional strikes much more possible, which can bail out your teammates should you find yourself in a team match. These systems will affect your armor, mass and max velocity and cost 5GC.
Turrets are interesting. They can look crazy, with one basically being a fish. Yea, really. The main stat featured on this weapon-mounting part is the rotation speed. I bought a turret with good armor without consulting the turn radius. This left me with a turret that turns a bit slower than I like, but some extra armor. Since I use a minguns a lot, this can cause some issues with my accuracy, leaving my turret to catch up with my own mouse speed. Luckily, I can use the momentum of my tank to turn my body and level my weapon quicker, due to my hover pads. Support parts will also find their home here on either side of the main weapon, and sometimes above. Did I mention the ability to have multiple weapons? My new turret also let me attach a secondary weapon, but you don’t fire simultaneously. You have to select the fire mode. Turrets also affect mass and armor and are currently 4GC.
Support modules have a wide range of uses that let you customize how you will fight with your tank. You can get wings for a smoother landing, anti-gravity for a little speed-boost, lawnmower fans for that hover effect; if you have an urge or proclivity, the support modules will be able to serve it. These babies attach to your turret and add a little something extra to the style and design of your tank. None of them add anything extra to your tank (that I could find) but that doesn’t mean they won’t later. Also, you can get training wheels, for, you know, if your tank flips alot. Support Modules tend to cost about 5GC each. Flags and decorations are another extra little piece of the game that fall into the “shits and giggles” category. You know those little red flags that the “special” kid down the street had on his bike as a kid? Were you that kid? Now you can laugh in your enemies faces as you blast them apart with your little red flag on the back. You can also add a wind-up key to the back of your tank, for some kicks or add an ice-cream cone to the top to lure in the unsuspecting. Bwah ha ha ha! That’s not an ice cream cone! It’s a 50 calibur anti-infantry round! These items vary in costs. Samurai flag? 100GC, some items are only 1 or 2 GC, though.
Finally, we come to my favorite part of the game: your weaponry. I after some experimentation, I have found that I am deadly with the miniguns. When I installed my hoverpads, though, it made it tougher to aim with my guns and I had to change over to something explosive with higher damage. But the hoverpads made it easier to compensate for the lower rotation speed of my turret by fishtailing out of sharp turns. Of course, the turn speed on my turret was still a bit inhibiting, but I could mount a secondary weapon that could let me vary my attack strategy on the fly. Maybe get a shotgun attachment to supplement my minigun for when I close in on enemies? I never got a really good chance to experiment with a lot of the other parts, but I was only playing for about 3 hours. In that time I got enough GC to buy 1 new propulsion system, 2 new guns and 1 new turret.
Gear Up is a great title, but the graphics themselves warrant a moment to mention. They look really nice. Sometimes the bloom is a little bright, but everything looks really good. Its look has a sort of plastic feel that gives you the idea of playing with tanks in your sandbox as a kid. The fact that your tank can sport little wind-up keys and other fun things only further evoke this playful atmosphere while you blast foes apart. You won’t always win (in fact you won’t win much to start at all) but that’s ok, because the game itself just feels like a fun romp. It reminds me of Scorched Earth, the stationary tank-game that the Worms franchise was loosely related to. It is really just a fun way to waste some time with friends. This is sure to be a LAN party favorite. This game might be another pre-release title made possible by Steam Greenlight, but it’s worth every penny of.. O, yea! It’s fucking FREE! Yea, I would pay a couple bucks for this game, it is that much fun. Get more updates direct from Doctor Entertainment AB on their blog! I know I will be! I mean they were good enough to add a ticket to explain that the red rocket pickup increases your damage 50% and the blue armor pickup halves the damage you take when hit. This is clearly a group of Devs who care about their game and what their players think.
So with all the fun to be had here, what about the game pisses me off? I’ll fucking tell you! The power-ups! I am pretty fucking sure that some of them do absolutely fucking nothing. There is the ammo pick-up and the health pick-up. Those are obvious. I have also noticed it is a bit tougher to kill guys after they get the Shield power-up. But what they FUCK is with that red bullet? I mean, I don’t feel much more powerful after grabbing it, and it sure as shit doesn’t give me red tracers, so its nebulous effects are as indistinct as fly fart at a Dragonforce concert. And then there are the colors! O, boy I cannot tell you how many times I have gotten my ass nuked when I went after an ammo pickup rather than the health! O FUCK ME! I am a MAN! I tend toward COLOR-BLINDNESS! When I am speeding around the map trying to dodge the incoming rain of hellfire missiles, I don’t want to have to stop and contemplate which of the faint, holographic colors I am searching for in the MASSIVE BLINDING FOG OF BLOOM! Fo’ serious! O, well. Maybe they will make a sunglasses support module later on and that will help me see what the fuck is going on.