The idea of having a strategy game where you and your opponent battle commanding armies in a virtual reality, is something my friends and I have dreamed about since the dawn of time. RUSE, released almost a decade ago, promised the beginning of that type of interactivity within real-time strategy games. Of course, back then VR space hadn't yet been truly introduced to the gaming world in a way it has today. When I saw League of War: VR Arena, I had flashbacks of what RUSE hinted about. Unfortunately, this game just doesn't live up to those expectations.
After firing up League of War: VR Arena and putting the virtual reality headset on, I felt pretty confident about the world that I was put into. The menus are graphically pleasing and generally well-done with a campaign and arcade mode to choose from, a button to view trophies, an options menu, and a shop to purchase units for the arcade mode. Unfortunately, there's no online play. This is a fairly big flaw considering that strategy games are best played against other human opponents, but I suppose that can be forgiven as long as the rest of the game holds itself up well. Honestly, it doesn't.
The biggest problem with the game is that it lacks any sincere strategy elements. Delving into either of the two major game-modes presents you with a silhouetted opponent and units that you can pick up and drag onto the battlefield with your move controllers. The controls are fine, but everything else is very basic. Units don't have any presented stats or limits. After playing for a bit, you learn what each of the units are best at doing, and that's really the only strategy about the game. Half the time I just dragged out random units and won battles without breaking a sweat. You can choose from the recon truck, grounded infantry units, tanks, artillery, and air units. There are three different levels of units that seem to put themselves in a set pattern after using them. Each unit has a different speed in which they become available after using them. You can choose to focus on one to get a specific unit out quicker, or let them all go to slowly refresh their use all at the same time.
Just grab the unit and throw them on the field. You can have them focus on a specific enemy unit, but otherwise, they will attack the closest unit to them. The goal is to shoot down the turrets at the end of the board to defeat your opponent. Personally, I like to send out a ton of tanks and artillery units to overwhelm the enemy while sending out recon to sneak past and destroy the base before they can even blink. The problem is that this strategy works almost all of the time, and it sucks any bit of fun out of the battles. It makes completing the game more of a chore than anything, especially considering how many different campaign battles there are to do.
As a VR game, I would say that League of War: VR Arena an interesting concept that was rushed in design and was poorly executed. There's little reason to play the game for more than fifteen minutes, and I honestly can't recommend it to anyone. It's definitely a cool idea, especially if you like strategy games. However, I would wait for a better game to be released in the future that can hopefully stimulate the palette of any seasoned strategy veteran, while also providing an immersive virtual reality experience. League of War: VR Arena simply fails to make itself as thought-provoking as a strategy game should be. It's just not fun to play.
Most of my time is dedicated to tearing apart games and movies, then telling you what I think about it. I've been a gamer since birth, practically born with a controller in my hand. I've always spoke my mind, so critique was a natural fit. Twitter: @Jsrf38