Perfect Battle Online is a free 3D action/strategy game that combines elements of a Real Time Strategy game with top-down fighting action.
It offers single player battles against the computer or multiplayer over LAN or the internet with up to 8 players.
This game implements all the elements that would classify it as a Real Time Strategy game (an economoy, structures that you can build, tech research), but in a very simple, straightforward way that keeps the focus on the frantic fighting action.
There is only a single resource (gold) that you can collect, 3 structures (see below), and just a handful of technology upgrades. This makes “Perfect Battle Online” the kind of game that you can instantly get into with only a very small learning curve.
Here are some notes on this game:
- Objectives: in general the objective is either to destroy all other players (or at least be the only surviving player), or, if not, to score the most points before time runs out. However, when playing in campaign mode you are given specific objectives to carry out (e.g. survive for 8 minutes, destroy all enemy factories, etc.)
- Units: aside from your main ship you have other, smaller ships that set forth and fight on their own without the player’s intervention. These ships are constantly being produced in factories; typically you will start the game with a handful of these factories surrounding your base, and while you cannot build more of these you can upgrade them as well as capture them from other players.
The terrain: although the objects in the game are apparently 3 Dimensional, the game is viewed top-down 2D style from above. Maps occupy a single screen or can be large scrolling maps. Each map will contain its own geography of mountains and other objects that act as natural barriers.
- Resources: only one resouce: gold, which you have to use your ship to collect yourself (i.e. no delegation of this to other ships).
- Structures: the most important structure is your base, which is where you re-spawn every time your ship gets destroyed and which has an automatic homing missle defense built in. Your base is also where you go to research tech upgrades (provdied you have the gold to pay for them). Located near your base are your factories, which generate the smaller ships that are your army. The two remaining structres, both of which can be built at will (if you can pay for them) are defence turrents and offensive towers. The former are simply barrier that shield your other structures and are designed to be fairly resilinet. Towers will fire at any enemy that is within range.
- Weapons: weapons upgrades include a shotgun weapon, rockets, homing missles, flamethrower, and a powerful ’nuke’. These upgrades pop up around the map and are collected by whoever gets to them first.
- Tech upgrades: the range of available tech upgrades include speed upgrades for your ships, stamina upgrades for ships, turrets, and towers, and firepower upgrades for ships and towers. Doing upgrades means that you have to enter your base and stay there for the time duration it takes to do these. You also have to have enough gold, and of course each successive upgrade is more expensive than the last.
- Multiplayer: supports up to 8 players by LAN or online or up to 4 players on a single machine. Despite being titled “Perfect Battle Online” my attempts at joining or starting an online game were not successful, and I am guessing that the reason for this simply is that there were no other players online.
- Controls: either by the keyboard or keyboard+mouse combination. Having a laptop and no ’real’ mouse attached I only tried the former, which works well enough although from what I read the keyboard and mouse combo seems to work much better. Also supports gamepad, apparently.
- Map editor: allows you to design your own maps (I have not tested this myself).
The verdict: a very interesting game that is quite fun. If you like strategy and RTS games in general but want a casual game that you could pick up and get into quickly then Perfect Battle Online might be the game for you.
Version tested: 1.0b
Compatibility: Windows 9x/2k/XP/VISTA.
Go to the game home page to get the latest version (approx 39 megs).