Epsilon (PC) Preview

By Leo Epema 22.02.2016 3

Review for Epsilon on PC

The Ghost Recon series has faded into obscurity for quite a bit. Whereas the first instalment of Tom Clancy's Ghost Recon Advanced Warfighter was praised, further additions to the sub-genre of tactical shooters have, apparently, not garnered much attention. That's a shame, because the gaming industry, and perhaps, especially the indie scene, could use some more of these. Therefore, the question becomes: will Epsilon reach completion, and will it be worth playing? Considering the creation of Christian Allen didn't do well, it's up to this one to make the difference.

Everything starts off with a comic book page that looks like it's from the late '80s, that presents the situation in a fairly barebones manner. Some terrorists are inside the Unipol building, they have shown themselves to be willing to kill for their ends, and they need to be taken out. The characters so far, lack personality and are not voice-acted, probably because no actor would want to be associated with such bland-looking cast. Fortunately, and while the story obviously needs work like many other things, Epsilon is a breath of fresh air gameplay-wise.

It starts off by allowing the use of some measure of tactics before the mission begins. A building needs to be cleared of terrorists, and two hostages need to be rescued. Before doing that, enemies can be tagged through the use of the building's security cameras, and the building layout can be scoped out a bit too. Rotating the cameras is usually pointless, though, because their view is often largely obscured by walls and doors. The map is also a bit vague, with a few obscure symbols. Once the place is scoped out, a sniper can be placed in one of several locations, the best location probably being somewhere across from where the action starts, so that enemies can be picked off easily. It's also possible to have him take care of enemies on one floor, while you take out the enemies on the floors above. It's really nice.

Screenshot for Epsilon on PC

After choosing tactics, the squad can be equipped with one primary and one secondary weapon, both of which can have two attachments. There's not a big selection of weapons yet, and choosing anything other than just the standard assault rifle and pistol is pointless, since squad members can only use their primary weapon (one of the assault rifles or a shotgun). In fact, equipping them with anything else would be a security hazard at this point, because they miss enemies a bit too much, even when they're standing right in front of them - or shoot enemies as soon as they spot them. As for armour and tactical items, they will be available in the future.

Once the mission has started, you'll find it's quite fun to choose where to go and what to do first, though the enemy AI needs work, since they simply stay put instead of flanking the player team or doing anything tactical. Sometimes they even surrender when they could just run to notify their friends of your presence. However, there is danger in being spotted nonetheless, as enemies quickly do much damage, and healing is impossible. That necessitates using a camera to peek under doors, and to order the squad to stay put beside the door in order to clear the room. It feels much like an unfinished Rainbow Six: Vegas 2.

Screenshot for Epsilon on PC

Final Thoughts

Yes, the game needs a lot of work - even the control scheme could be more intuitive, putting different functions under one button, for instance. Some context functions should also be added, such as telling the squad from a distance to target enemies, open doors or breach and clear. There are also a few bugs, such as captors killing hostages out of the blue when the squad wasn't even spotted. Having said that, the concept is clear, and the presentation is at least done well (with the exception of the enemies' voice acting). Everything looks sharp and colourful like a cel-shaded Tom Clancy title. The real question is, which gameplay functions will Serellan add in the future, because that could make or break Epsilon. Hopefully, it will be the former.

Developer

Serellan

Publisher

Serellan

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  n/a

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date None   Australian release date Out now   

Comments

I really want to own this game right now

Looks like a fun tactical game to play, I will check it out.

Just keep in mind that it's early access, it's not even close to being a game yet. As I recall, it's pretty minimal in terms of gameplay functions, and obviously it needs a lot of work, probably could use more atmosphere too now that I recall what the levels looked like. It's been a while since I last played it.

But yeah, it's got potential. It can't hurt to buy it just to support the developers, I suppose. Not that I'm advertising their stuff, lol - just interested in what the end result will be.

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