First Strike: Final Hour (PC) Review

By Renan Fontes 26.06.2017

Review for First Strike: Final Hour on PC

Originally released as an iOS title, First Strike was a single player RTS based around destroying every nation on Earth through nuclear warfare so as to be the only Superpower remaining. The morbid premise and generally short length of any given campaign made it a natural fit for any iOS device. In its move to Steam, and with a higher price tag to boot, First Strike: Final Hour doesn't have the luxury of bite sized content. For a full PC release, it'll need to bring out the big guns to standout in a sea of great RTSs.

At first glance, it seems that Blindflug Studios hasn't changed or added much in porting First Strike to Steam and, unfortunately, that's exactly what's happened.

This might not seem like a big deal for fans of the original as it at least ensures that the core mechanics aren't being tinkered with, but it does now mean that there are two near-identical versions of the same game and one of them is significantly more expensive than the other.

It's a shame that there wasn't more of an effort put into preparing First Strike: Final Hour for its PC release, because what is present isn't exactly bad. Picking a country to play as, building nukes, and expanding territory is an effortless and fun way to kill an hour.

As little was changed, however, this does mean the campaign suffers from being far too simple. Since it was designed as an iOS title first and foremost, there's plenty of attention put into making sure a match isn't too time consuming taxing. Unfortunately, while this works quite well for a mobile device, it doesn't translate to PC.

Matches feel shallow and repetitive, making it clear that the arms race wasn't meant to be won in a single sitting but throughout the course of the day. It's exciting enough to build up an army of nukes and unleash them onto the world, but it loses its flair by the fifth time it happens within the span of fifteen minutes.

Screenshot for First Strike: Final Hour on PC

Simplicity doesn't have to be bad, though. In fact, it could help newcomers ease their way into the genre but First Strike: Final Hour doesn't do that well, either. Very little is actually explained and given context. There's a research system where nations can develop new missiles and decrease cool down times but it's given very little fanfare. Diplomacy should naturally play a big role in an RTS about nuclear annihilation, but it feels like it never amounts to anything. Initial playthroughs will be bogged down by pure trial and error.

Content-wise, First Strike is as barebones as they come. The premise lends itself to multiplayer, but matches are locked to being exclusively single player, a turnover from its iOS release. There are in-game achievements that encourage trying out different nations and winning a certain number of times, but they don't even come close to replacing a proper mission system.

With little in the way of additional content and refined gameplay, First Strike: Final Hour feels scattered more than anything. It's an incredibly faithful port which ends up being its detriment. For a proper Steam release, Blindflug Studios should have either added more depth and strategy to the gameplay, or added new modes to kill time in. Even if they had just included multiplayer, there would be a reason to purchase the PC release over the iOS. As it stands, though, Final Hour offers nothing the original didn't already for a more affordable value.

Screenshot for First Strike: Final Hour on PC

Cubed3 Rating

4/10
Rated 4 out of 10

Subpar

As creative as First Strike: Final Hour is, it suffers from a lack of necessary strategy, barebones content, and high price tag compared to its iOS counterpart. The RTS elements boil down to clicking "defend" at the right time while leisurely alternating between researching and building missiles, which works for a mobile device, but not a full PC release. A lack of multiplayer, dedicated scenarios, and a proper mission system hold First Strike back immensely, as simply playing matches with different regions gets boring fast. While the core is enjoyable for what it is, it's unengaging and ends up feeling too basic. What should have been an intense arms race ends up being nowhere near as explosive as it could have been.

Developer

Blindflug Studios AG

Publisher

Blindflug Studios AG

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  4/10

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   

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