AI WAR 2 (PC) Review

By Eric Ace 14.04.2022

Review for AI WAR 2 on PC

Going a different direction than most strategy games, AI WAR 2 has players thrown into an 'end game' of sorts where the AI has already conquered the map, and you have one little force that somehow has to take everything else back. If you stand out too much though, the AI will 'awaken' and come destroy you, thus forcing a give and take about how fast to move and where to prioritize.

While innovation in the strategy genre is somewhat of a rarity, AI WAR 2 shows it does not necessarily need to be, if only they could have got more of it right. This takes place in a sci-fi universe where an artificial intelligence has taken over, and all that is left is a very small force that the player starts with. The AI has gone dormant, and any small attacks the player does early can be gotten away with, but every action awakens a little more of the AI's power. The concept is pretty cool and unique. Fighting against a huge, overwhelming enemy, and picking careful battles is a new idea in strategy games that far too often amount to "everyone starts with one base and one unit." For this reason alone, it is novel, if nothing else…

Largely though, this fails to be entertaining despite the great setup it set out with. Some of the problems are its incredible difficult learning curve, how unnecessarily complicated it is, and the lack of feeling of progression. To be blunt, there is so much going on, with most of it not even necessary. There are hundreds of different ships and defences, all of them with different weapon types, ranges, hit points, strategy and so on. Great! right? Not so fast. In the end everything just "deathballs" around anyway, so any sort of nuance of having elaborate types of ships goes out the window.

Screenshot for AI WAR 2 on PC

Furthermore, any type of conventional strategy such as building up bases, teching-up, and so on, does not exist in any sort of conventional sense. This is one of the major complaints as well. Given resources ships will auto spawn out of certain constructors - and that's it. No cool ship design or slapping the latest photon torpedoes on that shiny new vehicle. Another regrettable decision is to have so much content right up front for the player in the form of upgrades. At any time from the beginning, players can use their sizable (if limited) stack of resources to instantly upgrade certain types of ships, and this amounts to the 'progress' or research in here. A strategy title without research often has one foot in the grave to begin with, and this is no exception.

Other than making it next to impossible for new players to do well (after all, which of the 20-50 ships should one have upgraded?) there is zero sense of progression. So many titles live or die on the feeling of players getting 'somewhere.' Whether it is crazy weapons that can hit from screens away, new engines, crazy new ships, or whatever, none of it happens here. Numbers go up, and that's it. In the end, playing through this was mostly just a disappointment in wanting it to be something else. Min-max type players might enjoy its puzzle-y nature, but conventional strategy fans are going to be put off by the huge learning curve, and the lack of progression or any sense of infrastructure or ownership in what is occurring.

Screenshot for AI WAR 2 on PC

Cubed3 Rating

5/10
Rated 5 out of 10

Average

AI WAR 2 is the type of game that would normally be very good. The concept and guerrilla warfare are both interesting ideas. However, this just doesn't really click or feel that interesting. Given players have access to so much stuff from the beginning, there is no sense of progression which might be the largest killer, if not the steep learning curve. Some might really enjoy it, but general strategy players won't want to hop through all the hoops.

Developer

Arcen Games, LLC

Publisher

Arcen Games, LLC

Genre

Strategy

Players

1

C3 Score

Rated $score out of 10  5/10

Reader Score

Rated $score out of 10  0 (0 Votes)

European release date Out now   North America release date Out now   Japan release date Out now   Australian release date Out now   

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