Preview: Landfall – Mechanised Tabletop Warfare

Force Field brings its expertise to the VR RTS genre.

Real-time strategy (RTS) titles come in all shapes and sizes for virtual reality (VR) headsets. From the tower defense style of Defense Grid 2 and Kittypocalypseto the tabletop style of Zombie City Defense 2 or Final Approach, for gamers that enjoy tactical video games there’s something to suit almost everyone. But one thing most of these currently have in common is the fact they’re all single-player experiences, so its just you versus AI. Force Field is looking to change that with Landfall, an RTS that aims to cover all the bases.

Landfall is your traditional top down warfare video game in which you need to capture objectives, hold points, blow critical areas up or just annihilate the enemy. To do this you’re not tasked with managing resources, troops or anything tedious, it’s all about getting into the action yourself by controlling your own character. With your single solitary soldier you’ll be able to unleash carnage alongside loads of AI controlled troops.

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Force Field is going for a much more arcade affair, enabling you to run amok through richly detailed battlefields with an assortment of weaponry. To begin with you’ll start armed with a machine gun, picking up grenades that are dropped in. As you progress, gaining XP and leveling up you’ll be able to unlock better load outs within three classes, Light, Medium and Heavy, all with their own advantages and disadvantages. Just to make it more fun these load outs also come with Mechs, and careful use of these hulking war machines can turn the tide of battle.

When battles begin your character has an empty green bar around their feet, over time this fills, and once complete your mech can be airlifted in. Each mech features its own load out, with a primary weapon and secondary defence that charges. These are tailored to allow different strategies to be employed, some are better at taking out troops while others are more specialised for mech destruction. Being able to mix up the game play between these two styles adds to the frantic action already taking place, but at times this does descend into a war of attrition.

This is easily seen in the multiplayer skirmishes which is one of Landfalls party pieces. Aside from a single-player campaign, there is a co-op mode and a versus mode. In versus you’ll be able to go one-on-one or two-on-two. Objectives are in essence the same as those found in the solo campaign, but this time players surround a singular battlefield, usually with one side defending and the other attacking. While all the modes offered a reasonable amount of variety, two-on-two multiplayer was certainly the best showcase for Landfall. When there’s four mechs on the ground, objectives to be completed and ordinance flying everywhere, it can be an intensely engaging experience.

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When VRFocus previously reported on Landfall it was touted as an Oculus Touch title, this is somewhat true in that the video game will support the controllers, just not the motion side of things by the looks of it, as the game was entirely played using the Xbox One controller. Force Field has a solid foundation for its first VR experience on Oculus Rift, with first impressions of Landfall being good as the version played was an early beta. In its current form the gameplay is repetitive but shows a lot of promise, especially on the multiplayer.

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