In the free to play panorama the MOBA genre continues to depopulate, and Lucid, an independent video game and app developer, has decided to offer the public a title in line with this trend. We are talking about Switchblade, game still under development but already available in early access on PlayStation Store. In Switchblade, our goal will be to face the opposing team within a symmetrical arena, trying to destroy their control towers (and defend ours) within time, all driving futuristic vehicles armed with cannons and machine guns.
After starting the game we will find ourselves in the initial menu, a real HUB in which to manage our pilot, of which we can choose appearance and clothing to distinguish ourselves from the other players. By moving the character, we will be able to choose which section to interact with. At the center of the HUB is the access to the Arena. Before embarking on the real challenges, we will have to follow a tutorial section (a bit too long), in order to familiarize yourself with the controls and rules of the game. Once this is done we will be ready to do battle.
The clashes in Switchblade they are conceptually simple: our main task is to escort the Helpers, small bots that depart from our base to weaken the opponent's defenses. Once the shields of the towers are deactivated, we will be able to target the energy core until they explode. The interesting part is the strategic management of the vehicles that we will use, since each vehicle has unique abilities and characteristics, to be used functionally during the fight. While the system prepares the match by joining the Lion team or the Sharks tem, it is possible to select two vehicles among the 16 available, divided into five categories: Scout, Fighter, Armored, Artillery e Support. This choice will be essential to create a balanced and adaptable team. During the match we will be able to alternate the use of the two chosen vehicles, as well as for strategic reasons, also to have a healthy vehicle in case the first starts to suffer too much damage.
By accumulating points over the course of the game, we will be able to unlock upgrades for secondary weapons and super weapons: our tricks up our sleeves to take advantage of the enemy. Despite the arsenal available, it will be common to find ourselves having to wait for the return following our elimination by an opponent. Switchblade it also provides for the introduction of extra time, given that it will often happen to be in a stalemate and parity within minutes of the timer expiring. The management of game times is unfortunately still a bit limp: we go from long waits to frenetic actions, often ending up in the exhausting repetition of the allied field-enemy field without the fate of the game being altered. To remedy this unpleasant situation, however, comes team play, essential to ensure dynamic and more fluid matches.
As for the visual impact Switchblade it does not offer anything particularly innovative or amazing, but the environments are well made, and with a little training even the appearance of the vehicles allows for identification by the player, without having to read the summary of its characteristics every time . One thing that may not be appreciated is the massive presence of writings and messages that will appear on the screen during the matches, which in the most competitive matches could result in a fatal distraction for the player.
Lucid has seen fit to also include the possibility of participating in competitive ranked matches, giving away skins and other prizes in game currency. Unfortunately this mode is not yet active and the lack of online players at the moment force us to play for the most part in the company of bots that certainly do not shine for strategic skills. However, there are already some online communities that allow players to meet and have fun in more challenging matches. At launch, the competitive mode will be fully unlocked, along with new maps and vehicles that will be released with various updates.
To incentivize players to access Switchblade, there are daily rewards and challenges to increase the coins in our possession. As already mentioned, however, the game is still in the early access phase and many features will be improved and added at launch. For now the MOBA of Lucid however, it allows you to have fun without too many pretensions and without disappointing the player, but will have to elbow the competition a lot to secure a place in an extremely competitive market, that of MOBAs.
Switchblade will be available on PlayStation 4 and PC platforms via Steam.