First thoughts, boy this game has a somewhat ironic title, when you get down to what those two words mean. But what “is” Happy Wars?
Well Happy Wars is a somewhat addictive action game, whose main antagonists, and protagonists are, now that I think about it I have no clue as to what they’re supposed to be, so I’ll just call them toy people. The basic gameplay seems somewhat derived from the ancient and lost game known as Star Wars: Battlefront, or Team Fortress, depending on how pedantic you want to be. For those that are unfamiliar, set points in the game map are seized by each team and are then fought over until one team hold them all, the exception is that in Happy Wars the game usually ends when one teams castle is overrun. For the purpose of this task players can take control of little Warriors, Clerics, and Mages, I am going with the assumption that most people understand the whole, Melee/Healer/Range attacker system.
All of this is in online matches with an average 28 player limit, and 6 above average sized maps, all with very different themes. Though since the games release a few days ago it has become abhorrently clear to most players that the online support is lacking, with connections dropping being an almost casual occurrence. A fix to this problem is supposedly being worked on, but this could mean anything, as I personally have never heard of ToyLogic before, so their business ethics could be akin to Sega’s, or EA’s, but I digress.
If the online isn’t enough there is even a little campaign mode which has its chapters unlocked periodically at every 5 ranks of the famous leveling system, nothing too complex or new. The plot, without revealing much, not that there is much to reveal, is pretty standard. Two kingdoms, one for dark one for light, evil looking man steals princess, heroes go to rescue princess, etc, etc. Because, you know, it works, and why fix something that isn’t broken, even if it is clichéd.
To add to this list there is even a “large” list of armours and weapons that would make even the most sub-standard RPG nonchalantly leave the room for fear of being referenced. Its not that its bad, its just that it’s the classic post expansion warcraft syndrome. New stats, same skins. But as far as arcade games go they put more an effort into it than some others I could mention.
You’re probably thinking now, “After you’ve been less than generous with the compliments here, why in gods name would I ever consider buying this thing?” or, at least I presume that is what you’re thinking. Regardless, the tipping point on the scales here is the fact that it is 100% free! Well…free if you don’t mind looking away from the micro payment portion of the game, which is just a few non essentials. Oh, and if you also have a paid for Xbox account subscription.
Either way Microsoft hasn’t exactly made a game which is a must play, it isn’t even a should play. But for the low, low price of nothing, who can complain about it. Its almost perfect for what it is, and because of that, I don’t think its too much that you humour Microsoft by sparing the bandwidth to download a gigabite or so of informations. You might even have fun, God knows I accidentally did.
Happy Wars is available now via the Xbox Live Arcade Marketplace.