Forts – Build up and Break Down

With an interesting take on the Real Time Strategy genre, EarthWork Games’ Forts brings waging war on towers to a whole new level. Build ’em, break ’em, blast ’em, the goal is to protect your tower and destroy the other. There’s so many things to build and strategies to employ, no game is going to be the same.

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Forts is a physics based Action RTS where you build and arm your own bases to destroy foe’s to claim victory. In a similar fashion to Bridge Builder, the player can construct their fort by building out wood and metal girders, which provide the superstructures. Angles come into play not only in the structure for support, but in terms of defense as well. For example, a metal beam will hold more load, but also prevents any machine gun fire. Plus, if the enemy upgrades a sniper to armor piercing rounds, a correctly built wall can deflect the rounds just as tank armor deflects. As the building is being erected, the direction and structure is based around the core Reactor. If damaged, the entire structure explodes and the game is over.

Gameplay

With live and real time strategy as the core mechanic, the skill and tactics of the player make a massive difference in how each game takes place. Do you opt to build a lot of defense around your reactor, and make it impervious? What about making a low and flat structure to prevent any way for it to topple over? Instead maybe an all-out aggressive play makes sense and you build a very tall tower with lots of guns. Each situation can and will call for different strategies. In order to build your tower, resources need to be collected. This is done by workers in mines. As they collect resources, it allows building to begin. In addition, turbines are needed to provide energy resources. These however, can be destroyed by the enemy to deny economy growth. Having a tactic that focuses on denying resources could be an effective way to boost your own growth and dominance.

With the ability to link and chain each of the 10 weapons together, the player can create an all out barrage of damage directed at the enemy. These weapons include a powerful laser, machine gun, and rocket launcher. By traversing the tech tree in each instance, different decisions can lead you to victory.

When playing against other real players, there can be up to 8 participants in the PvP battle, on two teams. An interesting aspect is even though you have multiple people, you could share the forts between them all. As a team you can work toward upgrading your weapons, fortifying your base against the onslaught of attacks, and plan. Perhaps one person focuses on building a great defense while another focuses on offence. The choices are limitless.

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Campaign

Single player is still very much an option in Forts. There is a very in depth and long lasting campaign planned for the game. There are three difficulties, with each tied to one country. Easy mode is USA, Medium is Russia, and Hard is China. It doesn’t end with the different countries as the main drivers, there are medals to be earned as well. In a map system that reminds me of Advance Wars, in Forts you move from region to region completing different locations in each. This provides an interestingly linear, non linear story. For example, you can must unlock the southern part of Africa as a region before moving onto the northern portion. However, within this region are multiple locations you must fight. If there are 12 medals available for the region, and you only need 6 to move on, it’s possible to complete Southern Africa with only two missions completed. While a bit confusing to describe, seeing it implemented is wonderful and simple.

Replay Value

When asked about the viability of replay, EarthWork Games talked about a few features that will encourage the campaign to be taken on again and again. If you’re one to be at the top of a leader board, then you’ll be excited to know that this is in the plans. If you’re all about those achievements, Forts will have Steam achievements available as well. I’m told that even just the campaign difficulties will be tailored to provide a real challenge for even a veteran gamer.

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Be sure to head over to EarthWork Games to sign up for updates and follow their social media if this Real Time Strategy Building game sounds interesting!

About The Author

Bobby C
Director, Editorial/Reviews

Bobby C is a veteran FPS and adventure gamer, starting with the NES and Super Mario Bros. The game that really started his love for the FPS Genre was Goldeneye for the N64. Since then, the love grew. From casual, to semi-pro COD with Modern Warfare 2 and 3, and back to casual, it’s a bad week when there isn’t at least 15 hours of games played.