GoD Factory: Wingmen is a new, ambitious multiplayer game from the creative minds at Nine Dot Studio. It harkens back to the days of X-Wing and Tie Fighter and looks to blend that style of epic space combat, with modern advances in terms of both objectives, but also PvP combat. In some ways it succeeds in bridging the age gap, but there also feels like a real lack of substance in what's offered in the package.
The core experience in GoD Factory: Wingmen relates to 4 vs 4 combat. You have a singular goal "“ destroy your opponent's carrier before they destroy yours. And as you might expect, this is considerably harder than it sounds.
Carries are made up of lots of different components and they each have important roles to play. While active, they will provide standard levels of performance, but when they are damaged, there will be some serious changes to the gameplay. For example, one of the components is the carrier's massive gun. This fires periodically and helps to provide a consistent flow of damage to the opponent's carrier. Should this component be damaged however, the rate of fire will slow, giving the opposition team a clear advantage.
Similar effects can be witnessed from damaging other components and it does change everything. It should also be noted that if you are unable to damage the carrier yourself, this gun will also end the game after a certain amount of time due to chip damage. It's the damage you do on top of this that will determine the outcome of each match.
With there being four players per team, the dynamic can be rather interesting. You have to make clear decisions as to who is going to attack and defend, with different ship types being better at one or the other. Should you choose to attack, you will obviously have to content with numerous obstacles: opposition ships, carrier defences and attempting to destroy the individual components. It can make for a rather hectic experience.
You will also need to figure out when you want to dash between the carriers, as there's quite a bit void between them. Ships come with limited ammo supplies and you will often need to return to your own carrier's dock to both restore ammo and shields. You do get two ships per battle, and you can switch between them, but the game is quite relentless when it comes to punishing you for dying. If you can't make it back to your carrier before you die, that ship is lost and you end up having to use the default ships "“ they are terrible in comparison. It means you really have to be careful when it comes to looking after your assets "“ you do get unlimited lives, but not unlimited customised ships. It's not all doom and gloom though, as you are allowed to use ships of other team mates, as long as they give you permission.
The tutorial helps to make sure you are prepared to be thrown into the arena, but it might be worth trying out some matches against bots first. This will at least give you a feel for what the game is really like, as the tutorial comes across as very stop/start and lacks any real engagement.
When attempting to play the game against bots, or live opponents, you will also get a much better idea about the ships and what they are capable of. The tutorial doesn't ever put you under too much pressure and once you get into live combat, you quickly learn that you need some kind of gamepad/joystick to get the full experience. Despite the developer's best interests, playing with a mouse/keyboard combination feels clunky and it just doesn't provide the slick, silky experience that I'm sure they were hoping for.
Irrespective of handling, you are given an array of evasive moves you can perform, and you are also given a selection of weapons to rain down on opponents. The selection here, as well as with other parts of your ships, is impressive and you only have to look at the store to see that this is where the game's real longevity comes from.
GoD Factory: Wingmen is certainly able to scratch that MOBA space sim itch, but in the face of such stiff competition it does little to stand out in other ways. With only one game mode currently offered, it does little to draw you in and while there are merits to what has been accomplished, it doesn't ever get beyond feeling anything other than average.
|How extensive the shop is.|
|Destroying ship components comes with a sense of satisfaction.|
|Looks decent graphically.|
|Not enough players to take advantage of what the game offers.|
|Gameplay doesn't translate well to mouse/keyboard.|
|Only one game mode at present.|