NS Review – War Tech Fighters (Switch)


Smacking down spaceships and epic outer space sword fights in giant mechs, this is War Tech Fighters. Meshing together anime style craziness with some Hollywood style beat down snippets mid gameplay in a fantastic mix of fast paced franticness and exploration through stunning environments.

However the first thing you’re treated to when you boot War Tech Fighters unfortunately is some hefty loading, you might want to go make a cup of tea. Once you’ve got your cuppa you’re thrown right into an outer space dogfight. After a confusing but awesome battle you pick your war tech out of light, medium and heavy, this isn’t a big deal as the parts make your giant mech (known as a war tech) are pic’n’mix style. It took me awhile to work out but you mostly play as a war tech pilot from Hebos fighting against the tyranny of Zatros.

The war techs are super cool.

The gameplay is simply fantastic, your war tech is easy control and responsive but still feels weighty and like you are in space without being realistic with interia. There’s a soft lock on feature that allows you to auto lock onto enemies in your sights, this is extremely handy as you’ll be swatting smaller enemy ships away like bugs.

You use the same 4 weapons through the game, light and heavy gun attacks, homing missiles and a quantum wave which is unlockes a third of the way through the game and disables enemies but can only be used when you have full energy. Do not forget about the quantum wave as it can lead to a very frustrating time. The quantum wave is the only way to disable a lot of force fields so your stuck if you forget about it. Every weapon uses a different amount of energy, run out and you can’t attack or use you’re boosters to make a quick escape so midbattle energy management is vital.

Kamehameha!

Once you’ve beaten an enemy to pulp and have them in your sights you can execute them by pressing X this gives a super quick scene where you kill in enemy in a multitude of different ways with the added bonus of regaining energy and health. These look pretty flashy and don’t break up the pace of the battle making them a unique and entertaining mechanic in War Tech Fighters.

Out of the way worm.

You can get up close and personal when fighting other war techs by pressing X when close to them. This starts an extremely simple sword fight with light and heavy attacks, a shield and moving sideways to dodge but damn it looks cool.

There’s a lot of different enemy types to destroy in your travels, though in the heat battle all you can tell is it’s either a small ship, a medium ship, a giant destroyer, a war tech or a satellite. Don’t let this fool you into thinking it’s samey and boring as the different enemies have different speeds, weaponry, armour etc.

Just epic.

In War Tech Fighters you don’t just mindlessly destroy everything in your path arcade style, gameplay is mixed up by having to search for terminals and hack systems through rotating the analogue sticks. This can be seen as either a nice change of pace or getting in the way of the flow of battle. Missions also vary greatly keeping things interesting, there’s escort missions, scavenging missions, destroying giant space stations, missions close to a sun where you need to stay hidden from its destructive rays and missions where you play as other pilots in different war techs.

Hard is the default difficulty but I quickly changed it to normal as you’ll be moseying about space harmlessly executing enemy ships when one ship will get close and just gun you down within a few seconds. Luckily the mission restarts at the last of the numerous checkpoints, your biggest reason to stay alive is to avoid the uber long loading time of said restart.

Not just a mindless warrior but hacker extraodinaire too.

Through the missions you are treated to a few beautiful albeit short cutscenes giving story added to the rather large database you slowly unlock giving all the back story including information about the NPCs. This gives you the option to discover all the lore behind Hebos and help you actually care what’s going on instead of just being a glorified exterminator in a giant robot.

Your war tech has 7 stats affected by the parts you have equipped so you won’t get bogged down in stats. Speaking of parts there’s a good few, I counted 13 different types of arms that each contain up to 10 upgraded models. There’s a hell of a lot of upgrades available including improving aiming, fire power, energy usage and more. Many of the upgrades need you to find hidden projects within a mission, luckily missions are replayable and let you know how many projects are still hidden within a level. This is important as the best war techs are complete sets unlocked with hidden projects.

I love that each mission begins with a launch sequence.

For an indie I think War Tech Fighters looks spectacular with your war tech being extremely detailed and looking absolutely gorgeous. Theres a first person mode for purists but when your war tech looks this good I want to be able to see it. I actually enjoyed just looking around the environment and the black hole the game starts at is just one of the many beautiful backdrops I found myself stopping to look it. I love the visual effects and was genuinely blown away by simple things like how mines explode like fireworks, I found beauty in most corners of the game and actually began to start forgiving the teatime loads as I appreciated the art style so much. I do have to admit I’m a bit of a sucker for a picturesque view of outer space though. Not all objects look as stunning as your war tech and the backdrop though, many of the spaceships you encounter look plan and lack detail. It seems pretty obvious that it was originally made for PC as the font is teeny weeny so you might struggle to actually read anything if you’re a wee bit hard if sight.

No time to stop and appreciate this planet.

If the visual treat of making an enemy go kaboom isn’t enough there are constant satisfying auditory explosions in War Tech Fighters. The sound effects make all the ships and war techs sound weighty and add greatly to the immersion of the game. The music generally sets the scene quite well from rock music in battle sequences to more Hollywood style epic tunes, I definitely appreciated a few different songs in the game.

KaBOOM!

If mechs are your thing then you want War Tech Fighters, it’s fun, got a great mix of fast paced action and exploration and the war techs look amazing. It’s looking like I’ll be playing War Tech Fighters for over 20 hours to complete all the missions so it’s got decent value for money and is great for pick up and play sessions because of the simple weaponry involved. The biggest negative apart from the colossal loading is that this is the first game on Switch that I’ve actually turned off the excellent rumble as it’s loud and annoying. The biggest compliment I can give is that I happily put way more time into War Tech Fighters than Mario Maker 2 when they launched at the same time.

War Tech Fighters is available digitally on Nintendo Switch eShop from 27th June 2019 for £15.99/€17.99/$19.99. Thank you to Blowfish Studios for providing the review code.

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