developer: DR Studios
publisher: 505 Games
Game mode: massive online multiplayer
Multiplayer mode: Internet
Battle Islands: Commanders for PC, PS4 and XONE is a simple strategy game focusing on quick PvP duels; the game is a free-to-play title, though optional microtransactions are included. The product is another creation of DR Studios (formerly Deep Red Games), which is a developer popular for such free-to-play games as Battle Ages, Mythic Islands, as well as the predecessor to this particular game – Battle Islands. Similar to these previously released titles, Battle Islands: Commanders was published by 505 Games.
The game world is based loosely on the realities of World War II. Because quick and exciting encounters between players constitute the core of the experience, the plot has no major significance, despite providing the contex for how the battlefields and particular units look like.
Battle Islands: Commanders for PC, PS4 and XONE delivers a simplicity-driven RTS experience. The players fight quick duels (lasting 4 minutes tops) against others on small battlefields that fit on a TV or monitor screen. Each of the players begins with a Warship berthed at an edge of the map, as well as two Command Bunkers defending their line on the coast. Victory can be achieved in two ways: through destroying another player's Warship, or being in possession of more Bunkers than the enemy when the time of the given round runs out.
The battles are fought here with units, structures, and support abilities, which can be distributed throughout the map or dropped in particular places. Placing a unit on the map or using an ability costs a specific number of Command Points. The number of these points is being replenished during battles, at a constant pace. As a result, one cannot drop a rain of different units at the enemy – instead, the player has to use the points carefully. After 2 minutes into the game, the points are distributed much faster, which improves the dynamism significantly. What kind of units can be placed on the map at a specific moment depends on the player's ruff – it is a kind of a deck consisting of up to 8 different cards; each card represents a different kind of a unit, building or an ability. When the player wants to send another unit to battle, the game allows them to choose one of the four cards picked randomly from the ruff. Once a card has been used, it gets replaced with another one, coming from the same source.
Contrary to the classic RTS games, the player cannot control each move of their units manually in Battle Islands: Commanders. When the player has sent a unit to battle, it takes the shortest path to the enemy base automatically and attacks the hostiles on its way. One has to remember, that not all in-game units work the same way their real-existing predecessors do. When seeing the enemy's lightweight tanks approaching, the veterans of RTS games may involuntarily send against them Medium Tanks that resemble Shermans. This, however, will result in watching the player's tanks passing by the enemy forces and going towards the closest enemy structures, because this is the only kind of a target such tanks can attack in the game.
Victories are rewared here with chests containing resources, new kinds of units, as well as additional cards for the types one already owns. When the player has more than one card of the same kind, they can be connected together in order to promote the unit; this process requires additionally a certain amount of resources. When a unit gets promoted, it receives bonuses improving the attack power, health, or other stats. As the player reaches subsequent experience levels, so do Warships and Bunkers. Climbing the military ladder also gives access to new warfare theaters, which practically means discovering completely new kinds of cards.
PvP duels constitute the basic game mode included in Battle Islands: Commanders for PC, PS4 and XONE. Also, the game offers the training battle mode (against the AI), which is useful when the player needs to put new kinds of units to a test or simply wishes to improve their skills.
The game offers cartoonish, exaggerated visuals resembling animated movies for young viewers. The color palette is bright and diverse, far from shades of gray usually dominant in strategies set during World-War II.
PC / Windows
Minimum: Intel Core i3 2.5 GHz, 4 GB RAM, graphic card Intel HD Graphics or better, 2 GB HDD, Windows 7