: Review is complete now. Played through the game in its entirety. Additions are in italics.
First things first, the price is right. Regardless of quality, you can seldom go wrong when you see a price like this. The art style of the game is fantastic. It's not something I'd expect from a game with a price tag this low.
The second thing I noticed is the music. I spent some time sitting at the main menu eating my lunch before I got into playing, just listening to the music. Many people don't realize it, but music is a very important aspect to both film and games, and it helps set the mood. XCOM, for example. in the height of combat, features a pounding bassline. Depending on your preference, Antisquad one-ups it, opting for a full symphony orchestra, to accomplish the same thing and more.
Third, the game sets you off with an optional tutorial, making it easy for players new to the genre to pickup the game and get playing. Many of the old games in the genre don't do much in the way of training, and instead require you to read through enormous manuals (think X-com UFO Defense and Jagged Alliance 2),
Alright, first off, this game utlizes the Action Point system, like Jagged Alliance and X-Com: UFO Def, it does not use movement style of XCOM:EU/EW, which makes perfect sense, certain classes would be hilariously over/underpowered otherwise. Speaking of classes, there are eight characters to choose from, making up five different classes (the classes that double-up have unique abilities which make them different than the character who shares its class), and all of them have their place. Squad size is limited to three, as a result, different character combinations will all yield extremely different styles of play.
As for general play itself, there is no hit/miss system, nor cover system. So when it comes to tactical elements, your options are to just skirt outside enemy sight range, and to kite the enemy. You have vision over entire
map, which allows you to set a plan of attack, and a plan is definitely needed. Enemies, as far as I can tell, have comparable stats, the only advantages you have are your unique character abilities, and the ability to revive your fallen allies. Needless to say, these advantages are absolutely critical to mission success, due to the fact that on the hardest difficulty, hell, you are hilariously outnumbered and outgunned.
As for character progression, you earn gold with the completion of each mission and for each enemy you kill. (Be warned, if you fail a mission you may actually lose gold, so avoid biting off more than you can chew, and keep to the lower difficulties at first if you just want to progress through the game). With you gold you can upgrade your characters' weapons, armor, as well as individual stats, such as health, number of actions points, etc. It can also be used to purchase consumables such as health packs, temporary stat boosts, etc. Complaints
One of my minor complaints with the game thus far, is the inability to alter the control scheme in-game. The game currently offers a launcher in which you can adjust video quality, resolution, and your controls, but nothing the actual game has been launched.
Another problem I have is that you can get gold by posting on twitter and facebook. The game doesn't go out of its way to shove twitter and facebook integration down your throat, it just mentions it casually, but I tend to dislike games that provide advantages by using social media. (Though I can't blame the developers wanting to get the word out about their game!)
After progressing through the game, the quality of dialogue has deteriorated immensely. Some games I play for the story, others for the gameplay, some for both. This game falls more in the middle of those three categories, so it's not an end-all. The game tries
to have a story, and it's not too difficult to make sense of, it's just not put together very well in that regard, though it can very easily be fixed in later patches.Having beaten the game on "Hell" difficulty (the hardest difficulty), there needs to be an additional difficulty unlocked once you've beaten all missions on "Hell", it's just too easy once your squad is upgraded. Every single mission is effortless, with the exception of one, Losing Control. That mission is absurdly difficult, even with a fully upgraded squad. If every mission were around that level of difficulty on the next difficulty setting, the game would be incredibly challenging.
Lastly, there are bugs here and there, which is to expected in beta. I haven't encountered any bugs in actual gameplay, only in the menus, which is great, as it hasn't impeded my gameplay. The bug: skills and stats can be upgraded. Action points can be upgraded 8 times, +5 each time. I believe I was only able to upgrade it 7 times on one character, yet it yielded +10 on one upgrade, so technically the end result was the same, just getting there was just quicker. I have encountered another bug which does effect character stats: if you have a soldier with an upgraded weapon and/or armor, and they drop into a bleedout, upon revival they lose the stats from the items for the remainer of the mission (though this makes perfect sense and is fair were it intended).tl;dr
All in all, it's a fun game, with lots of replayability. If you're even the slightest bit interested in the genre, you can't go wrong with picking this up, especially for the price. Hell, I've already spent 20 hours on the game, a 1:5 dollars spent:hours played ratio. I definitely got my moneys worth, even if I am mostly done playing the game until the next update.