Since I discovered the world of gaming at a very young age, I spend most of my time trying out various games. However, the current game scene has left me a little disappointed and jaded, or maybe I’m getting old.
But to be more specific, I’m talking about games from Triple-A developers who continually release games that have the same feeling, telling and rehashing stories as old as time. For those unfamiliar with the jargon of the game: Triple-A is a term coined by the community, referring to developers with a large budget for marketing and development.
So I started to find more fun in indie games, created by smaller teams with smaller budgets. Phasmophobia, a ghost hunting game, is a stellar example of an indie game. At one point, the game also peaked at over 112,000 players. It was made by a single developer and I have invested over 87 hours in the game (and I don’t plan on stopping yet).
The point is, while Triple-A games push back on repetitive games, indie developers have set out to break the mold. And that’s what I think Ammobox Studios, a Malaysian game studio, wanted to do with Eximius: Seize The Frontline.
The same cake with a new ingredient
While Eximius’ full name might be a mouthful, the gameplay is pretty straightforward.
You play as a soldier in one of the game’s two opposing military factions who fight to be the dominant military power in the game world. And that’s about it for the story.
But, what makes the game interesting to me is its choice of genre. Instead of going for the FPS shooter at the standard price, the developers opted to create a multi-genre game, adding RTS into the mix.
The more you know: FPS stands for First Person Shooter. FPS games are gun-based combat simulators from a first person perspective. Popular examples of FPS games are games such as Call of Duty, Valorant, and Counter-Strike.
Meanwhile, RTS stands for Real Time Strategy. RTS games generally require the player to manage resources in real time and command armies to win battles. Games like Starcraft, Command & Conquer, and Age of Empires are examples of RTS games.
Basically, the gameplay of Eximius is separated into two different genres. When you enter a game, whether with real players or with an AI, you have the choice of playing as an officer or a commander in a 5V5 PvP (player VS player). 4 players from each team will play as an officer and 1 player will be appointed as a commander.
Not just a soldier on the battlefield
The two roles play the game a little differently. As an officer your job is to shoot enemies and maintain targets. Holding more places will give your team more points and the team with the most points at the end of the game will win.
You have access to a variety of weapons and weapons that could turn the battle in your favor. But even if you are the best marksman in the world, if you don’t have the right reinforcements, you could find yourself surrounded during a firefight. This is where the commander steps in to save the day.
As a Commander, only you can assign AI Controlled Soldiers to Ground Officers. Officers can then order these AI soldiers to hold a place or attack the enemy base together. In addition to assigning soldiers to officers, the commander also has access to the RTS elements of the game in the base building, calling in air support, etc. juggling resources.
For example, if you spend all of your resources to build a barracks for infantrymen to take an objective, you might run out of the firepower to take out tanks that the opposing commander might have called in.
The game will also not allow you to build in peace. You have to make decisions quickly, debating between building a barracks or a generator set while your officers get shot. But when you don’t build the base, you double as a field officer.
Like other officers, you can command your own soldiers, upgrade your weapons, and take objectives. But with the click of a button (Q), you can switch to RTS mode to create the base at any time.
This therefore makes the role of the commander a stressful job. Are you going to barge in with your officers or stand back to build a suitable base to support them?
Far from being the best shooter out there, but it has its appeal
As for the gun game which is 90% of the game, guns unfortunately seemed a bit lacking. There aren’t many varieties of guns and guns don’t have that extra punch it makes shooting fun and punchy just like other FPS games do.
Not to mention that at the time of writing, the game lacks a proper player base that will help it thrive. But to be fair to the developers, they make a game of a very competitive genre, competing for the attention usually given to the big boys in the FPS scene.
If you can’t find real players to play with, the game will fill the slots with enemy AI, which can be hard to beat on higher difficulties.
On the positive side of things, the game can also be beautiful at times. If you take a look at the behind-the-scenes posts from the developers, you can see that they’ve put a lot of effort into their designs.
If you’re a fan of both genres and have a penchant for trying out new games, Eximius: Seize The Frontline can be a fun game to play with friends. And its price of 50 RM is not too much to ask, especially if it comes to supporting local developers who can continually improve their skills.
For a game made in Malaysia, I’m happy that our game development scene can offer a game as polished as this (despite its minor flaws), and I look forward to the next game from Ammobox Studios, with a hopefully improved shooter.
- You can check out Eximius: Seize The Frontline on Steam here.
- For more game reviews, visit here.
Featured Image Credit: Vulcan Post
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