PREVIEW: SMASH+GRAB


smashgrab

MOBA in the modern-urban environment? Can you imagine that? Personally, I don’t know if there is a MOBA with modern-urban theme, I don’t think so, but I am not 100% sure. SMASH+GRAB is MOBA like, but not really a MOBA. My apologies to the developers, if they disagree.

Status: Discontinued (was in Early Access)

Developer: United Front Games

Publisher: United Front Games

Genre: Underground competetion, MOBA like, urban-themed

Release date: TBA

Type: Multi-player

README FIRST!

Unfortunately the developers of the SMASH+GRAB bankrupted which means the game developing is discontinued. For now we don’t know what will happen with SMASH+GRAB, will someone continue to develop it or the game will be forgotten forever. I hope someone will try to buy the rights for the game and invest some money in it, also I saw on the Steam a group of people who are interested and “prepared” to takeover the game and develop it. Anyhow, I was very sad and angry that this game didn’t succeed, yet! I hope it will have a bright future in the end 🙂 This game deserved so much more than what happen. If you wonder why I haven’t published this PREVIEW before, well I was going to publish it before the free weekend or while the free weekend is on, but this happened and it was rumoured.

MODERN-URBAN GANGS

Do you remember that old movie called The Warriors? That’s maybe the best description for this game. Just change the time from 80s to 2016 and you get this game. SMASH+GRAB is all about gangs fighting each other, but more importantly, collecting money, because in two only currently available modes, the winner is the team that first collects $50 000. Each team has three gangs, each gang has five members of which one is the leader, lieutenant and three soldiers. Leaders are of course real players, while lieutenant and soldiers are controlled by AI. One of the rare games in which AI must be really good?

LEADERS & CUSTOMIZATION

You can choose between 9 leaders of which 7 are available now and two are coming soon. Leaders are seperated by classes: support, tank, ranged; and also divided by gangs: Rooks, Doomraiders, Dappers, Each leader has his own three abilities or skills and one passive skill. You can customize your character by choosing which clothes to wear and what perks should you use. Perks are divided in three groups and you unlock them by leveling. You can also customize lieutenants, same as with leaders, but you can’t do anything with soldiers, beside choosing which group of soldiers will you lead to the battle. Be careful with choosing, because there are few groups of soldiers to choose from. Experimenting is the best way to find out what group of soldiers best suits you. As this game is in Early Access we can only expect much more leaders, lieutenants, soldiers same as customizing options, perks and other things.

When you are done with customizing and choosing your loadout, you can search for the game. As I already said on the start of the preview, there are only two game modes for now: Ransack, Take Back. Modes are very similar, team that loots $50 000 first is the winner, but in Take Back mode, every three minutes a strong box spawns and if you take it back to your station, you will get $10 000. Another difference is the duration of rounds. There are three rounds in each mode, but in Ransack, rounds are 3 minute long, while in Take Back, rounds are 5 minute long. Everything else is the same. Also there are only two maps, each map designed specificly for the mode. Finding match in this game isn’t hard, it looks like matchmaking is doing it’s job, because average time of waiting is around 30s, at least for me, but that of course depends on few factors. The game has a “stable” playerbase and you shouldn’t have any problems with finding matches and having fun.

IN THE MATCH

When you enter the match, you will see a minimap with a lot of symbols. Green squares are store with money and each class has their own symbol that represents a store where you can geta better weapon, also throughout the map a vending machines are scattered that gives you a boost (damage, sprint, armor, health, mega). There are also 4 base weapons where you can modify/upgrade your current weapon and to do that you will need to loot some parts. You will loot chemicals, screws and other parts while looting money and when you have enough number of parts you can upgrade your weapon. For example you can upgrade your hammer to increase your movement speed and to speed up the looting. Maps are pretty much small and I am happy with the design, but more than two maps would be better and hopefully we will get more maps in the near future. Match is a “three round”, but those are not really rounds. Each round is three minute long and everytime new and better stores opens and in the last round, one big store on each side of map is opened. Those two big stores can be a game changer or give your team an important advantage.

BATTLE SYSTEM AND PROBLEMS

Battle system is the most important thing in games like SMASH+GRAB. Fighting in this game is fun and fairly easy to master. With left click you do a basic attack and combos, with right click you loot, pick up items, grab enemies, with SPACE button you defend or make a counter attack and of course standard Q,E and F keys are ability/skill keys. When you add perks, boosts and weapon upgrades, you get a very good battle system. Since I said few times that this game is MOBA like, but not MOBA completely, if you have played SMITE then you know what I am talking about, but some other things prevents SMASH+GRAB battle system to be perfect. First of all, animations are very scripted, basically when you do a combo, you can’t stop it, the animation must finish before you can do anything further. That’s not only case with the combos, anything you do is scripted and you can’t break the animation This is a big problem in my opinion, because sometimes when you are on low health and you want to escape, but your character is still doing animation of combo or just basic attack and then an enemy comes and kills you very easily. One thing that frustrates me also is when you are trying to escape, sometimes you will not be able to do it, because your oponnent has started the attack/animation and when you think you have escaped, you just see how your character is attacked again and again, no escape. Another problem for the battle system is the optimization or to say not well optimized game. I don’t have the most powerful PC on the world, but it’s somewhere in the middle and I can play most of the new games on fair graphics with no FPS problems, but SMASH+GRAB is not well optimized. This problem comes to the spotlight when there is a mass brawl and everyone is fighting each other, FPS drops and that’s the problem + very scripted animations. One thing I forgot to mention is that while your character is doing an animation you are let’s say “protected”, the enemies can attack you, but they will just miss all the time, but as the animation comes to the end, you become varnuable.

CONCLUSION

You can clearly see that SMASH+GRAB looks like a Early Access, but then again you see that this game has a potential. Now, I will not say does this game has a big or tiny potential, but one thing is sure, game has potential. For the start if they fix two major problems: optimization and very scripted battle/animation, in my opinion the more people will play it and some will return to the game. After they fix either one or both problems and start adding content, but smart content, I think the game will just get more and more popular. It’s always good to see developers communicating actively with the players, fixing the game and adding new content.

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