Announced just under a year ago at E3 2021, Warstride Challenges has a rather special place on NoFrag. Indeed, two of the three developers of this fast FPS mixed with speedrun are part of the community. We could see them on the forum asking for feedback on their 2020 alpha, though, that’s not why we’re going to be lenient about the title, now published by Focus entertainment† The first preview last August was well packaged Rutabaga. What will this game be worth when released in Early Access? Let’s not beat around the bush, it’s very well done and the concept is addictive, but by sprinting, wouldn’t it run out a little fast?
Sex : FPS to speed run † Developer: Dream powered games † Publisher: Focus entertainment † platform : Steam † † Recommended configuration: Intel Core i7-7700K / AMD Ryzen 7 3350GE processor, 8 GB RAM, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 / AMD RX 480 † Price : 20€ † Languages: Audio in English, lyrics in VF † Publication date : 19-04-2022 in early access † Lifetime : to tendinitis in the left hand
Example made on a commercial version
A niche concept²
the developers of Dream powered games probably didn’t study marketing. To make their game, they brought together two niche genres: fast FPS, still prized by a handful of boomers, and speedrun, an obscure discipline practiced by a few perfectionists, just good enough to talk about twice a year. † Don’t you see what I’m talking about? Imagine a mix between Trackmania, Doom and Super Meat Boy: speed, weapons, blood and die and try again† If the recipe can make you think of some of the worst mistakes of modern cooking, you have to admit that it goes together quite nicely in the end. We therefore go through levels as fast as possible, while eliminating all enemies. Depending on the time, you get a medal, which you can use to unlock other levels. On the movement side, it reacts to the hair of the donkey, we maintain perfect control both on the ground and in the air. You can gain speed with slides and jumps, indicated in a small meter at the bottom right. Just above, another hooks us into the FPS part by showing the life we have left, although it’s incidental to be honest, as the enemies generally don’t really have time to touch us…
Depending on the levels, you can wield one or more weapons, including a pistol, a shotgun, an assault rifle, a rifle, or a railgun – a type of sniper rifle. All are very well worked and give a good feeling. On the other hand, blood spatter from enemies and explosions that flatter the retina enhance the sense of power. The monsters we encounter are more or less resistant and require us to juggle between weapons. Limited powers, such as slow motion or some sort of force wave to burst doors and opponents, ease certain levels and get normal people ready for the countdown. Finally, because it is often necessary to replay a level in a loop before reaching a satisfactory time, a key allows you to restart the level immediately, without losing a single moment, which is very noticeable.
Beautiful as a truck
The game is really beautiful. Far from the fashion of large pixels, we are on a finesse worthy of the best. It’s all the more impressive when you remember how big the development team is. However, keep in mind that the levels are also very limited and the enemies don’t have to be intelligent as the encounter window is calculated in milliseconds. If the performance seems extraordinary compared to what is shown, even with mid-range gear (a laptop with a Core i7 10750H, a Geforce 1660Ti and 16G RAM), I started to experience some framerate drops towards the end of the first chapter. , especially when executing enemies at close range, spraying massive amounts of blood on the screen, or during large explosions near the player. We can imagine that the work on the optimization is not yet finished. In addition, there are many graphics options that allow you to customize the display to suit your machine or your preferences. And even by keeping everything to the minimum, the game is still very nice visually, especially since fans of speed and precision are generally not very difficult on this side.
When we love, we don’t count
An OST in the tone
Your lightning-fast carnage is accompanied by a soundtrack of edgy metal of good quality, but a little redundant. A few more songs wouldn’t be declined
Warstride Challenges may be released in early access, but it’s already well delivered. There are currently 24 levels offering two variations each, as well as bonus courses unlocked by finding skulls, and various level compilations for the most unforgiving. Knowing that we do and redo certain passages dozens – even hundreds – of times, there is plenty to do. For example, for a decent amount of time on all levels in normal and hard, and some bonus levels, I spent almost 8 hours there. On the other hand, Dream Powered Games already describes the sequel in its roadmap on the publisher’s website: a new chapter, new variations, etc.
A fairly basic level editor is also provided that allows you to submit your creations to the community. And some have not deprived themselves of producing completely stupid courses that only octopuses under cola can complete. Still, we’re not immune to some interesting things.
To surpass oneself, but above all to surpass others
If trying to get the most beautiful medal is fun in itself, I counted about 3 hours before I got tired of discovering new levels. In passing, we build up a certain tension when we try to outdo ourselves. Muscular, I tended to strain my left hand to chain jump slides and precise movements. Combined with the precision needed for aiming and learning levels, this requires a really high level of concentration to be effective. Success is therefore extremely rewarding, but depending on one’s abilities, fatigue translates to discouragement for the magnitude of the task, rather than repetition of the game. Because in the first two acts alone, there is a great variety: every two or three levels a new weapon, a new enemy or new mechanics are introduced.
But what gives Warstride Challenges that flavor to come back to is the integrated leaderboard and “Nemesis” system. We indicate a player’s name and his ghost appears during our runs. Even if you’re not a big competitor, which is my case, what a pleasure to pass a few hundredths for your friend! For example, I could fight several days in a row with a member of the forum, catch up with him one night, catch up with me the next day, then me, etc. And for the most nervous among you there is the world ranking, but it is clear not within everyone’s reach, the times to reach seem superhuman.
If you want to see this in motion, here are some excerpts from my many attempts:
Cut for NoFrag
Warstride Challenges is a really great achievement. A concept that only brings together familiar things, but also does it very well. Speed, violence and big sound to compare your e-penis with your friends, what do people want? Already quite extensive, many additions are planned until the final version, promising even more broken keyboards lost for a few tenths of a second. If it takes a lot of perseverance to enjoy it alone, it will reveal its full potential if a few friends play it too.
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