[TEST] Brass Tactics - The new benchmark in VR strategy game

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There are very varied genres of games in virtual reality: sport, RPG, racing, FPS ... There are however some major absent, such as STR (Real Time Strategy). A defect that the studio intends to correct Hidden Path Entertainement with Brass Tactics, heir to the Age of Empires. The basic idea remains the same as the other products of the genre, the VR in addition: an opponent, a territory to conquer and troops to dispose. Everything is therefore played on good management of the balance between gameplay and use of virtual reality. So, a winning bet for Brass Tactics?

General presentation of Brass Tactics

Game modes : 1 to 2 players
Availability : 22 February 2018
Price : 39,99 €
Junior Backend Developer (Intern) : Hidden Path Entertainement
Gender : STR (Real Time Strategy)
Compatibility : Eye Rift
Tested on : Eye Rift

Brass Tactics storyline: a timeless classic

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STR lovers know it well, the storyline is rarely part of the heart of this kind of games. If we usually find a single player mode with some story elements, it does not go further. Brass Tactics follows the same lineage, but still offers a significant experience. As often, the kingdom is in peril, and you are the only one who can save it! Leading your troops with an iron fist, you must face your enemies and capture their regions in order to find the way to peace. The game does not make in the originality, but offer a rather pleasant narration and good dubbing (in several languages).

It is not today that the STR scenario will be entitled to its revolution, but the frame is eye-catching. The solo is used above all to experience all the possibilities of the gameplay, before launching into multiplayer to imagine your own stories. Considering the proposition of Brass Tactics, that's all that is asked of it.

Brass Tactics gameplay: the perfect resumption of RTS codes in virtual reality

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If there is one element on which we expect Brass Tactics at the turn, it is its gameplay. This is the cornerstone of any self-respecting RTS that can eclipse a game's weaknesses or doom it. No need to raise the suspense here: Hidden Path Entertainment has succeeded brilliantly.

An effective STR

At first glance, we are in front of a board game where two camps clash. The goal is simple: capture the opponent's territory, ending with his castle. To do this, we rediscover everything that makes the soul of an RTS: troops, resources and upgrades. On the map, you can access several important points on which towers must be placed. These allow create the units who will fight body and soul for the player. Obviously, there are a large number of them: from classic warriors to horsemen, including giant robots.

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We are of course not just going to send our proud fighters to their deaths without them being ready. This is why it is possible improve their abilities as the clashes progress. Faster, stronger, more numerous ... There are plenty of options, but also concern other aspects. We can for example choose to recover more resources (which the villagers collect automatically), because a war, it is expensive.

If the game is to be easy to access and very intuitive, it is far from being simplistic. The tactics for attacking your opponent are very numerous and require good responsiveness. We must succeed in manage multiple fronts, while adapting to his opponent so as not to be overwhelmed. All you have to do is choose how to approach the confrontation. Quick attacks, a line of defense, a diversion to take the enemy by surprise, anything is possible. If we keep a fairly classic scheme for an RTS, it is very effective. Easy to understand, but difficult to master.

A real contribution of virtual reality

We can therefore already speak of Brass Tactics as a good real time strategy game. As a VR experience, however, that's not all that is expected of it. With the Oculus Rift, we want to find a certain immersion, but also gameplay elements specific to VR.

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Once again, the studio accepted the challenge and managed to a result that lives up to expectations. The navigation on the battlefields of Brass Tactics is done very simply (one pulls the trigger and one “pulls” to advance) while offering a great readability. We especially welcome the fact that you can change the height of the table as you wish, which allows you to adapt to all situations. In the context of a multiplayer match, we can also see where the opponent is and what he is doing with his hands. Very practical to thwart the plots which target your poor innocent cities.

The game makes the best use of the possibilities offered by virtual reality, in order to be accessible to anyone. The choice of troops and the installation of towers are made via a pallet on which the objects to be placed are directly recovered. It is also on this that we find information on our resources and our population. That's also in hand that we lead our troopsby simply telling them where to go. All his orders actually boil down to a handful of buttons and gestures that we integrate very quickly. The possibilities in combat in Bras Tactics are however limited to direct attack, like the classic STRs. While some will be happy to see this unchanged, we would not have been against a small evolution on that side.

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In terms of Gameplay, Brass Tactics could well become a new benchmark in virtual reality video games. Indeed, he is one of the few to have kept the quality of its base material, all in improving it thanks to VR. Accessible to beginners and interesting even for connoisseurs, we can speak of a great success.

Brass Tactics lifespan: to infinity, and beyond!

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Brass Tactics offers a number of game modes. campaigns, first of all, promises about six o'clock to come to the end of all its cards. A regular at RTS will have no trouble finishing it in less time, but it's a duration which corresponds to a novice. As explained above, soloing is mostly a way to familiarize yourself with controls and tactics. The heart of Brass Tactics comes above all from its multiplayer modes.

Get the BONUS: twenty maps available, the clashes against other players are very varied. If we also consider the many possibilities of attack that each offers, each part is different from the previous one. As long as we never tire of this kind of game, we end up with a long service life just competitive. This is without counting the addition of a possible cooperation in single player campaign. If the battles are a little more alike (IA requires) than with the multi, the fun is still there.

We can also note the presence of Brass Tactics : Arena. A game mode where you compete in an arena (the name let you guess) at equal strength. Small disappointment on this side so much interest seems limited. We will quickly skip over to come back to the other experiences offered, much more stimulating and fun.

Brass Tactics graphics and soundtrack: memorable images, forgettable music

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From its title screen, Brass Tactics announces the color with a style cartoon very pleasing to the eye. While some prefer a more realistic approach, the graphics here make it a perfect board game atmosphere. We also feel a good influence of the saga Game of Thrones in the animation of buildings. Once installed, they unfold in the same way as those seen in the credits of the famous series.

If some textures seem a little “raw” from a distance, their quality astonishes when we approach very closely. Whether it is the castle, the towers or the houses, the level of detail is impressive. The troops are particularly well made, where their small size could have suggested an approximate work. The light management is also a strong point, with shadow play that enhance immersion.

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If we can praise the graphics of Brass Tactics, it is more difficult to do the same when we attack its soundtrack. For the sound effects, nothing special : we find the classic blows of sword, arrows or explosions. The originality is therefore not there, without this being really negative. It is rather at the level of music that we are really disappointed, because none is really striking. Where one expects a soundtrack as epic as it is memorable, as the Age of Empires had known how to propose, we feel a void. OST is not unpleasant, but it is so forgettable that one wonders if she was really present.

Brass Tactics immersion: become both strategist and master of the game

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Throughout this review, reference is made to the board games that seem to have inspired Brass Tactics. The main reason is obviously the choice of “setting the decor” on a table. The scenario justifies this element and allows a great immersion. While the STRs are precisely based on moving away from the action, we feel here like a real army general.

This table principle similar to that of a miniature game is taken up to the end. We think in particular of the fact of put down his towers and collect upgrades via a drawer in front of our castle. Everything really gives the impression of playing a game of board game in a fantasy version. The controls also play an important role in this feeling. Take objects from a pallet and point the directions of the troops do so the effect of a very elaborate chess game. Note, however, that in multiplayer, see the opponent in the form of a ghost armed with a controller helmet does not really help with immersion.

Comfort of Brass Tactics: go to war from your sofa in all serenity

STR is often synonymous with long sessions, comfort had to be there. Unsurprisingly, considering all that Brass Tactics has offered so far, it is indeed. First of all, the game is practiced both standing and seated, a fact rare enough to be reported. STR requires, the player's movements are never too abrupt and do not cause motion sickness. Precisely, if the movement is effective, it can tire in the long run. We think especially of the clashes on two fronts which require quick comings and goings. Despite everything, we are only talking about a slight physical effort that will only frighten people with real allergies to the gym.

There is also a real search for comfort in the game itself. Power adjust the height of the table when desired is both useful (strategically) and valuable. The placement of the building selection palette in any hand is also a strong point. You might think that these are just details, but these elements make all the difference when it comes to comfort.

Brass Tactics against the competition

There are a very large number of strategy games in virtual reality. We had also made a list of the best in the genre. However, it is less easy to find quality STRs. Despite everything, some manage to stand out.

Skyworld is without a doubt the biggest competitor of Brass Tactics at present. There are many similarities between the two productions: the table, the cartoon aspect and obviously the gameplay. Small nice variant on the Skyworld side: the impact of the seasons during the game. An element that forces you to review your tactics and that can decide victory or death. The game is in addition available on most helmets on the market, unlike Brass Tactics (only on Oculus). However, the latter benefits from much more content and a much more pleasant and original design.

For players who are more fans of science fiction than fantasy, we find Saga of the Void: Admirals. Available on all VR platforms, it features spaceship fights. Here one can even take part directly in the clashes by firing cannons in FPS view. If the graphics are no match for Brass Tactics, we are facing a very good multiplayer RTS.

To finish these head to head, let's talk about a game more minimalist, and above all much less greedy. Tactera can be found on Oculus Rift or Gear VR and features clashes in the form of holographic simulation. If it clearly offers fewer possibilities and less pleasant graphics than the competition, it remains effective. Above all, it fworks on almost all configurations.

Conclusion of the test

We can say it: Brass Tactics is an excellent game. Its gameplay, first of all, perfectly combines virtual reality with STR codes. If we would have liked to see more novelty added to this genre, the recipe is very effective. Taking advantage of a long service life and beautiful graphics, it is aimed at both novices and veterans. We clearly regret that the soundtrack be so unmemorable, but that is not enough to spoil the pleasure that Hidden Path Entertainment offers us. If it is still too early to really say it, we can already see in Brass Tactics a benchmark in virtual reality strategy game.

Good points

  • A gameplay that perfectly combines RTS codes and virtual reality
  • A substantial lifespan
  • Beautiful graphics
  • Accessible to novices, interesting for veterans
  • Very comfortable use

Negative points

  • A not very memorable soundtrack
  • A very classic STR if we forget the VR



Scenario : In an STR, it is rare that the scenario has a great interest. Brass Tactics is no exception and offers a fairly classic story based on invasion and conquest. The single player campaign is however very pleasant, in addition to initiating the play to the different tactics.

gameplay : The Gameplay is clearly one of the biggest strengths of the game. If we keep the very classic codes of the STR, they are perfectly mixed with virtual reality. We therefore obtain a game perfectly suited to newcomers and regulars of the genre.

Durée de vie : With its many game modes, there is plenty to do in Brass Tactics. Whether solo, co-op or versus, everyone will find what they are looking for. The many cards make each battle unique moments.

Graphics : From the first parts, we let ourselves be carried away by the colorful graphics of Brass Tactics. But it is above all the many details of the buildings and units that surprise. Almost flawless on that side

Soundtrack : The black point of the game. If the music offered is pleasant and rather pretty, we forget them very quickly. They struggle to reach us, where we expected epic and memorable melodies.

Immersion : The impression of being in front of a gigantic board game is indeed there. While the STR does not lend itself to immersion, the studio has indeed succeeded in putting us in the shoes of a general and a strategist.

Navigation comfort : An example to follow for many virtual reality games. Being able to play seated or standing, manage the height of the table ... Everything is done to put the player at ease, and we can say that it works.

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