Out of Ammo

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Developer / Publisher – Rocketwerkz / Zen Studios
Price – US $14.99 / EU €14.99  / UK £11.99 / AU $22.95
Release date – January 30, 2018
Control Method – 2 x Move Controllers
Pro Patch – Yes
Digital only – Yes
Reviewed on – PS4 Pro

Look out everyone…IT’S A GENRE MERGE!!!! What do you get when you mix 1 part FPS and 1 part RTS? An FPRTSS of course!  Ever since I played my 1st RTS oh so many years ago, I dreamt about taking command of a singular unit and becoming more than just a commander, but a lone hero on the battlefield.  Now we get that chance in Out of Ammo!

You’re typical view of the RTS action!

The controls here are both satisfying and frustrating. Requiring 2 move controllers, when you are allowed to move, in first-person mode, it’s teleportation and 90 degree click-turning only with ‘X’ on each controller turning you in that hands direction.  I have no choice but to keep lamenting these ‘comfort’ options as they pretty much do the exact opposite for myself, making games frustrating and uncomfortable to play. When in RTS mode, your view is stationary above a battle field whereupon you can direct and build units by highlighting and selecting options from a pop-up wheel.  Depending on your angle and view, sometimes selecting units and wheel options can be cumbersome, especially when those objects are right below you.

The gunplay is much more satisfying with an emphasis on realism that both hurts and helps the game.  All the weapons you handle need to be reloaded, which means you need to remove the old ammo, grab the next case, clip or bullet from your belt and place it back in the gun.  I appreciated this mechanic, but there are a few issues with the controls that I’ll cover later on.

Each level offers up it’s own unique elements, but ultimately plays the sameThere are only 2 modes available here, one is a never-ending RTS in 1 of 8 stages, where you must manage whatever drop-offs the game gives you and setup defenses to fend off never-ending waves of enemies. Setup a few buildings, assign a class to a troop and send them on their way.  It’s all very simplistic, but when it works it provides some entertainment.  At any time, you can possess any of your soldiers and turn this into FPS and help dispatch your foes with a little more efficiency than your AI soldiers.  Once again, when this works, it’s fun.  As the commander you are also given the option for targeted strafing runs, missile strikes and focused sniper attacks which should be used when the situation becomes a little more hectic.

The other mode is first person only and places you in 1 of 3 situations where you need to ride out the clock and survive.  I thought I would like this mode a lot more than the regular RTS section, but a host of technical issues get in the way of this ever truly being fun.  The first stage is a botched spy mission that throws a bunch of enemies at you from all sides while you take them out with a single shot shotgun that needs to be reloaded EVERY TIME you shoot.  The second is a Sniper mission with you in a bell tower defending a nearby crash site from incoming enemies.  The last has you as the crash victim in a small area and, armed with a pistol, you must kill the encroaching enemies while scrounging for ammo.  Like the rest of the game, this mode is fun…when it works.

It’s a minecraftian look we are treated to and for the most part, I liked the visual style here.  In RTS view, the levels have a cartoonish design and I thought they looked good.  Lighting effects look good and though nothing carries any amount of crazy detail, I didn’t mind that here.  When soldiers and objects are at a distance they can look like pixelated messes with the only real way to tell enemies from the environment being the difference in colors between the 2.  The audio is  in stereoscopic surround sound so in FPS mode, your only clue to the next guy trying to take you may just be the sound of his gun firing behind you.  The same audio cues are present in the RTS mode as well, but matter much less as you have a much larger view of the play area.

This level sucks and I hate it!

Alright, now for the issues.  In RTS mode, you are stationary, which is fine minus the fact that items can appear directly beneath  you and the action could take place there as well.  Trying to grab an item below you involves some awkward body positioning or turning 90 degrees in the game then physically turning back to the item you want to touch which is now a little easier thanks to the slightly different viewing angle.  The reloading mechanic here involves removing the old ammo and grabbing at your waist(ish) area for the new clip.  The sweet spot for the ammo to appear at your waist and in your hand is either very small or slightly randomized to drive the player insane.  Maybe half the time I managed to grab ammo on my first grab with most requiring 2 or 3 attempts before it appeared.  When things are chaotic, this is just unacceptable.

Sniping is still the most satisfying part of this game for me, but that’s not the praise it should be. The sniper rifle is 1 shot, so after you miss, you must pull the chamber lever back, remove the bullet out, reach down and (maybe) grab a bullet, place in the chamber and reset the chamber.  From here you can fire again…and probably miss.  You need to physically hold the scope up to your face and aim by ever so slightly adjusting your move controller to line up your foe in the gun’s sight.  Whether it’s some in-game mechanic, the less than perfect move controller tracking, or my own shaky hands, lining up a shot is a feat on its own.  Whenever I sniped someone, it was so satisfying and rewarding, but each time I missed I was forced to do the whole reload thing again, line up my shot and more than likely miss again and it honestly just wasn’t worth it.  Oh, the shotgun is also 1 shot, which is absolutely ridiculous on the FPS mission, especially when a headshot with shotgun close up may not even take an enemy out.

Whenever you actually snipe someone, it’s oh-so satisfying!

At the end of the day I think Out of Ammo works more than it doesn’t but when combined with the repetitive RTS sections, the 3 singular missions which are frustration more than fun, and overall basic gameplay, it’s easy to get sick of this and move on.  There is a 2 – 4 player co-op in the game, which is great, but doesn’t really alleviate any of the issues I mentioned, except you can see who gets tired of playing and quits first.  On paper Out of Ammo sounds like something I have been waiting years for and now that it’s out, I’m still waiting.

What would I pay?  Ha ha, this one is a bit tricky.  I truly had some fun moments here, but it just gets old fast.  $10 seems a little more apt here and with luck, future patches may alleviate issues I mentioned making for a more consistent and fun game.

 

Good

  • When the FPS stuff works, it's so satisfying
  • Simple visual style with some great lighting effects
  • Simple, yet fun RTS gameplay

Bad

  • It just gets old and repetetive
  • Reloading mechanics are a chore
  • Sniping though satisfying, is sooooo frustrating
  • No campaign, just play until you can't stand it anymore
5.5

Mediocre

12 Comments

  1. The game looks great!

  2. I wonder how the online community holds up. I never got in on RIGS and always wanted to… hopefully there’s still a chance to try it.

    Thanks for the opportunity!

    • It’s a little light, but guaranteed events happen every Sunday and Wednesday night so the community is small, bit still active

    • The gamers are active…I have about 20 people I regularly play with…but keep adding more as I run across new players that have the game. You only need 3 others to get a ranked multiplayer game started. Though if you are short on players (crew) you can also do a private match and have it filled with bots and adjust their difficulty. For best result, gotta join ps4 community starblood arena, and its discord. Friending people you see online only helps the pool of players you can draw from to get games started.

  3. With a lower price might need to snatch tjis one up.

  4. Sounds really cool! Shame that I don’t have a whole lot of money to spare right now. I would buy it otherwise!

  5. Been holding off picking this up… but 20 ain’t shabby at all.

  6. I really loved playing descent, wayyyy back on the IBM pc in the office. This looks like a great homage to the 80’s era and I bet it’s even better in Vr.

  7. Great review, hope to win the contest! I’m loving PSVR and really want to pick up this game now!

  8. I’ve had this game since launch. It def had a rough start, as I couldn’t even get single player burn circuit to work then…but after the patches, it is definitely the game I keep coming back to the most. The HOTAS 4 controls are awesome…even if they don’t match up with the tutorial (read them in game, in options for accurate controls). The past 2 weeks I really got into its community of gamers, which is a must for vr gamers who are battling being a small community, spread out over several games, AND Time zones. I’d urge everyone that picks this up, to join the ps4 community, and discord (which is listed in the ps4 starblood arena community) and adding as many psn friends as you come across. Players are always on, and down to get a party started, and crew up. Just got to met them…some of the cool players you may ever come across in multiplayer chat.

  9. I played the demo, amazing game! I bought the game via PlayStation network download and I can’t play it at all. Online multiplayer says “my network can’t connect” and when I try to load single player it either won’t load at all to where it needs refreshed, or it will load to stage screen and a error message will pop up. I’ve looked up reviews online and every review was saying they could not get their game to load, some have had success loading but to only cut to the main screen a few seconds later. I’s the issue not fixed properly yet? And if it hasn’t how come it’s still being sold on the marketplace? Especially for 50% off. i would just like to know when the issue is going to be fixed or if refunds are possible untill the update goes out. Thank you.

    • The community is only active Wednesday and Sunday nights so your best bet is to join them on psn. As far as the single player stuff. It should work np but I haven’t played in awhile so I can’t say for sure

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