Confrontation Hands-On Preview

Rag’narok, the foretold apocalypse, is coming to the land of Aarklash while the Griffins, pious denizens of Akkylannie, wage war on the Scorpion faction from the desert lands of Syharhalna. Get much of that? Me neither, yet this is the narrative hook for Confrontation, a new strategy RPG based on the tabletop game of the same name. Impenetrable fantasy silliness aside, Confrontation is shaping up to be an engaging strategy title that has a go at mixing elements from strategy, RPG, and RTS genres into one challenging whole.

Confrontation‘s controls will be recognizable to anyone familiar with real-time strategy games. Scroll around a huge map, left-click and drag to select units, right-click to march them, and then another right-click to attack. The difference with Confrontation is in the scope. In the levels I played I had control of four different characters. These guys aren’t the disposable, nameless grunts you’re happy to use for cannon fodder though; they’re persistent characters, and their growth, survival, and efficiency in battle is all up to you. The four characters’ control is handled through that familiar RTS system, but their interaction as a party is thoroughly that of an RPG. I had access to a tank, mage, DPS melee guy with token giant sword, and wily rogue-like character who could switch between daggers or twin pistols.

Each character has his or her own set of abilities to activate, and it wasn’t long before I became familiar with the plethora of keyboard shortcuts and was able to kick off all manner of destruction with a few deft keystrokes. Confrontation aims to challenge players to overcome each individual combat scenario by interlinking party members’ strengths through meditative, tactical consideration. This can be done in real time, or after tapping the space bar to pause the action and think on it a little more, issuing commands to be carried out as soon as the action resumes. Rarely will the simple auto attack be enough, and the more thoughtful approach is the standard for most fights.

Confrontation’s own brand of simplistic fantasy might initially come across as a little bit silly and trite, but it appears that the game is at least willing to mix up the visuals to keep the action easy on the eye, which will be helpful when play boils down to a series of tactical challenges. In the preview build, one example of this is a nightmarish iron dungeon, complete with ominously glowing chemical smears and lightning rods, which follows a dusty tundra tutorial level, mixing things up nicely.

For a title based on quite a niche tabletop game, Confrontation certainly seems to have nailed the mechanics down, and play looks to be deep, thoughtful, and enthralling. I only got to spend a limited time with Confrontation, but it was long enough to familiarize myself with its varied systems and become fairly competent at it. Confrontation is a game that demands a certain amount of mental investment. If you enjoy appraising a situation and then coming up with a solution at your own pace then Confrontation will offer this is spades. Some mild pathfinding issues betray the preview build of the game, but Confrontation’s colorful, cartoonish visuals and vivacious lore look to offer a fun backdrop for some seriously involved strategizing and RPG number-crunching when the game launches this April via Steam.


  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Myspace
  • Google Buzz
  • Reddit
  • Stumnleupon
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • Technorati
Author: Aled Morgan View all posts by
Aled has served with distinction as a UNSC Spartan, become a Pokemon master, and saved the kingdom/world/galaxy more times than he can remember. Mixing a passion for gaming with a passion for writing since he was a child, Aled will play anything and everything he can get his hands on. When he isn’t trawling through virtual worlds or pawing at a keyboard to make words happen, he plays Ultimate Frisbee.

Leave A Response

You must be logged in to post a comment.