Auto Assault Review

Auto Assault is self-described as the "fastest most destructive MMORPG ever!" But does being fast or destructive make it fun and playable? I signed up for an account for this massive online beast to find out what the hype is all about.

I’ve seen my share of massive multiplayer games come and go – too many, in fact. With everyone and their brother jumping ship from Ultima Online, Everquest, Guild wars, City of Heroes/Villains and piling onto World of Warcraft and Final Fantasy XI, one could say the online RPG community’s cup doth overflow. Development companies are constantly trying to cash in on the huge financial success of (well made) subscription-based games. My first thought in firing up Auto Assaults lengthy install process was, honestly: is this just another shot in the dark to gain a subscription base and soak up money?

After diving head first into the Auto Assault community, I can say, at the very least, that it’s not just like everything else out there.

There is a regular, no-frills edition of the game and a limited edition that comes with a headset and pet remote robot to follow you around in-game. We opted to go for the basic experience to see how the majority of people would see the game. I mentioned earlier the install process. When you first fire up Auto Assault, there is a bit of wait before you jump into the action. First the program installs, then you open the client, which forces you to patch and upgrade (probably a good idea, regardless of the time involved). The patching process is fairly lengthy and consists of multiple steps and large (200 Meg plus) downloads. While a bit annoying, it was all automated and soon enough we were off and creating a character.

In the world of Auto Assault, there are 3 main races, Human, Mutant, and Bio-Mek. Each of these races comes with their own characteristics and special bonus skills. The humans are purists and despise the other races; they have focused mainly on technology and special shielding which the other races do not possess. The Mutants have regenerative capabilities and have a reverent, almost religious, view of the ‘contamination’ which has overrun the earth (we’ll get to that in a minute). The Bio-Meks are cyborg hybrids that have replaced the contaminated parts of their bodies with machinery and are masters of technology and efficiency.

The basic background of the game (by the way) is that the world has been contaminated by an alien substance that has destroyed all known civilization and given birth to the Three remaining races left to fight over domination of the tortured planet.

There are multiple factions to each race, based off the same stand-by’s found in most RPGs (Terminators – the warrior class, constructors, master minds, and agents. For varying degrees of support, command, and stealth, each race has it’s own similar variations. Your options to customize your vehicle and character are, initially, fairly limited. But soon enough, you’re in your car, driving around shooting at things.

The in-game tutorials are adequate at getting you immersed in the gaming world. The combat feels natural and, dare I say, fun. Although in the very early levels of your development you’ll feel somewhat ineffective, level and weapon upgrades quickly become a compulsive addiction in hopes of getting a little bit better.

Once you’re established and trained and driving around, a lot of in-game play takes the form of ‘missions’ which grow in complexity and rewards. First it’s driving to pick up 5 microprocessors and deliver them, or to destroy 7 gun turrets, then a little down the road you’re analyzing rescue signals, mining ore, and planting bombs on targets located in the middle of a full out war-zone. While all of this is informative, it doesn’t really give you a good impression of whether or not it’s any FUN. Well it is.

There is a learning curve, some problems with vehicle mechanics and physics, the occasional hiccup in game play, and a slew of ineffective weapons early on in the game, as well as some truly boring, bizarre and silly missions and dialogue. But it is fun. Upgrading your vehicle is immensely rewarding – better guns equals huge increases in carnage. Almost everything is destructible and seems to kind of re-work itself in the background, in such a way that it keeps everything from looking like a flat wasteland without being distracting. You certainly can break, smash, run over, and shoot just about everything.

There is a huge underlying section of the game based around weapon creation, engineering, and item creation. You can work up the skills or ignore them completely and pay other people to do the hard work for you. It’s worth mentioning, as there is a huge amount of raw materials (and yes, junk) available all over the game that can be put to use, or simply sold off for a minor profit. However the emphasis of this game is definitely on the combat and the world’s environment.

The environments are dark, dim, eerie and rich. This isn’t the most colorful game, but it has its own gritty comic-book style dark charm. The graphics aren’t the best (but they’re not bad), although everything fits. There is little in the way of multiplayer play early on in the game and, while you can team up with or talk to just about anyone, the real multiplayer stuff doesn’t come into play until quite a bit into the game.

There does appear to be a variety of missions, however a lot of the quests tend to get repetetive. All the same, I can’t help but look on the concept as favorable. If you like the idea of driving while firing machine guns and rocket launchers from your mobile death machine in a post-apocalyptic wasteland in a fully-destructible environment, this is the place to do it. The servers aren’t currently overloaded and the amount of people playing is at a very manageable level. Get ready for some high speed destruction and check out Auto Assault. It’s not perfect, but it’s worth it.


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Author: GamerNode Staff View all posts by

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