A new, but defective take on a tired formula



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Splitgate is a very tepid and uninspired arena shooter.
Splitgate is a very tepid and uninspired arena shooter.

Only in the first thirty minutes of playing Splitgate: Arena Warfare, the unfortunate lack of staying power of the smart game became immediately obvious. For all Splitgate, tactical and portal-gun arena matches, the game's curious reluctance to allow players to play maps until they have reached an arbitrary level has hampered it to the point where spiral server populations have left the arena near dead on arrival.

What a shame, in fact, since the innovative concept of Splitgate allows some fast paced battles and nous tactical attacks that appear on a much larger scale than in your typical arena shooter. Ripping entire chapters of influence from a wide variety of platforms and shooting games, there are two such games that stand out as much as what is unquestionably the main influences of Splitgate – Halo and Portal. Halo provides strength in weapon selection, while Portal gives the brains the admittedly genial inclusion of the now infamous portal weapon.

Each round in Splitgate consists of two teams of four that play against any of the three current game modes – Domination, Team Deathmatch or King of the Hill. Where things get interesting is in the inclusion of portal weapons in melee.

The portal gun allows you to place two portals on a certain type of surface that is generously spread on each map. You can not only pass through these portals to conspire various aerial and acrobatic ambushes. but you can also shoot through the portals, often catching unknown enemies from confused angles. The most entertaining element of portal mechanics arises when you enter the flow of things and begins to maneuver your enemies through a pure tactical awareness, a skill that can often compensate for an evil aim.

Splitgate is a rather tepid and uninspired arena shooter that is raised to a slightly higher plane with the inclusion of the fabulous weapon portal mechanism. Unfortunately, the rhythm and manifestation of strange maps, once you reach certain levels, have knocked out progression and repeatability. It is so difficult to maintain interest in the game when some of the previous maps are extremely dull or genuinely brilliant – but only in certain game modes. A recommendation for all fans of Unreal Tournament, Quake and such, who may be looking for a new, but flawed, version of a tired formula.

Wexford People

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