Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Online PC Multiplayer Shooter Booster Trooper Review

Last weekend, Steam temporarily released Booster Trooper for free. I gave it a test run and while it reeks pretty much of Soldat, a freeware online PC multiplayer shooter, the sci-fi trappings, the physics effect, and the 2.5D look give this game a more polished feel.

My Booster Trooper user review after the jump. Unlike most multiplayer games today, Booster Trooper is not a class-based game. Nonetheless, it does offer players quite an impressive arsenal to tweak their pre-spawn loadouts with:

Main Weapons

Assault Rifle - Default weapon; high rate of fire; maximum range; low damage
Shotgun - Single-shot; standard shotgun mechanics: high damage output at close range but effectiveness ramps down steeply as the range between combatants widens
Chaingun - High rate of fire; maximum range; high damage; very slow startup time
Sniper Rifle - Self-explanatory
Rocket Launcher - single shot; very low reload speed; massive damage

Secondary Weapons

Pistol - Didn't get to use this one
Handcutter - close-range melee weapon; high damage

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Grenade - Self-explanatory
Shredder - Sticky grenades that act as mines with short fuses; they detonate after three or so seconds if no enemy comes near them

In addition there are several special weapons that spawn regularly in specific locations in each map.

What surprised me with this one---given the technology it uses---is that beyond the jetpacks (which let players fly around for short bursts before needing to recharge) and the mix of 2.5D side-scrolling action with modern graphics and physics effects, Booster Trooper is a no-frills CTF/fragmatch multiplayer game in the spirit of Soldat and Quake. Why they didn't introduce innovative tweaks like a Tribes-like ski effect (with maps riddled with slopes), deployable turrets, and classes ala Team Fortress or Alien Swarm is something that seems such a waste.

I also do not like the way the soldiers cry out when they get hit. The cries are anemic and somewhat annoying (and disturbing) to hear. This aside, the other audio aspects of Booster Trooper are awesome: weapons are very satisfying to shoot, jetpacks sound as they should, explosions reverberate, and there's something really addictive in hearing a rocket being chambered.

Booster Trooper is not something that I would play for more than two hours each day but I think this is how the designers wanted it to be. A
solid, impressive PC multiplayer shooter that's a perfect escape if you want a quick 20-minute gaming fix. Wham! Bang! Thank you ma'am!

I just lopped off and cauterized one side of your torso with the mother of all lightsabers.