Something I often find myself asking when writing reviews is ‘why was this even made? Who thought this would actually sell? And to be honest it’s happening more and more, now maybe I’ve become jaded in my old age or maybe the industry just keeps churning out half-baked turds, probably a bit of both. So here’s a new series titled ‘What’s the Point Of’ this won’t be a weekly thing now readers, it’ll likely pop up well whenever I find myself asking the question.
This week we have Planetary Annihilation Titans, a game I have sunk eight hours of my life into and I honestly have no idea why. I’ve blown up planets with a discount death star, blown up planets with other planets, blown up planets with nukes, blown up planets with titans, blown up planets with a million suicide bomb bots. At this point, there’s not much of a universe left but I’m still left wondering… why? Why do any of this? The game tells me it’s because I have to have the superior bot and eliminate all competition in the universe. Now I never question galactic genocide on a moral basis but sometimes on a logical one. In this case, I’m wondering what the real end goal is, whoopie after another twenty hours I’ve laid waste to everything and everyone in the universe, now what? What kind of resolution can there possibly be at the end of this road? Indeed what is the point in playing once you’ve messed about with all the toys Planetary Annihilation Titans has to offer?
The crux of the issue for me is the complete lack of variety, no matter your colour or bot style you’re still using the exact same units, hurtling your way towards the exact same four options. Nuke, Death Star, Planet or Titan. No matter which of these four weapons you chose it’s a guaranteed game over for your opponent. Now maybe I’m old fashioned or I’m missing something here, indeed I sincerely hope I am, because to me this seems like a hollow victory at best. Once you’ve unlocked the various tech trees (not so much trees as they are saplings) there’s nothing new. Bully for you, you’ve gotten access to all the buildings and units go nuts and kill your enemy in new and exciting ways, oh wait there aren’t any.
Planetary Annihilation Titans feels like Skyrim after ten or so hours. You begin to finally comprehend that you’re swimming in an ocean as deep as a puddle. The universe-spanning conquest makes for a lovely scale, it’s just a shame every battle may as well be an individual skirmish in another reality for all the effect it has. Just like Skyrim there’s a team of modders to clean up the mess, add in the content the devs should have included and provide the slightest amount of reason to continue bothering with the game. Unfortunately, unlike Skyrim, Titans isn’t ridiculously popular with a bevy of extremely talented teams and individuals. Of course there are still some great minds at work here but not enough to save the game. For example, recommended mods such as Legion are essentially a UI and unit reskin with new names for everything.
Now this isn’t so much of a review as it is me just rambling about video games and you for some reason still reading it. However, I am looking to spark discussion here, to encourage you to be as awfully cynical and jaded as I am and consider why you’re actually playing half the games you’re playing. I originally gave Titans a 6/10 and in fairness that was only after spending a short amount of time with the game, I’ll throw myself upon your mercy dear readers for I was wrong. It’s worse. Having had more time with this and finding it to be as shallow as it is, I’m downgrading this to a 4/10. Play it if you can’t stand Supreme Commander’s age but otherwise I’d recommend playing that classic instead.
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