Why Unlike When You Can Unload? Looking At UberStrike on Facebook

UberStrike by Cmune is a FPS for Facebook.  I’ve never thought about any specific genres when it comes to the social hub’s game section, let alone first person shooters.  Farmville or SimCity has never been my cup of tea, but shooting people online is definitely something I can get behind, so I jumped in.  After playing the game for a few hours, I came to one conclusion: “Yep… that’s a shooter.”

Uberstrike (1)

From a gameplay standpoint, everything you need is there and absolutely no more than that.  You can move, but you can’t sprint.  You can shoot (duh), but you can’t reload.  There are no clips in the game, so a machine gun can burn through 90 rounds of ammo, simply by holding down the mouse button for long enough.  Kick is also a foreign concept, so the last bullet out of a machine gun will go the same place as the first, no matter how long you hold down the trigger.

Weapon selection is completely fine, with a good range of machine-guns, pistols, cannons, shotguns, melee weapons, and more.  Aesthetic options are plentiful if you want to customize your character with fancy weapons or gear.  However, be warned of two things. One, most of the gear doesn’t offer an option for using credits earned in matches; you’re going to have to open your wallet. Two, the removal of reloading and minimal kick means the difference between a pistol and a shotgun is smaller than you would expect.  Slow firing weapons, like sniper rifles, can change on a basis of damage and firing time, but fine-tuning your preferences between guns is pretty pointless.  There just isn’t that much to change.

Uberstrike (2)Gameplay types are expectedly Death Match, Team and Solo play, as well as Team Elimination.  This is the Counter Strike formula: no respawns for anyone, and the last team standing wins.  Wrapping up the package are graphics and sound assets which, once again, run middle of the road – neither spectacular nor terrible.

However, the design of some of the maps is pretty cool.  While the standard box, or two joined hallways, is present, some of your other choices are remarkable.  One map consists of a giant room filled with floating cubes.  Boxes provide ample cover from enemy fire. However, jump pads scattered around the level launch you into the air and then provide a clear view of the room. This is an easy way to find enemies quickly and move up to higher levels, but also makes you an easy target for a well-aimed shot.

What UberStrike does well is the ability to play quick and simple Death Match games on any computer you happen to be on.  The game was designed in Unity, so any system requirements are going to be laughably light.  Within the game’s main menu, there are also options to send messages to in-game friends, ask current friends to play with you, and even form a clan for multiplayer fun.

This game’s strength is ultimately its weakness as well – its simplicity.  There’s nothing particularly bad or outstanding about UberStrike.  It’s just completely and utterly par for the course.  Cmune has put forth the effort in making a solid game, but everything in the game has been seen before.

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As a game lover, I can see elements of Quake, CoD and Counter Strike all there in UberStrike.  What I can’t see are any new elements.  With this game, Cmune has shown the ability to make a decent game, using Facebook as its platform.  What I hope to see next are some of the company’s own ideas and creativity to make an experience that is unique, rather than bland.

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March 7, 2013 - 9:00 am