by: William Usher
; edited by: Michael Hartman
; updated: 5/25/2012
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A complete rundown of the features, modes, gameplay, graphics and playability of the game that puts players in the shoes of violent toys.
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Destruction On A Small Scale
RockHippo’s MMO third-person shooter, MicroVolts, has officially entered into open beta and with it a series of new maps, modes and items have become available. The game features very fast paced gameplay and dynamic shooting mechanics that enables players to use a variety of weapons throughout a match. How well does the game stack up to other free-to-play shooters and is it ultimately worth your time? Find out in this MicroVolts review.
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RockHippo’s take on the less-than-tackled third-person shooter genre focuses on putting action figures come-to-life in battle arenas, featuring twitch-skilled gameplay and plastic toy destruction. Players will have the choice of choosing between four different characters that can be customized with either in-game outfits unlocked using money earned from matches or from buying specialty outfits and characters from the cash shop.
The real key element to the original concept factor for MicroVolts is with the weapon selection. Players can conveniently switch between various weapon types all within a single match. Rifles, shotguns, sniper rifles, mini-guns and rocket launchers are all available at the start of a match and available in each match. Having a variety of different weapons always available creates unique scenarios that allow each player to scale their skills according to the situation they’re in, as opposed to entirely relying on a specific weapon in each round.
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When you think about a fast-paced shooter the main thing that comes to mind is something that’s fluent, playable, easy to learn and has at least a modicum of originality. The fun thing about MicroVolts is that whether you’re running and gunning like a plastic version of Rambo, or helping provide suppression support as a sniper from a distance, there’s plenty of opportunities to cash in on various play-styles in MicroVolts, similar to other games like Team Fortress 2or Battlefield.
Of course, in addition to play-style variety there are also plenty of intense moments where trying to take out a sniper, grab a flag or control a point on a map because a strong focal point of the gameplay. Speaking of which, there are a number of modes available, including team deathmatch, free-for-all deathmatch, capture the battery and a power-up item mode. Basically, there’s just enough to keep gamers both interested and entertained for quite some time, especially considering that MicroVolts just recently came out.
If I did have a gripe with the gameplay it would be with the lack of a roll or dodge button, which sort of seems very necessary in this day and age of interactive combat games. Still, there’s enough content readily available within the gameplay to compensate for this minor lack of evasive mobility.
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A shooting game is only as fun as the maps that you can play on. That maxim sums up the overall standard in which many shooting games are measured: it’s not possible to have fun, even with all the coolest guns in the world at your disposal if the maps suck. Luckily for MicroVolts the maps do not suck. It’s just the opposite.
The biggest highlight of the game is that players are taking on the role of toys and are exacting all kinds of miniature destruction in large-scale, highly detailed environments. Hence, in MicroVolts, the maps mainly represent real-life situations or scenarios where toys are more than likely to battle each other. Some of these maps include a kitchen and work desk room, as well as an outdoor garden and even a toy model boat.
Many gamers might recognize the maps as being very similar to the kind of play environments present in titles like Army Men or Small Soldiers. Not only are the designs original and fun but the placements, multiple paths and general atmosphere for each of the levels really resonates with giving MicroVoltsa look and feel all its own.
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Graphics and Sound
The visual themes of MicroVolts is probably one of its strong points, with the character and environment designs being some of the most polished in the realm of free-to-play shooters. The plastic toy look that each of the characters has almost looks a lot like Valve’s Team Fortress 2, however the fact that the game revolves around violent toys come to life, the visual style at least makes sense in MicroVolts.
The lighting and texture work is also very well done as it helps truly convey the game’s miniature scaled characters in a large world.
As for the sound and music, there’s nothing really to complain about in the audio department. In fact, I really love the soundtrack to the game, featuring a sort of jazzy, lounge, spy-movie tone. It’s not often that third-person shooters manage to distinctly separate themselves with the audio quite like MicroVolts.
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It’s a good free-to-play shooter that doesn’t hold back on being exactly what it is: a fast-paced, team-based, run-and-gunner. The 60 frames-per-second gameplay and easy-on-the-eyes visuals helps with the overall appeal, and the pick-up-and-play control scheme makes it a prime target for casual gamers. I’m not really sure what the downsides for the game are other than the lack of a dodge or roll button.
With future content on the horizon including additional outfits for the characters and weapons, I’d say that MicroVolts makes for a good rival to EA’s Battlefield: Heroes. Simply put: this game is definitely worth trying out.