Gladiabots is an odd game. It’s an arena fighting game with a twist. In Gladiabots you have to command your team of robots and fight against the other team in an arena while trying to acquire points to win, a bit like War Tech Fighters. This is all set in a backdrop of grey and more grey. Does this make for an interesting game? Well, you’ll see soon enough.
Gladiabots’ main problem is that the gameplay is very bland, boring and repetitive. It is an early access game, so they might still add some features, but in the state it is in right now, its issues are inexcusable. Since the game is very hands-off, this makes it very boring to just sit there and watch your robots do stuff. This pairs with the fact that you can use the same tactic to win every game, and this makes Gladiabots very dull and boring to play, which might turn a lot of people off. It is probably a game that is not meant to please the casual gamer, but at the moment it probably isn’t pleasing any gamer.
This is probably a good time to touch on Gladiabots’ main mechanic which revolves around programming your robots’ AI. This gives you a lot of freedom to mess around and create robots with what seems like their own personalities. This AI is built through a branching tree of different actions, like picking up resources or attacking enemies. This creates very interesting situations, like a never-ending standoff where neither side ever destroys the robots on the opposing side because they keep backing off; therefore, it is essential to assign each robot a different AI to keep everything running smoothly. One can gather resources while the other covers them and so on and so forth. This is very interesting since there are loads of different actions to choose from while creating your robots’ AI, but soon you will figure out a tactic that will absolutely steamroll the enemy 99% of the time. This leads to the game turning into a boring slog of rinsing and repeating everything you did last time, which makes it less and less enjoyable the further you go on because less viable strategies soon get phased out and replaced with instant win tactics. It is inevitable that such strategies exist in a game like this, but there are some exploits that are just way too obvious to miss.
This isn’t helped by the fact that the environments are all just the same arena with grey tiles with your base and the enemy’s bases dotted around the place. It would have been nice to at least have a little bit more colour in Gladiabots because it makes it look incomplete, which it is. This looks more like a proof of concept than an actual game at this stage, which would be fine, but why are they advertising it as a game then?
Another thing that isn’t great is that the tutorial does a piss poor job of explaining the game’s mechanics to you. This leaves you confused and unsure of what to do, and before long you’ll be scrambling to throw together an AI that works, all the while shit is hitting the fan just outside your window and the enemy is damn near kicking down your door. You get the hang of it after a while, but the first few times it can be very frustrating having to sort through all the commands and actions to find the right one. This will make your first few games even less enjoyable than the game already is.
The last thing that isn’t all that great is that there is absolutely no explanation as to why all of this is happening. The lack of any kind of story becomes very apparent here as Gladiabots just leads you through a series of increasingly complicated levels without any rhyme or reason until you arrive at the end. There is a campaign mode, but as I said before, it’s just a series of levels that don’t seem to have any point to them. It would have been nice to have a little bit of an introduction into the universe of Gladiabots and be told why we are programming robots to go out and destroy each other. This can be kind of forgiven by saying that it is an early access game, so we’ll have to see how things develop in the future
In conclusion, Gladiabots is a game with a very interesting main mechanic that gets let down by everything surrounding it, like the bland looking environments and the lack of any kind of story. This and many of the obvious exploits the player can use will hopefully get fixed in subsequent updates, but it doesn’t excuse the state that the game is currently in. Do not buy it, at least not at this point in time.
Release Date: 2018
For more information on Gladiabots, click HERE
For something different, check out our top 10 racing games HERE