G.I.Joe Battleground has been out for sometime now and most of the discussion has settled. Love it or Hate it, it’s there and it’s free.
My review was mostly completed shortly after it’s release but i held off hoping that more updates (that have happened) would change my views, they simply did not.
Hasbro owns Wizards of the Coast, the folks who make Magic the Gathering, I can’t help but point that out. Similar to how i did in my review of the other Mobage/hasbro Game: Transformers Legends, I long for that level of a complexity and strategy. Digital games can even go beyond that because those cards could have three or more sides of images, if they wanted to!
Sadly want we have here is even less strategy than in the transformers game. You collect cards in a few ways, by using smoke grenades in battle, by using your free to collect points, or by buying. At some point trading will be activated but wasn’t when i was playing.
You put some of your cards in a little squad and they are represented by a leader on the map. They hope forward a limited amount of spaces at a time and as you encounter items you pick them up, and enemies you enter into a combat mode.
This combat mode is automated, and you have no control over when special vehicle attacks happen, or who your soldiers attacks, which can prove very frustrating when your team puts a large amount of force in over killing a solider and then allows a leader to kill you easily.
You level up your cards by combing other cards with them. It’s a neat concept and it shares it with Transformers Legends. I finally stopped playing Legends when I reached my card limit and it was all individuals with plenty more to go! I didn’t get that far here, but i think it’s fair to warn you that could happen.
There are special events which can earn you extra XP, tell a brief story of sorts, and allow you the opportunity to either buy or earn rare cards. These type missions, as well as the normal stories are narrated by one of your faction characters, for Joe it is confusingly the new female dail-tone, which poses a bit of a continuity problem because you can gain the original dail-tone on your team as well.
The continuity wholes don’t end their sadly. You may find yourself up against an army of Dusty’s if your playing for Cobra, or battle multiple Slice’s as Joe. This should have been a very easy fix, easier than in Transformers. Even Joes have troopers such as the Greenshirt varieties, ,Steel Brigade, Pit troopers and it would even be feasible to have them use regular military.
One of the largest problems I have with the game is the promised exclusive cards. I never got mine, and from what i can tell no one did for simply entering the code as we pre-registered. Some have been able to get a stormshadow card by exchanging friend codes (yes sort of like on the Wii that destroyed it’s multiplayer) but the Major Bludd and others? Who knows? They got a lot of free publicity out of that, and feel it is incredibly dishonest.There might be a way to unlock them, the game does not guide you through it very well and I found myself learning most of what I know about how to work the game through forums.
While I’m sure this sounds harsh, it’s the lack of follow through on this promised cards that ultimately makes me feel this game gets a 1 out of 10. We simply shouldn’t support shady business tactics, and this is barely a game with it’s brainless click forward way of play.