Twitch based shooting at its cutesy best
Before I start my review, I’m going to admit; I am not very good at twitch based competitive PC shooters, be it Blackshot or Sudden Attack. The only shooter I am remotely good at is the Halo series which is a whole different beast.
Avatar Star is Pearl Digital Entertainment’s newest entry into the overly saturated MMO shooter market. On first glance, Avatar Star possess all the stereotypical tropes of an MMO targeted at the Asian market with its cutesy art direction but beneath it all lies a twitch based shooter which is simple enough for your average casual gamer to get into while still possessing the same level of depth of in the combat that veterans of competitive shooters would appreciate.
The game starts out like any other online shooter that we’ve seen, you log into your account and start the character creation process. Unlike most online MMO shooters, Avatar Star brings a new dynamic to the table; the inclusion of classes. There are 3 different classes available, the Gunner, the Guardian and the Assassin; each class possesses unique abilities that they could bring to the team as a whole. The Gunner is the stereotypical “heavy” class armed with heavy machines guns and rockets, the Gunner also have a repertoire of defensive abilities to assist your team with. The Assassin would be your main damage dealers, his high initial damage output might seem overpowered at lower levels however their lack of health would become their Achilles heel as the other classes get stronger weapons. The Guardian will be your guardian angel in the heat of battle with his plethora of healing abilities which would prove to be THE game changer when during objective based matches. The Guardian is armed with both an assault rifle and a bow that is lethal against even the most heavily armored of foes. Just like in an MMO, a mixture of different classes is essential to victory, too many times have I seen whole team comprised of nearly exclusively Assassins (which is currently everyone’s favorite class) with the exception of a single Gunner or Guardian get wiped out by a well balanced team comprising of different classes.
In its current state, Avatar Star features 3 game modes; Domination, King of the Hill and traditional Team Death Match. Domination is a variant of Battlefield 3’s conquest mode where players would need to capture and hold certain locations until they score 1000 points, King of the Hill requires players to fight over a single designated area in the middle of the map and finally Team Death Match just simply 2 team shooting the crap out of each other.
Matchmaking in Avatar star definitely requires some work as I’ve been matched with players who are twice or even thrice my current level. The issue here is not about the difference in skill level, it’s about the individual character abilities and items that higher leveled players posses. Let me give you an example, every shot from my level 8 gunner deal around 120 – 180 units of damage(equipped with the best weapons I had) however, a level 13 gunner was able to output around 180-220 units of damage per shot.
The micro-transactions in Avatar Star might just be the most irritating factor of the game. The coins you earn in game are virtually useless, new weapons are awarded by collecting rewards after every match however most of the rewards consist of weapons you’re unable to use or just a hunk of ore that’s used during weapon upgrading. The single most infuriating aspect of Avatar Star was the chest system; players could obtain a chest or a key one of the possible post match rewards, there are 3 different tiers Gold, Silver and Bronze. More often than not, I’d get a golden chest but no golden key while simultaneously having 2 bronze keys with no bronze chest. The salvation to that conundrum would be to purchase the respective keys from the cash store. I know I could grind for the appropriate keys but it would require a significant time sink.
Avatar Star might be a cutesy looking game targeted at the younger audience but in its very core lies a intense twitch based shooter that would delight even the most hardcore of shooter fans.
Ratings: 3.5 Stars out of 5
by Chen KangYi
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