Uprising Falls Flat

Star Wars and I have this thing.  They make shit products and I buy them.  Ok, ok, maybe not always but most of the time.

The arcade flight simulator of Star Wars was pretty good.  The SNES (super series) was nice.  Force Unleashed 1 and Star Wars Battlefront were respectable enough.  KOTOR was amazeballs, and the Lego series too.  SWG was ok for a while and I have a love/hate relationship with TOR.  Let’s just round it up to a dozen good/decent games.  Out of all these.

On the tablet front, there have been a few games here and there.  The “best” one for me was Star Wars Assault Team.  It was a card-based battle of sorts, with character upgrades and whathaveyou.  It was horribly balanced at the tail end but it looked neat and my kids liked to play it.  (side note, it got pulled from the store last fall with no warning – including Tiny Death Star)

Since then we’ve had Star Wars Commander, a clash of clans garbage heap of nightmares and now we have Star Wars Uprising, a clone of the diablo clones.  It’s somewhat ironic that I’m playing D3 now.  It’s less ironic that this type of action game is the one type I seem to enjoy most on tablets.  There are a metric ton of action/loot games out there, of various levels of quality.  And they all use a very similar business model.

  • Have an energy system. Use it to gate players farming too much.
  • Have a complex skill system
  • Have a loot system, with item grades. Apply a significant penalty to finding top end gear.
  • Upgrading these items requires material that needs to be farmed/crafted. “evolving” the gear takes rare items.

That’s about it for this type of game.  Sure, you’ll have others that will throw in boss fights, active skills, group combat, customization and maybe a story!  Dungeon Hunter might be one of the more recognizable ones in this category.

So what does Uprising do to stand out?

For one, the loading times are about triple of any other game I’ve played and without the graphics to justify it.  It uses a gating mechanic for level difficulty, where your gear score must be this high to enter.  The problem is that it’s next to impossible to move up to the next gear level without gear drops.  And the items you need to drop are at the next level.  (this is the exact same problem Diablo3 had at launch).  You need gear to move forward but you can only get that gear after having moved forward.  There are 2 options for this.  A single daily quest that had a random chance to have a second random chance to award an upgrade.  Or use the cash-bound currency to gamble on item upgrades.

But hey, at least the combat is good right?  No, not really.  The skill system give the illusion of choice but anyone who isn’t taking the ranged-spread attack is going to be taking a dirt nap.  And people move so SLOW, with no combat feedback.

It is far from the worst game I’ve played in this genre.  And it has Star Wars on the label.  It’s just boring.  Some performance tuning is definitely required.  And a rather significant balance push.  Sort of gives the impression of a beta, which further adds to my disappointment.  Just seems like wasted opportunity.

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