Forts Review, An Excellent Real-Time Multiplayer Strategy Game

Released on Steam three weeks ago, Forts is a multiplayer real-time, physics-based, strategy game where opponents design and build custom bases, arm them to the teeth, and turn their enemies to dust. In the game developed by EarthWork Games, you will manage resources, develop your tech tree, unlock more advanced weapons to target the weak points of your enemies, and watch with satisfaction as their own masterpiece blows up.

Graphics-wise, Forts remains rather simple, with 2D models and animations that nonetheless work great for this genre. You can truly feel the impact of your weapons and that of your enemies’, and explosions are always nice to see.
 
As for the gameplay, while Forts is mostly focused around building up your own base, or fort, a comparison with Worms will be inevitable. Indeed, the 2D backgrounds and the way the weapons and projectiles work here will be quick to remind you of the Worms franchise, but that is where the similarities.

Because Forts is a real-time game, and everything happens in...real-time. Your opponent won’t give you the luxury of calmly planning your next move. It won’t be unusual for you to be building up your structure, only to get hit by a mortar, or to assign units to defend yourself from said mortars, only to have snipers take them out. This is even more exacerbated in matches where you will be facing more than one opponent, although you will have allies to count on in such cases.

Thus everything happens at the same time, building up your fort, defending yourself from enemy fire, and attacking your opponents, all while making sure that your base remains stable. Because Forts is first and foremost a physics based game. While it is obvious that this would affect the projectiles you use, your structure is also affected by it. Build it too think, and you will not only risk having enemy fire toppling it over, but your own attacks will end up lacking accuracy if the fort is too shaky.
 
The concept is rather simple. Players are assigned basic forts on either side of the map. These contain a reactor, mining devices, as well as storage devices and some wooden walls to protect it all. From there, you will have to expand your base, ensuring that the foundations are strong enough to support its weight. To protect your structure from enemy attacks, you can use wooden bracers (cheap and light, but weak), armored bracings (high defense but expensive and heavy), armored doors (basically armored doors that can open to allow your units to attack) and. As for the weapons, they are quite varied, with machine guns, sniper rifles, incendiary mortars, swarm missile launchers, cannons and plasma lasers.

The modes available are equally varied, with a basic Campaign that serves as both a story mode and a tutorial, a Skirmish mode (1 vs 1 matches against the game’s AI), a Sandbox mode where players are free to experiment with various strategies and fort designs, and finally the Multiplayer mode where up to 8 players can confront each other. The game even offers players the ability to save their replays or create their own maps.
 
Conclusion

Forts is an excellent title that brings about interesting concepts that work great for this genre. The real-time aspect of the game is probably its greatest appeal, constantly keeping players on their toes as they decide between upgrading their forts or attacking the enemies, all while being ready to sustain through the assaults of these same enemies.
 
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