Final Assault brought cartoony World War II real-time strategy action to PC VR when it launched earlier this year in May. Now it’s bringing that same action along with a few updates to PSVR.
Taking control of a mini army on one of Final Assault’s colorful little maps is an absolute blast. The simplistic lane-based layout of each area and variety of units to base a strategy around were an absolute delight to play with. It only makes sense, as we thought the strategic core of Final Assault was tight when we reviewed it in May:
“After over nine hours of gameplay, I can say that Final Assault makes good on the original promise of Advance Wars and games similar to it, gleefully brandishing its roomscale rendition of all-out war under a delightfully stylized layer of WW2 paint,” we said in our review.
The PSVR version doesn’t change much. The control layout feels nearly 1:1 with the PSVR motion controls, maps and units still have their lighthearted visual design, and the UI is easy to manage as the action grows intense.
“There is nothing different from any of the other headsets, almost everything that did change was graphic and script,” Phaser Lock Interactive CEO Michael Daubert told me in a meeting at PAX West. “It’s working cross platform right now, and what we really want to do right now is to achieve a balance between all platforms.”
Final Assault is currently available on Steam and will be coming to PSVR closer to the end of 2019, although Daubert didn’t have a specific date to share yet. All versions of the game will receive some new content once the PSVR version releases, including two new maps, new divisions, and new customization options. Phaser Lock Interactive is hoping to bring Final Assault to the Quest after it launches on PSVR and will implement an additional story campaign sometime in the future.
Final Assault currently has 12 maps and six different divisions, although I only got to try out one of each during my short demo. I hopped into a match against Daubert and tested out how it felt to hold the in-game menu tablet, slide my camera view across the map, and drop direct units to travel up the rightmost lane and attack his base. Everything was natural and easy to grasp, allowing me to quickly adapt a counter strategy to Daubert’s plane-dominant approach to my base.
While there is some depth to be had with how you strategize, it was definitely a casual experience. That makes it interesting that Final Assault was chosen by the World Cyber Games to be the only competitive VR game showcased at their tournament in China, complete with a special mixed reality stage to boot.
But despite a new focus on esports for Phaser Lock Interactive, Final Assault development is still focused on the wider player base as a whole. “The goal is always to make the game as accessible as possible to as much of an audience as possible,” said Final Assault designer Todd Bailey. “Now we definitely listened to some of the things that they’ve said about how certain units work, but this has always been an entry-to-mid level RTS.”
Right now Daubert and team are happy with where the game sits currently with the main goal of getting it to new platforms to widen their player base. They’re doing that by bringing the game to both PSVR and Quest. But while they are close to a final build for the PSVR, it has been a big challenge fitting the game on a less powerful system like Quest.
“Our fan base has been very lenient with us so far, they’ve been understanding about the changes we’ve had to make,” Bailey said about the performance adjustments they’ve had to make in order to make all platforms work with cross play. “They want more people to play against. The biggest complaint we get is that they keep playing against the same people.”
I found PSVR to be a perfect home for a game like Final Assault and am excited to sink more time into it once it launches later this year.