Recently I got a chance to play the demo for Battle Shapers. You play as Ada, a spirited android, and your goal, according to the Steam store page description, is “to bring New Elysium back to the utopia it once was.” Interestingly enough the studio behind the game, Metric Empire, is co-founded by Nicholas Routhier and Pier-Luc Papineau, who previously worked at Ubisoft as design directors. They worked on the Prince of Persia, Assassin’s Creed, and Far Cry series.
It’s a roguelike first-person shooter. You’ll face waves of robots – who refer to themselves as the Overlords – and then, after a certain amount of stages are cleared, you’ll meet the boss for that particular area. I have to say, I’ve had a blast playing this game. There are different weapons to discover, new abilities to uncover, and permanent upgrades to be had after a game over. The game is pretty fast-paced; Ava can run around the area pretty quickly, and even more so as she punches or dashes.
There’s no aiming down sights. Shots are always fired from the hip. But in replacement, Ada can use her mechanical fist to deliver melee attacks to her opponents. Abilities include dashing, stomping the ground with fire, wall-climbing, grenade throwing, and more. It all depends on what Ada picks up after a wave is cleared.
In addition to abilities and different weapons to use, there are occasional “perks” that enhance Ada’s health or her shield capacity, while also granting one second of invulnerability if her shield breaks or some other bonus.
The demo is rather limited in scope. There are three or four rounds of enemies, then a boss, then that’s it. An entire session will probably last around 20 minutes. Still, this game has some good potential.
Eh…It’s Alright on Deck⌗
I’ll say this right off the bat: you won’t be able to get 60 FPS on Deck, even at Low settings. There is, however, 1280 x 800 support, and 40 FPS should be do-able in most cases. If there are a lot of enemies on screen, the framerate dips to around 30-35. I don’t even recommend setting a TDP or GPU clock speed limit. And unfortunately, as of the current build, there’s no way to make use of FSR – you can’t configure the game to run in fullscreen or windowed.
One more thing to note: this game is pretty demanding on RAM. I’ve noticed the longer the game runs, the more RAM is consumed. Eventually, I hit the 12 GB limit (due to my VRAM set to 4 GB), and the game stuttered like all heck at that point. So keep an eye out for RAM usage.
That being said, you should at least be able to get 30 FPS on low settings at 800p resolution. I have a video if you’d like to see the game in action.
Looking Forward to the Full Release⌗
I like the fast-paced nature of this game. The combat itself is pretty smooth, and different abilities spice up the gameplay mechanics. Subsequent runs will be easier thanks to permanent upgrades at your base.
- fast-paced gameplay
- combat is very fun
- could use a little more performance optimization when it comes to Deck support
Battle Shapers is coming to Steam in Early Access later this Fall. In the meantime, you can try the demo out. An updated build will be available during the Steam NextFest beginning June 19th. I’m hoping they will pay attention to Deck users and create a more optimized build for them.
Review key provided by Evolve PR