Offensive Combat: TimeSplitters With Teabagging

Now might be a good time to start taking browser-based free-to-play games seriously.

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It's no secret that free-to-play games are on the offensive right now; there are countless examples of games employing this "disruptive" business model that offer gameplay experiences comparable or superior to those in many full-priced retail games. World of Tanks, League of Legends, The Lord of the Rings Online, Team Fortress 2, Super Monday Night Combat, and Age of Empires Online are just a handful of examples that, if you haven't already, you'd do well to check out at your earliest convenience. You should also consider signing up for the Offensive Combat open beta, which is currently scheduled for sometime in August. This ambitious browser-based multiplayer shooter, which we had an opportunity to play for the first time recently, borrows liberally from numerous games that have come before it and yet still manages to feel unique--in part because it embraces emergent aspects of the genre that are rarely celebrated or even acknowledged elsewhere.

Steal a teammate's kill in Offensive Combat, and both of you will receive bonus experience points, for example. And if you engage in the noble art of teabagging (or "pwning" as it's referred to in-game) a downed opponent, not only are there loads of custom dance/thrust/fart animations to choose from, but that too earns you a bonus. Opponent humiliation is encouraged in other ways as well: having a soldier packing an assault rifle kill you with a headshot is one thing, but falling after a yeti with tentacle arms, chicken legs, and a Hawaiian shirt hits you with a cockshot is something else entirely. Such varied and occasionally ridiculous player models are the products of a robust customization suite that affords you the freedom to mix and match parts like you've just been handed a giant box of differently themed Lego characters. You won't have access to everything in the box from the outset unless you throw some money at developer U4iA games, but the coins that you use to purchase customization options, weapons, and consumables can be obtained simply by playing the game if you're not inclined to open your wallet.

Level designs look to be every bit as varied as the characters doing battle in them. It's possible to set up a conventional-looking game in which soldiers do battle amidst South American slums, but you can also shoot it out in less realistic locales, such as planetoids floating in space, with players who resemble anthropomorphic lizards and chickens, luchadors, robots, cowboys, sasquatch, or any combination of the aforementioned. Characters all play in the same way regardless of what they look like, but that certainly isn't true of the levels. Maps like the diminutive Dry Run that we played capture the flag on wouldn't be horribly out of place in a military shooter, while the Hydropwnic map littered with power-ups (double damage, speed boost, extra armor), weapons (chain gun, rocket launcher), and jump pads resulted in frantic free-for-all and team deathmatches more akin to those in Quake or Halo.

Banana guy is wielding The Hammer. See what they did there?

In these matches especially, taking the time to humiliate a slain opponent with a Tea-bo Bagginz or chicken dance animation is a risky proposition. The coins that you earn if you're successful move you up the leaderboard and are also the currency that's used to purchase new weapons and customization options. You can't cancel out of an animation once you start it, though, and it's agonizing to watch your lizard-headed luchador continue to play air guitar over a corpse as he's riddled with bullets. Subsequently watching your opportunistic killer suffer the same fate can be satisfying, but if you feel the need to get revenge yourself, you can bring one of Offensive Combat's many consumable items, the beacon, into play.

When equipped with beacons, you're given the option to place one on anyone who kills you, and then when you respawn, you can see where they are at all times. This affords you a distinct advantage where your rivalry is concerned, but from experience, we can tell you that becoming too focused on just one target in a game of team deathmatch is rarely a good thing. We can also tell you that the beacon system makes it much more challenging for the snipers among you to camp in the same spot for prolonged periods because--assuming you're good enough that you're killing people--beacons make it relatively easy for victims to respawn and track you down.

Yetis in Hawaiian shirts may well become a common sight later this year.

Beacons, humiliations, and irreverence aside, Offensive Combat plays a lot like multiplayer shooters that have come before it, while aesthetically it's evocative of the always-impressive TimeSplitters series, which, last we heard, wasn't getting a sequel to 2005's Future Perfect anytime soon. That Offensive Combat looks and plays like a modern console shooter is no mean feat when you consider that it's played entirely in a browser window and won't cost you a cent to play if you don't want it to. U4iA Games is of course looking to make money off you whether or not you part with any of your hard-earned real world currency, but based on what we've seen of the game so far, there are no overly obtrusive ads to contend with. In fact, the only advertisements we saw were floating alongside a scoreboard moving through the sky, which, if you don't deliberately choose to look up at it, you likely wouldn't even know was there. You won't even need to create an account to play Offensive Combat if you don't want to: you can log in with Google, Facebook, or Twitter, or simply opt to play as a guest.

No release date for Offensive Combat has been announced at present, but the North American open beta is scheduled for sometime in August. We hope to give away some codes for the closed beta before that, so be sure to check back for more Offensive Combat coverage--including details of how mobile and tablet versions of the game will work--in the coming weeks.

Discussion

0 comments
debdebdebdebdeb
debdebdebdebdeb

They did not come out with the first fps on fb. That was Ground Wars. You can look at the dates they were created. COD saw Ground Wars targeting their console players and quickly shoved this pos as a fb game to compete. It lags way more than GW and is not simple and straightforward like GW. The pies are idiocy in oc and almost no one I talk to can play it without serious lag. Just in browser might have been fine but when they put it on fb it was not fast at all. 

freemustard
freemustard

This game is great, in my opinion. At least at this stage, it doesn't fall into the "freemium" pit. OC merely offers straight up cash-purchase as convenience, and you can permanently buy guns with the in-game currency, something this former BF: Heroes player appreciates. It requires a buttload of grinding and playing even though the game practically throws coins at you, but the fact that I can buy my favorite gun forever without a dime lost is not lost on me. Let's hope it stays that way.

BryTheGuy
BryTheGuy

Where's a proper Timesplitters? That series was the most played  on PS2 and XBOX.

Campaign/COOP/Multiplay/Bots/Mapmaker/Wacky Characters/Wacky guns.. Who's the fool that doesn't think a new full priced Timesplitters for this gen of consoles would make money.  This game is no Timesplitters.

 

jthotty
jthotty

People dont like free 2 play? Easy! Play it but dont pay a lick of money to it!

hemoleech
hemoleech

Nice, teabagging! I'm always jumping up and down on corpses or sitting on people's faces in PVP. XD

Unfallen_Satan
Unfallen_Satan

I think it's great that Offensive Combat gets its turn in the spotlight.

 

Of course the best of F2P trumps the worst retailed games any day. On the other hand, with the exception of LotRO and AoEO, all other examples in the article are team-based competitve MP games whose appeal is rather... focused. LotRO is not F2P since a substantial amount of content either requires an initial purchase or tiered subscription. AoEO is but a shadow of its more illustratious cousins, of whom AoE 3 is only one example. Taking a jab in defense of F2P is fine, but doing it so prominently distracts from this otherwise helpful preview of a unique game.

nubowner
nubowner

Games-as-a-Service Does Disservice to Gamers... 2 posts later

Now might be a good time to start taking browser based free-to-play games seriously. I understand that two different people did these articles, i just think its funny that two opposite opinions r right next to each other lol.

Toysoldier34
Toysoldier34

Just give me a real game not your attempts into my wallet. 

furionpride
furionpride

Maybe...I'll try it. But how about spending time developing a free-to-play version of the old TimeSplitters games?

Rovelius
Rovelius

How about ''Offensive Combat = Timesplitters with teabagging"?

 

Lame. So lame.

Cait
Cait

I am sorry, but Free to play, Freemium games are a fad, because people will get sick to death of all the nickel and diming you to death.  You have to ask where these companies are making their money, how, nickel and diming you to death, that's where.  I played facebook games (horrible, but taught me a lesson) and I went back to wanting to pay for my games, thank you very much.  The biggest thing they could do right now, is put out more of a variety of games, plus lower the cost or have more of a price range.  I think they are going the right direction of download games, ordering online and buying in stores, but $60 games is way too expensive. 

I would lower it $10 to 15 dollars, and with more variety, they could see an increase of sell, thus preventing the horror of free to play. I left all free to play games in the darkest recesses of my nightmares and plan on leaving them there. 

DiverseGamer
DiverseGamer

NEVER PUT TIMESPLITTERS IN AN ARTICLE TITLE UNLESS IT'S ABOUT TIMESPLITTERS.  >:(

Teshki
Teshki

TimeSplitters caught my attention... I'm crazy about that game, but this isn't about TS4... so, no monkeys nor Cortez for now. =~(

kuda001
kuda001

Kinda raised my hopes for some Time Splitters news but it's Offensive Combat news. Game sounds interesting for a F2P.

JudgeSim
JudgeSim

you get what you pay for in free games. low quality.

BadMonk
BadMonk

aimed @ 10-14 year olds!

deadpeasant
deadpeasant

The word timesplitters caught my attention here but its nothing to do with timesplitters. Its a bit cruel to use the timesplitters name when its not about timesplitters. I'm still waiting for a new timesplitters and I don't need my hopes raised for nothing.

sensesfail99
sensesfail99

I saw Timesplitters and almost crapped my pants. Even tho this isnt Timesplitters, it def has that vibe. I hope it turns out well, im going to play it for sure.

buttslamify
buttslamify

free to play is both bullcrap and garbage, its bull crap because in order to enjoy the game you're going to end up spending tons of money anyways, and its garbage because those graphics look like their from 1995, I'm never playing F2P games

Johny_47
Johny_47

The title is annoying, when I saw Timesplitters I got my hopes up for a new game =/

 

Shame it's not that, but the Yeti in a Hawaiian shirt has Timesplitters all over it, maybe some of the free radical team helped with this game =P

Kronical42
Kronical42

Great Article title Gamspot..taking advantage of your fans that come here to get news about games, making them click on this article for money, like others have said should of put "plays like" in the title, dont start acting like IGN, that's the exact reason I stopped going to there site, Tweaking the article name to make people click on it..sad.

twopinacoladas
twopinacoladas

The graphical style is very similar to TimeSplitters and a giant banana costume it might be fun to try.

 

Anyone who wants TimeSplitters 4 please support 100,000 Strong for TimeSplitters 4 facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Timesplitters4PLZ we are currently approaching 23,000 "likes"

Sergeant_
Sergeant_

I've yet to take Free to Play games seriously, and I doubt I'll start now.

JJB03
JJB03

this looks un original compared to the other free to play games that have been surfacing lately  

JACOBDRAGON666
JACOBDRAGON666

ha! try playing call of duty with a 13 year old.

DoomSky
DoomSky

Nothing like Time Splitters because Time Splitters was actually funny.  The last time I found toilet humor being good at all was on Conker's Bad Fur Day which funnily enough was also a British developer. Who can forget the Great Mighty Poo? 

nate1222
nate1222

Time Splitters had wit and a reverence for the genre. This game just rips off Time Splitters' graphic style and tacks on toilet humor. Many Americans (I'm American) will gobble up this sort of pop culture trash. I won't. Pass.

MonkerzX
MonkerzX

I clicked because the title said TimeSplitters... I was disappointed...And after watching that trailer I can say sure there are lots of crazy characters but TimeSplitters never had fart jokes and ass slapping. I'll take witty British humour over childish toilet humour any day. See Facebook slash Timesplitters4PLZ 

Littl3M0nst3r
Littl3M0nst3r

I think I'll just stick with TF2 for a little more...

BillyColeman
BillyColeman

a game thats a fps or 3rd p shooter is nothing new

the_requiem
the_requiem

I agree with others. This should've been covered in a "Plays Like..." article if you wanted to evoke timesplitters. Yeah, the silliness may remind one of TS, but TS was not stupid silly, but smart silly.

BeateDrabing
BeateDrabing

Meh, looks decent. Kinda hard to mess up a free game.

 

DocCarnage
DocCarnage

Okay, I watched the little trailer provided and all I can say is don't ever insult the good name of Timesplitter by comparing to an unfunny game like this. Timesplitters never relied on toilet humor and stupid shit like this.  

JusticeCovert
JusticeCovert

Apologies if the TimeSplitters mention in the headline ended up disappointing folks. I'm a HUGE TimeSplitters fan myself; one of the things that got me excited about Offensive Combat was how much it reminded me of those Free Radical games.

boixwunder
boixwunder

 @BryTheGuy I agree. They really need to reboot the Timesplitters series. I remember playing the living hell out of that game, whether it be multiplayer with my friends or the single player campaign. This game does look pretty entertaining though and the free to play helps a lot.

synj
synj

 @jthotty

 I think you missed the point, it means those people that DO pay will have a mighty unfair avantage, making playing for free pointless.

 

Poodger
Poodger

 @Sergeant_ That is a pretty poor outlook on a few games that could deserve your attention. Maybe the model isn't the best, and there are some BAD free-to-play games, but there are a handful of really great ones too! This looks at least interesting, I will try it later today. But games like League of Legends would be worth at least a try.

Svorn
Svorn

 @JACOBDRAGON666 not possible. everyone who plays call of duty is 12. and wants to sleep with my mother.

nate1222
nate1222

 @JusticeCovert

 Time Splitters was "clever" funny. This game is "5th grade toilet joke" funny. Please don't insult Time Splitters by catagorizing it with this shit.

jthotty
jthotty

 @synj I think your missing the point.  If its a great game, Im going to pay.  But if it sucks, Im not going to pay any portion of it.  Avg free to play games that I pay that I enjoy is 5-10$ total. Any less then that it was because it was not good enough.  But if they made it 50$ I would of paid to try the game to find out it sucks, they still get their moneys worth.  So in other words, the game industry will find pay-to-win games are going to be difficult to keep gamers interested, because I am not the only person that is with this thought.

JusticeCovert
JusticeCovert

 @synj That's not true of all free-to-play games. Most of the time you simply pay money to unlock things faster, not to unlock things exclusively. That, or you to pay to look different.

JusticeCovert
JusticeCovert

 @nate1222 It's not so much the humor that reminded me of TimeSplitters, but the art style, the sheer variety of differently themed characters and levels, and aspects of the gameplay. :)