GoD Factory: Wingmen is a space shooter MOBA (Multiplayer Online Battle Arena) game, an acronym that doesn’t normally do anything but evoke League of Legends or Defense of the Ancients. Hopefully this game has just the right crazy mix of ideas to fit properly into a genre completely unlike itself, more molding the genre and application of the term MOBA toward a more general use of distinctive and unique games. Though, MOBA doesn’t really describe anything about the game so a more clear use of words would probably be an arcade space dogfighting game, with comparisons to the likes of Starfox and Wing Commander being useful to give players a rough idea of what this game brings to the table.
Similar to other MOBAS like DotA, the overarching goal of Wingmen is to defend your base, a large space cruiser, and destroy the enemy’s. The bases each have their own defenses that they use against the attacking ships, so solid coordination is needed to take out the ship defenses before finally sinking the ship, this isn’t even taking the enemy team into account, who will be trying to do the exact same to your base as well as eliminating your fighter ships.
Team work, astute thinking and lots of skill are the factors most important to breaking apart the enemy’s space cruiser, part by part, to ultimately win the match: A team that can focus on the hull, alone, while protecting themselves from the enemy team will also get a net damage bonus on all the other sections of the ship they need to destroy.
Not only does the base need to be ripped apart piece by piece, then, but attacking different sections of the ship can yield effective resource denial or a further damage bonus on the other sections to be destroyed. Destroying the ammo depot, for example, will keep your enemy’s team from carrying their maximum amount of ammunition and take them longer to reload their weapons when they dock in later to resupply. Determining which of the eight or so vulnerable sections of the ship to destroy, when each has a negative effect on the opposing team once eliminated, is an exemplary note of why working together is so important in this game. Sometimes destroying the repair station on the ship to make gunship repairs take 25 percent longer is going to be worth more, in short term, than everyone firing at the hull to make each other vulnerable part of the ship take an extra 33 percent damage for the rest of the game. Do you slowly wear the opposing team down or try crushing them all at once from the get-go? Even more than that, knowing when to abandon the original plan and adapt to a new one on the fly is of paramount importance, as well.
Note that the above paragraph was just talking about all the choices presented to a player in just eliminating the opposing base. While thinking of what to do with the above, there’s going to be four people opposing you, trying their hardest to impede any progress you may make by shooting you down or taking out your base. A savvy and skilled enemy may decide to fly past your defenses and right into your base’s power core (while someone shouts, "Stay on target" to this player, no doubt), and while it takes forever to destroy the base this way, if no one is there to stop them, why not see what they can get away with, right?
Balancing ammo use on the enemy base and the enemy team’s gunships is just one of many important factors to the play of GoD Factory: Wingmen, because it never fails to be firing endlessly upon the hull of the carrier, run out of ammo and be jumped by three opposing team members while you’re defenseless. Ammo consumption, for the first time in a long while, actually adds a heightened amount of tension to the play of the game, because players will have to leave and resupply, and the difference between a mediocre and great player will be who utilizes their ammunition most efficiently.
Customization is another huge aspect of GoD Factory: Wingmen. Changing a more recognizable spacecraft to more look like an Orbital Frame from Zone of Enders is one thing, but for each of the twelve parts of a gunship the players can customize, there is yielded some kind of additional effect, changes to handling or lockspeed, firepower and more.
Metagaming, the practice of changing your load outs to more adequately handle what the opponent is using for theirs, is definitely going to be a big part of competitive play with this game considering there’s multiple damage types (around six, if not mistaken), and each has a type of ship that it deals more damage against. Still, though, spending credits just to unlock new ship parts has that particular, "Ooh, shiny!" appeal that would keep even noncompetitive players involved for some time.
Controlling the gunships is an absolute breeze, with 360 controller support being built right into the pre-alpha version. Quick evasive maneuvers, such as using the boost to get through or doing a barrel roll, are all present. Buttons can be re-mapped to personal preference, or just in case you keep accidentally tapping a bumper and slamming into a wall.
GoD Factory: Wingmen is, without a doubt, one of the most interesting and unique indie games to come out in some time. While space combat isn’t by any means the most popular genre, there’s a lot to keep players coming back for more once the project finally gets off the ground.
As it currently stands, GoD Factory: Wingmen has a downloadable alpha preview package that can be downloaded and played this month of July, so if you’re even marginally interested you can download this game and give it a shot: Just click the link below.
Take the really fun alpha version of the game for a spin!