Note: As stated in the title, Battle Splash 2.0 is currently on Steam Early Access, which means that the game isn’t fully done. There will likely be many changes before the “final” version is given to players, what we have below is our review of the game as it stands right now. Do keep that in mind.
Online multiplayer shooters are everywhere, from classic franchises, to new ones, everyone has a way to get their battle on. So, it’s up to games to find a new way to entertain those in the shooter genre, for if you don’t, no one is going to notice you. To that end at least, Battle Splash 2.0 does a good job of making itself different. The game is currently on Steam Early Access, and while it has some annoying features, it does have some good ones too.
Let’s start with the positive, the game has a lot of variety, from different levels (around 5 are available in the Early Access version, with more to come), and 4 different characters to choose from, it can lead to a lot of interesting battles depending on who’s playing. Second, unlike many shooters, Battle Splash focuses on “non-violent” gameplay via the use of water weapons. That being said, you do have quite an arsenal of water weapons. For example, you have access to a sniper rifle, a bazooka, a quick-fire pistol, a water balloon, and more. As if that’s not enough, each girl has a different ability to use if you’re lucky enough, which is good, as the girls aren’t different in any other aspects aside from looks.
You’d think that water-filled gameplay wouldn’t be fun, but it actually can be. For just like bullets, water has limits, as do your weapons. So, when you try and use them, you have to try and be accurate. Though there is splash damage which can hinder your foes. What’s more, as is this water, once you use up your round of ammo, you’ll have to wait for the water itself to reload.
The levels themselves are surprisingly big, and have many avenues for you to fight out battles in. There are obvious focal points, and you can use them to your advantage if you plan ahead. Sometimes you don’t even have to know your enemies are in an area before letting loose a shot and getting the takedown you deserve.
There’s also some surprising details in the game that really set it apart. Such as character literally dripping with water after they’re hit. Or being able to “dry off” if there’s enough time. While not unlike bullets in games like Call of Duty (where you have to “shake off” the injury), it still is really cool to see the gauge that shows how damp your character is.
Before I continue, I do want to note that the character models are well detailed as well. I know that some people won’t be happy that there are only female characters in the game, but if you don’t mind that, you’ll be happy with the expressions and details that are put on each of them.
Sadly, that’s where the good points end. There are several issues currently in the game that truly take it away from being something special. One of the biggest of which is the music…there really isn’t any. There’s ambient noise in the levels, there’s certain sound effects that add some realism to things, but aside from that, there’s nothing there. Music helps get the gamer going as they try and win. It gets their blood pumping as it were. Without it? 10-minute matches seem to take forever, because nothing is distracting you from looking at the clock.
As for the gameplay, while it is solid in many aspects, including the weapon variety, the game just plops you into a match with no tutorial. This should be a necessity, especially given some of the more “unique” mechanics. Unles players intentionally go and look for the layout of the controls (which they themselves were a bit hard to find), you’re going to be button mashin to see what works.
Then, there’s the simple act of killing opponents. Battle Splash 2.0 doesn’t make it immediately obvious who is a foe in the game. They label your allies “friendly”, but everyone else doesn’t have a tag. Given the speed of the game, that makes it near impossible at times to find your opponent and shoot them, before getting shot yourself.
Which brings us to kills, at times, it seems like no matter where I go, there’s always someone shooting at me, and then I die, and I’m left wondering how I died, and by whom. The game sometimes shows you the killer via a highlighted red bar, but it’s far from ideal. What’s more, most shots seem to be one hit kills. While this is fine for say the bazooka and the sniper rifle, it doesn’t add up for others, and we’re suddenly respawning before we know what happened.
Finally, the game honestly doesn’t have many players on it right now. All my matches were filled with AI opponents, which made it so that I was at a constant disadvantage, as the AI was skilled to a fault, while I was not.
In the end, it’s important to see Battle Splash 2.0 for what it is, it’s a shooter game on Steam Early Access that’s learning to grow into its skin. Given enough time, this could be a big hit. For right now though, the faults sadly shine through the plusses.