Atlas Reactor Is A Multiplayer Turn-Based Strategy Game, Open Beta Until September 25

What if a game marries the concept of abilities-driven characters ala MOBA, with turn-based strategy/RPG ala Fire Emblem or XCOM? Mix in PvP elements and you get Atlas Reactor, a free-to-play offering from Trion Worlds.

The game is exactly that. You control one of 20 freelancers currently available in the battlefield with 3 other teammates and duke it out in a 4v4 battle. These freelancers comes with different abilities which can be customised further with mods that add changes to the abilities along with the expected vanity items in the form of skins and taunts.

These battles last until the first team score 5 kills, or the most kills in 20 turns. Each turn you can line up commands to do within the time limit, and each turn will run simultaneously- though some actions will be played consequentially for clarity but it’s not a factor to consider in your decision making. So it’s not exactly played like Frozen Synapse, another simultaneous turn-based game that runs all the turns simultaneously, requiring even more thought process and prediction ability.

Interestingly, it uses phases ala card games to indicate the priority of any ability. Traps, buffs, debuffs or abilities that require wind-ups go first in the prep phase, then dodging and movement abilities in the dodge phase, attacks in the blast phase and normal movements after all the action is cleared.

Currently Atlas Reactor is in open beta, allowing anyone who jumps in currently free access to all the freelancers. Once the game launches proper, the game will offer a limited Free Mode. It’s not exactly free-to-play, as free player are locked to freelancers on rotation (unique to each person), can’t play in ranked or custom modes, and many other limitations- but the one time cost to get the full experience is currently priced at RM80.

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Basically, the model here is similar to what Overwatch is doing: free characters and maps forever, loot box/matrix, buying cosmetics with in-game currency. But the addition of a free, though limited access of the game is an interesting compromise: the game is not balanced on making people pay with micro-transactions, but still has some access to those not willing to shell out RM80 for the base access.

Speaking of Overwatch, Atlas Reactor has a cinematic trailer in the same veins of the many shorts Blizzard has been doing. It certainly helps the world-building and characterisation. Heck, some of the characters and corporations have Twitter accounts if you want to delve deeper with the lore.

You can download Atlas Reactor on Steam. Do note you will need to set up a Glyph account, Trion’s propriety launcher and account system. Other than that, you’re good to go. You will get full-access to the game- all the features paying users will experience until the beta ends on September 25.

Atlas Reactor will properly launch on October 4 for PC.

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