Purple War Gameplay Impressions and Second Free Playtest

Purple War Gameplay Impressions

Today I want to bring you an upcoming game that is a throwback to the past, to a time of games turned instant classics due to the refreshingly new and addictive mechanics. Purple War pays tribute to one of the all-time greats in particular, Warcraft, with a simple UI and familiar graphics that will take you back to that golden era. The full launch is coming soon, and while we’re not entirely sure on the business model, we were invited to give it a shot right before release in a playable build. You can find all the info in the video description if you want to learn more about the game, as always, including details on the upcoming second free playtest.

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So, Purple War starts with a sense of familiarity in regards of the three races involved: Humans, Orcs and Elves. It’s the eternal battle between these antagonists, but we go for the human race as the tutorial takes you through your first missions. This was the only race available in our playable build, and while we are saddened by the lack of pointy ears and growling in our characters, it was a good first look at the foundations of the game. The tutorial is quick to get to the point, and the interface is simple and clean, without any distracting bells and whistles, favoring readability over a pretty lick of paint. The mini-map is right there to keep on you top of the situation, showing your units and the enemies that you have tracked down. Just like the classics after all, right?

By the time you reach the third mission, things start to get heated. It’s time to make the most of your learning and management skills to take down two Orc camps, starting with a small village as your base. Time is crucial in this type of fast-paced real-time strategy games, as you craft structures and train units faster than your rival is doing. Gathering resources with your little laborers while working on more advanced buildings, which in turn allow you to have more units to evolve faster, that’s all part of the process to assemble the biggest and strongest army. You know the deal, it’s the kind of tried-and-tested mechanics that get stupidly addictive and push you forward in a fun way. Successfully rushing your rival is one of the greatest satisfactions in gaming and in Purple War you are encouraged to do it – it’s fun against the AI, so you can imagine doing it against your friends.

Speaking of friends and multiplayer, there’s a PvP mode supporting up to 4v4 matches, as you can see in this video. The number of units fighting at the same time can be quite interesting, and you need to step up if you want to come out on top. When flying units join the fray, there’s a lot going on and your full attention is required, different strategies encouraged as to take your opponent by surprise. All in all, the solid foundations of an RTS and Purple War manages to do so – the tutorial felt a little slow to me and I’m sure most of the genre veterans will agree, but as soon as the training wheels are off, the game shines and those old-school vibes are evident everywhere, from the clearly distinguishable colors for every unit to the unmistakable and often treacherous fog of war.

In terms of graphics, it’s practical over gorgeous. The terrain is extremely easy to grasp, from its untraversable obstacles to the actual paths that you can take to reach the enemy base. Each of the three villages comes with a specific identity that allows you to discern who they are at a glimpse, and the units move smoothly along the map. There’s a slight zoom in that you can do to better observe the area, but everyone will find the classic top-down view as the one to rule them all.

And now it’s time to get into the details of the second free playtest for Purple War. I should mention that the game page is available on Steam, so that is where you will go for the playtest, which runs from July 25 through August 7. Head over there to keep up to date regarding the details of this test. Furthermore, the Purple War developers are working on a special event to thank the playtest participants. Once again, you are encouraged to check the Steam page and the game’s social media for more details.

My short time with Purple War was fun. I grew up playing strategy games such as Warcraft, Dune 2, Command and Conquer, and Starcraft, and nothing beats those titles in terms of sheer playability – fast-paced, fun, addictive, designed in a way that every detail matters in terms of maps and unit balance, they are undeniable all-time greats. Purple War seems to nail those aspects well, going for a familiar medieval fantasy concept that never gets old and appeals to all players, old and new. If you’re a fan of the genre, don’t miss the free playtest so that you can immerse yourself in a game that pays homage to timeless classics. Who knows, you may even shed a tear or two.

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