Game Review: Convoy

hits the road with this Mad Max inspired game

Convoy_Callum_GearingRating: ★★★☆☆
Platform: PC
Developer: Convoy Games
Release Date: 21 April 2015

What do you get if you combine the premise of Faster Than Light with the aesthetics of Mad Max? You get the game Convoy, not to be confused with the movie of the same name from 1978.

Set on an anarchic world, the objective of Convoy is to repair your spaceship and escape. You are sent off into the world with a command vehicle and a couple of escort vehicles to recover parts for the ship. On this planet there are three factions: the raiders, a group of mad-men; the privateers, who are pirates; and T.O.R.V.A.K., a technology obsessed group.

Gameplay is separated into two sections, travelling and combat. Throughout both of these sections you must balance your main resources: fuel and spare parts. The world map section of the game requires you to travel around to acquire the parts needed to repair your ship, with the option of completing randomised side objectives and events to earn materials and equipment. In combat the objective is to protect the MCV, which is the core of your convoy, and eliminate the attackers. Your MCV uses skills such as laying mines and EMPs to disable attacking vehicles to support the other vehicles in your convoy. As the combat is ever-moving, oncoming threats such as rocks, buildings and mines need to be avoided, these can also be utilised by the player to eliminate attackers quicker.

All vehicles can be outfitted with a variety of weapons and items, acquired from combat and trading, this diversity leads to a lot of variety in how you approach combat with your convoy. Additionally, the vehicles you start your convoy with can be changed after completing objectives in-game, providing more replay value.

Although the game is enjoyable, there are some issues with game in its current state. The combat controls are particularly clunky, and although combat can be paused, if you do attempt to run combat without pausing, the lack of hotkeys can make management of the vehicles in hectic combat very difficult. Loss of a vehicle, or a game-over, is often the result of being unable to handle the flow of the combat due to the controls. A further issue is that whilst interesting at face value, the travelling aspect of the game lacks true immersion into the world itself.

This is quite an interesting variation on the style made popular by Faster Than Light, with the added feel of Mad Max and vehicular combat this is a unique spin on the genre. The problems with the controls could be addressed with patch updates from the developer. There is a lack of depth in the exploration of the world, but this is typical of the genre and not Convoy in particular.

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