Game Review: ShellShock Live

ShellShock Live takes back to the days of web-based Flash games

Image Credit: kChamp Games

Image Credit: kChamp Games

Platform: PC, Mac, Linux
Release Date: 11 March 2015 (Early Access)
Developer: kChamp Games

Back in the dark annuls of my past on the internet lies a desolate time. A time when every game came on a disk, and I didn’t have the money for that kind of thing, and the idea of downloading a game was ludicrous. Be it at home or at school, the browser game was king. And aside from a few notable exceptions (namely Runescape and anything by Artix Entertainment) everything was a Flash game. Now, I could go on about the hundreds of different Flash games I once enjoyed, and maybe it would be interesting to go back and see what I think of them. Maybe compare them to the current flood of Early Access and Steam Greenlight games. But that is perhaps an article for another time.

The reason I bring all this up is that the moment you start playing ShellShock Live, if you (like me) spent a decent amount of time playing browser Flash games then it will immediately make you think of Tanks. Tanks was a flash game where you and a friend (or AI) would take turns to fire at each from little tanks by angling your barrel and moving over the terrain. The core gameplay of the two is virtually identical. You could maybe even consider Tanks a demo!

While the central gameplay is incredibly similar to tanks, you should in no way think that there’s no reason to look at ShellShock Live. It’s like Tanks on steroids. There are over 300 weapons and upgrades, hundreds of maps and levels, EXP and leveling systems etc. And it’s only in Early Access.

Honestly the amount of stuff is overwhelming, and even running through the single player campaign you get so many different weapons that you’re just not sure what to do with them. And they’re introduced at such a rate you can hardly get around to trying to level anything.

And if you think the multiplayer is going to give you a break then you’re very wrong. It’s full of people who have much more and higher level stuff than you so trying to prepare for anything is near pointless and it becomes who can kill the other first. As I’m clearly not that good at the game, I was very quickly put off from the multiplayer, causing serious concerns as to the longevity of the game. It seems like something of a catch 22. I need to play the multiplayer to get EXP to level up my weapons but I keep getting beaten because I don’t have very good weapons (and I’m a bit rubbish).

If you did play Tanks back in the day and enjoyed it then ShellShock Live is well worth a look. It’s simplicity and it’s huge amount of options are just stunning and may keep you invested. However, beware of the multiplayer as it’s already a little hardcore. For me, I’ll probably play a bit every now and then when I get nostalgic but a few hours and I’ll have had my fill.

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