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MicroVolts PC Preview

I wasn't entirely sure what I had let myself in for when I was given the opportunity to preview Microvolts, a 3rd person MMO shooter from the fine fellows at RockHippo Productions, as I had so many conflicting thoughts in my head after viewing some gameplay footage while the client installed.

"It's a Team Fortress Clone mixed with Gears of War without the cover with a huge dash of the old DE_Rats maps from Counter Strike where you were tiny small entities in a giant kitchen environment" this train of thought was constantly battering my senses as I tried to get into the game yet once I started playing they quickly dissipated as I came to appreciate Microvolts on its own merits.

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On first firing up the game you're greeted with a mad scientist attempting to bring toys to life in some form of Frankenstein-esque experiment. However all the toys seem to have some inherent murderous intent as all they want to do is annihilate each other. The game has multiple characters to choose from, however only a couple will be available from the offset with the rest obtainable once you've stockpiled enough of the games' currency, MicroPoints.

These points are used in practically every aspect of Microvolts, from purchasing characters and clothing to hiring weapons for a length of time. Yes that is right, not all the weapons are freely available and most have a rental period for a number of points. While the stock weapons are more than capable of dispatching your enemies, the others have slightly better stats such as longer range, more power etc but they are generally only available for 3/7/14 days.

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All of the levels are cleverly designed with multiple routes through them for players to sneak around trying to get the upper hand on their opponents, ranging from kitchens to back yards, everything looks glorious in its own cartoon style visuals. As everything is scaled around you playing as a toy the oversized scenery offers a huge amount of options for hiding, camping or planning ambushes.

The game has a number of game modes to test your mettle in, Deathmatch and Team Deathmatch are your staple encounters while Item mode is a twist on TDM. Once you've killed an opponent you're granted an item to be used on the battlefield, this could be a number of things including health recovery or temporary invulnerability. While this is a nice idea, it still doesn't offer enough variety to dethrone TDM as the most popular game mode in Microvolts.

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Initially it was tough to get started in Microvolts as it took some time to adjust to the aiming used by the game, but we're talking no longer than an hour of gameplay to get into the flow of things and out-gunning your enemies with no problems at all. However we found that if the enemy got the initial hit on you from behind, it's very very difficult to spin round and fight back due to how quickly you can lose your health in this game as a couple of bursts with a machine gun is usually enough to kill someone.

Overall Microvolts is an incredibly enjoyable shooter which feels fresh and unique enough to stand out from the crowd, certainly one to look for when the game comes out of beta. With its fluid controls, bright, colourful graphics and the free to play aspect, the team are certainly onto a winner in our eyes.

Wedgeh | 21st November, 2010

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