TASTEE - Lethal Tactics Review

"TASTEE: Lethal Tactics is a simultaneous tactics game that drops you into the thick of a close-quarters gunfight. Assemble a crew from 12 elite guns-for-hire and harness their special abilities to gain the upper hand. With simultaneous tactics, you can forget about all that back-and-forth nonsense, as both sides issue their orders in unison and watch as their strategies collide in a frenzy of action"

Let's get straight to the point here. Lethal Tactics is a turned based combat game with a bit of a difference from regular style turn based games. Usually, you would have your turn and then watch as the enemy has their turn. The twist with Lethal Tactics is that both you and the enemy set up your moves at the same time and once you both execute your turn, both sides do their thing and carnage can, and will ensue.

The Gunman - The all-rounder on the field of battle. Fast to shoot and scouting abilities make him hard to ambush.

The Bomber - Fires grenades to punish your enemies from behind the safety of a nice fortified piece of cover. If used wisely can be a force to be reckoned with.

The Sniper - If placed strategically at the end of a long lane, the Sniper can make sure that it's a death zone for anyone that attempts to take that path.

The Shotgunner - His range is short, but he's definitely a master at close ranged combat. Line him up for a good shot to the face and your enemy will come off second best every time.

You assemble a team of four elite armed units that range from a Gunman, Shotgunner, Sniper and a Bomber. Each unit have their advantages and disadvantages. For example the Sniper won't be able to move long distances during a turn, but naturally, due to the class of Sniper, the range of the weapon is massive compared to the likes of the Gunman or the Shotgunner.

Each match gives you the chance to alter your gameplay style by changing up your unit's special abilities depending on how you like to play and what you think you will require to get the job done. On top of using your unit's as an individual, you can also pair them up with other units with abilities that complement each other. A great example of this is to use the Shotgunner to blow away a barrier after having set up your Sniper or Gunman with a clear shot of an unsuspecting enemy on the other side.

Lethal Tactics is presented in stunning 3D and is viewed from a top down isometric angle. The camera is freely controlled using the mouse and keyboard much like other games such as The Sims or StarCraft. During your turn in game, you will have free reign to look over the map and scout out all of the terrain and where your enemies are lurking. During this time you will need to set movement paths for all of your units and also supply them with commands on what to do during their movements. You have the ability to make your unit run to a point and then crouch down to take cover. You can also command your unit to move to a point and then stop to take a shot at an enemy and then keep moving back into cover. This all sounds very convoluted and to newcomers it probably is, but it doesn't take too long during the well thought out tutorial to get the basics down.

Lethal Tactics includes a single player mission mode with 30 missions across 10 locations. Playing these missions will unlock new abilities for your units with the likes of Sensor, Flashbang, Disarming Shot, Vanish and Proximity Mines. You can also take your chances with an online multiplayer mode which allows you to jump into an online match or make your own. You play head to head in an asynchronous style of taking your turn. While making decisions on how to take your turn, like a good game of chess, the time you take is up to you. The matchmaking system is both fast and secure and works on every occasion without any drop outs. Another feature that is greatly appreciated is the preview button. After setting up your turn, you can test out the movements and placements of your unit's before committing to the final placements. Be warned though, this preview does not take into consideration the enemies movements for their turn.

The version of Lethal Tactics that I had my hands on for this review was still in early access with the final build only just around the corner. Currently the price point is set at $14.99US which I believe is a very acceptable amount of money for a game of this calibre. It's probably safe to say that I was playing on a very close to completed build and it felt polished and very complete. Although it is also worth mentioning that there is more content on its way for the final release of the game.

It's not often that I get into a game of this genre due to the general slow pace of turn based combat. Although matches can go on for around ten minutes or so, the time really does fly by. With the unique style of turn based combat, you probably won't notice the time it takes your enemy to set up their turn due to the fact that you're both doing it at the same time. When you're setting up your turns, you need to keep in mind that although you can see where your enemy is, you don't necessarily know whether or not that enemy unit is going to move when the turn is executed. This means that your moves need to be thoughtful and calculated so that in the event that an enemy unit does the unexpected, you can still try and maintain a position of relative safety. Just like a game of chess, you need to be thinking several moves ahead of where you are at any present time.

Lethal Tactics is set to exit early access on the 10th of May 2016 and will include 30 single-player missions and 10 multiplayer maps with randomized environments. 12 unlockable mercenaries (instead of 4), each with a unique special ability and weapon of choice. Lethal Tactics is available on Steam right now for $14.99US but there is a possibility that this may change on release. If you decide to pick up TASTEE: Lethal Tactics based on this review, please let us know with a comment below.

Lucas Aurelius
Aussie Gamers Express

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