Jay Tee Games Alliance. Only For Everyone.

Est. April 2016. III Version 2.0. III

ARCHIVE


ABOUT US

CONTACT US


PODCASTS AND SHOWS


SWITCHBLADE
Slow and steady.

HANDS ON PREVIEW (CLOSED BETA)
By JAY TEE
17/08/18

Switchblade has a lot of spinning wheels, if you’ll pardon our parlance. As a free to play title centred around competitive play, there’s a need to make sure microtransactions don’t influence core mechanics. Balance is everything, and multiplayer centric titles like this live and die by these choices.

Furthermore, after our time with the Closed Beta, the game still has a lot to prove. The elevator pitch is solid enough: muscle your way through the opposing teams territory, eliminating defences, so that your A.I. units can reek havoc on their base. You select two vehicle types pre game, which can be swapped out at any time during the battle, depending on the situation.

It’s a novel idea, and each round requires a bit more thought than the smash em up carnage of something like Twisted Metal or Cel Damage. Even though we have our reservations about the combat and pace of each round, there’s definitely something here worth exploring.

THE BASICS - Free to play, 5v5, objective based, car combat, with customisation and online ranking.

PLATFORMS - PS4, and PC

PLAYERS - Offline - 1, Online - 10

CO-OP? MULTIPLAYER? - Co-op against the A.I, and 5v5 competitive matches.

DOWNLOADABLE CONTENT - None announced (outside of the Early Access Founders Pack).

TARPS? - At the bottom of all our previews, you’ll see a series of absurd looking images (with equally stupid, in joke laden names). These are the TARP badges, which represent our ‘Totally Accurate Rating Platform’. They allow us to identify specific things, recognise positive or negative aspects of a games design, and generally indulge our consistent silliness with some visual tomfoolery.

PREVIEWS KEY:

Back of the Box - A broad overview of key features and gameplay mechanics.

Get Schooled - Background info on the developer, fun facts, and viewing the game in a broader context.

Inside Scoop - Random thoughts and musings, along with hopes and concerns.

These little guys pack a punch but are also incredibly vulnerable. Keeping an eye on their chosen path, and when they’ve spawned, is critical to success.

LET US KNOW YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS ARTICLE!
LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW, TWEET US @JAYTEE_GA, OR E-MAIL: EDITOR@JTGA.CO.UK.

TARP BADGES:

POINTS MAKE PRIZES - Throughout each round, you earn money which can be spent on single use consumables, upgrades to your class specific abilities, and even a faster respawn. Team play is heavily rewarded, either by assisting allies in taking down an objective, disabling a turret to clear the way for your A.I pals, or eliminating other players.

PUSH AND PULL - You’ll constantly have to keep an eye on where enemy players are focusing their effort. The map available in the Closed Beta was quite large, and we were regularly pulled from a different front to reinforce a gap in our defences. Generally speaking, there’s a lot you have to consider at any given moment.

PRO TIP - Pack a speedier class like the Scout in your loadout, along with something heavier. It’ll help keep you in the action.

BACKSTORY - Developer ‘Lucid Games’ is no stranger to the racing genre. Members of the team played a part in the development of original Xbox classic Project Gotham Racing, as well as the highly underrated Blur. Based in Liverpool, at a brand new studio, Switchblade is an exciting opportunity for the team to strut their stuff on another brand new IP.

LOBBY-TASTIC - The main menu is very reminiscent of quirky experiment PlayStation Home. Your customisable avatar wanders around a 3D space, presumably with other players randomly pulled into the same server, and interacts with the various features in the game. It’s a neat, if ultimately superfluous, addition.

FUN FACT - Right as you are being eliminated, your character ejects from your vehicle to a floating respawn platform. Cool!

CHALLENGE ME BRO - The various weapons and special abilities are punchy and well designed, but the combat itself is lacking. The excessive use of auto aim, which only requires you to vaguely look in your foe’s direction and hold down the fire button, really eliminates the need for skill and fine targeting. For certain abilities, it makes sense, but on the whole it isn’t very satisfying.  

TICK TOCK - Respawn times are excessive, dramatically slowing the pace of the game. And considering there’s no dash or boost function available as a default ability, getting back into the action simply takes too long. However, being able to survey the entire battlefield, in game, in real time from the respawn platform is a nice feature.

FOE HAMMER - The dropship that delivers your alternate vehicle is another welcome flourish. And it can be destroyed!

There’s a lot here to like, but Switchblade needs to hit Early Access at full throttle, alongside some key revisions, before we’re totally sold. Definitely one to watch.

*Closed beta access provided by Lucid Games*

The BAM! DONE! badge lets you know that within minutes of picking up the controller, you can play this like a pro.

The WEAPON DROP badge is for a game that features superb weapon / item design.

The WAGGLE YOUR LIPS badge is for a game with terrible pacing and/or too often takes control away from the player.

The KILLSTEAK badge is for a game where
wins / kills are really satisfying.

The I’LL BET badge is for a game with really cool vehicles. I’ve been itching to try the Argo.

The COMMANDER DATA badge is for a game where death has a profound impact on your experience.

The DIE ALREADY! badge is for a game where enemies react like sponges to weapon hits.

The CORPSE ON THE PILE badge is for a game where you can sacrifice yourself for the greater good.

The KABOOM! badge is for a game that has excellent explosions (with Halo 1 frag grenades being the gold standard).

The FRAMERATE VIAGRA badge is for a game with mostly solid performance, but has occasional dips or stuttering.

The LEAVES ON THE LINE badge is for a game where awkwardly placed geometry and/or bad level design causes you to get unintentionally stuck.

The BEST WITH FRIENDS badge is earned if a game is significantly more fun playing with people you know, either in campaign or online.

The CAPTAIN JONWAY badge is earned for a game that lets you party up and / or invite friends into online matchmaking.  

The ARCHER’S EXPANSE badge is for a game with large multiplayer maps / courses / levels.

 

The NABOO badge is for a game with multiplayer maps that feel too big, or it takes too long to get to the action.

The WILL MIKER badge is for a game that lets you play locally and / or online with your friends against A.I.       

The POO MEDIC badge is for a game with class based multiplayer.  

The REFELLIAN’S GLOVE badge is for a game that lets you customise your character.

The LEDGE BUCKET badge is for a game where the U.I and / or menus have been really well designed.

The DROWSY badge is for a game that sometimes has issues with pacing.

The SET PHASERS TO SHATNER badge is for a game where lower expectations may lead to a good time.  

The SCEPTICAL FACE badge is for when a game doesn’t leave a strong first impression. Perhaps more
time is needed to decide?

The BLEEDING EYES badge is for a game where bump mapping doesn’t happen as often as you might think…

The TGSN badge is for a game that's seemingly held together with Blue Peter's sticky backed plastic.

The SIMPSONS ROAD RAGE badge is for a game that's better than Simpsons Road Rage.

The BANG AVERAGE badge is for a game that is bang average.