Shellshock Live Game

Shellshock Live Is Basically Scorched Earth Online, So How Does it Fare?

On-the-fly computations, that is the working idea behind the gloriousness that was the original Scorched Earth for the PCs. Shellshock Live is lining up to offer the same kind of gameplay experience, but with the full use of internet connectivity (instead of the more archaic connectivity options that Scorched Earth had), and browser based Flash gaming accessibility. It is a pretty sweet recipe for a good multiplayer game, considering that the base content is already an awesome title, but somehow Shellshock Live manages to fall just a few notches short of being truly satisfying –yet somehow, still worth playing for a bit.

The idea behind Shellshock Live is that you have a tank, you have weapons, you have turns, and you have to keep attacking your enemies. Each hit you make gives you points and the team with the most points by the end of the match wins. While the game looks and emulates the idea behind Scorched Earth, the two are actually pretty far apart (which is a good and bad thing). In terms of gameplay, Shellshock is not a carbon copy of the older game. Instead, it streamlines weapon selection (no more weapon purchasing, etc.), provides visual aids for aiming, and instead of making it a “last man standing” match, the battles are now score based.

Players wanting plenty of gameplay will appreciate the score based game system. In the original Scorched Earth, if you get eliminated early in the match, you will have to wait till the game ends before you get to play again. With the score system, the tanks are indestructible –getting hit simply means that the other team gains some points (or you take a score penalty, if you hit yourself or a team member). This also means that while everyone gets a turn, the battles can take forever. A 10-round match with two teams of pairs will mean having 40 individual turns before the game ends. For a match with 6 players and 25 rounds, expect to allocate a good amount of your gaming afternoon for it.

Weapon selections in the game are usually self explanatory, though there are enough oddball ones that will require you to experiment and see for yourself. Normally, this is not a problem, but with the game’s competitive nature, doing trial-and-error adjustments could be very costly for you and your team. Sorting out which weapons work best in a given situation could have been helped by having a more detailed list or simply by having better descriptions of the weapons.

Graphics-wise we appreciate the smooth gameplay and not-so-tricky but still unintuitive GUI. That said, Scorched Earth is so much better pixel-per-pixel. The flaw in Shellshock Live comes in the fact that it uses super smooth details, instead of the rough 8-bit look that Scorched features. Sure, the developers were trying to not be too much of a copy cat, but considering that fact that they went and tried to visually simulate another game, they might as well have copied one of the best visual features.

So what’s the Verdict? This is still a must play for Scorched Earth fans, because short of Worms, this is the closest thing to the original game you will get short of trying to figure out Windows 8’s gloriously odd compatibility settings (it isn’t as hard as it sounds though). And the multiplayer factor is certainly a big plus –getting into the game is hardly problematic, and while higher level players have the advantage of having special weapons, veteran mortar experts will have little trouble getting used to the wind and angle settings. Shellshock Live may not live up to the game it pays homage to, but on its own, it still manages to provide a good gaming experience.