If you’ve ever wondered what Rocket League would be like if instead of cars you had a bunch of Kirbys grabbing the ball and running, wonder no more. Ready At Dawn Studios’ latest game, Deformers, shows exactly what that would be like, and I have to say, it’s pretty great. Of course, the game is far more than just Kirby playing Rocket League (and it is incredibly similar to RL), it’s also Kirby playing CoD and…well…that’s about it. Large blobs hitting each other off a map and playing football, what more could you want?
You know you’re about to have issues when the first thing you get is a service alert
The developer behind The Order: 1886 and the God of War series has launched their new multiplayer, 3D arena brawler that sees a whole bunch of really cool looking blobs, or Forms, bash each other in different arenas. Redolent of not only Rocket League, but Splatoon and Super Smash Bros, Deformers combines cute characters and insane beat-em-up action in a highly addictive if not somewhat repetitive game. Players have the option of battling it out in standard Deathmatch, Team Deathmatch, or Formball, which is the mode that looks and feels almost identical to RL. Deathmatch pits eight Forms against each other in an all-out, physics-based battle where the aim is to destroy opposing Forms by either knocking them from the arena, bashing them until they burst or shooting them for the same effect. The interesting thing however, is that none of this is explained in-game. There is no tutorial or game guide, instead I had to look up a video on how to play the game. Luckily, the mechanics aren’t so complex that you won’t be able to figure it out by messing around. Forms can jump, roll, dash, shoot, throw and defend in their attempt to best the opposition. More advanced tactics will be picked up as you play but these will only be discovered through prolonged game time, rather than an in-game tutorial.
When Forms are destroyed they will leave behind bits of their blob called tribs and these can be picked up by opposing players to increase their health. The only other mechanic of note is the power-ups that appear in the arena giving players certain perks such as a magnet that picks up tribs, gravity remover and blasts that can cause massive damage. Gameplay is fast and furious, with Forms needing to always be on the move lest they find themselves dashed off the arena or shot in the face. It takes a while to get a feel for the movement but once you do it’s all-out action and movement for the entirety of the match. Upon death you will be dropped in from the sky with the ability to squash forms as you drop and I must say, there’s not a better feeling in this game than landing a drop-in. The movement feels free and unrestricted and there’s a decent challenge in ramming moving Forms, but a word of warning, without a stable connection players will be at a severe disadvantage.
Game options: as few as they are empty.
I just want to play with Tim From Accountig and Poopy Smell Man.
Good enough to eat
Expect to see this lots and lots
Visually, Deformers is vibrant and full of colour and hilarious looking Form characters add some personality to matches. Initially, players will have access to five Form personalities but as progress is made through player levels further Forms can be unlocked in the workshop by using gold tokens acquired through levelling up. The range of Forms is pretty decent and there will be a Form to suit all personalities. New Forms won’t provide an advantage, they are merely cosmetic, but there is a satisfaction in playing as your favourite Form, be it an angry corn, a spaghetti and meatball or a burger. Each Form looks like a round, squishy stress ball if stress balls were slimy and hilarious looking. As well as new Forms there are accessories that can be equipped to chosen Forms, ranging from sweet hats and sunglasses to backpacks and humorous taunts. Accessories can be purchased using silver coins that are obtained from completing matches and being awarded things like MVP in Formball.
Deformers is aimed predominately at online multiplayer though it does have split-screen functionality. Unfortunately, in the time that I played I had more connectivity issues than not. Servers appear to be based on country but there’s no way to change which server you can join resulting in matches that are rarely full. When a game is able to be found I discovered that about 50% of the time I would be kicked or I would get into the game and the other team would be kicked. In-game, stable connections are few and far between, often resulting in farcical matches where one team completely destroys the other. At one stage I sat in a lobby with one other player for 15 minutes as a different player would enter, realise there were two of us, leave, only to return a few minutes later. Rinse and repeat. I did record a 15-minute video on this experience but as infuriating as it was for me to sit there recording it, it will be far more infuriating/boring for you to watch it. Needless to say, connectivity will have to be tightened before we see a greater influx of players.
I refuse to believe this is a result of connectivity problems! I’m good, OK?!
One thing must be said about Deformers and that is that it’s extremely addictive. Even though I rarely experienced a flawless game I couldn’t say no to “just one more match”. It’s easy to pick up and hard to put down and I think that comes from how simple it is. The mechanics are simple, easy to grasp and few in number, but the advanced tactics are far harder to master. Just as with games like Rocket League and Overwatch, Deformers provides a simple platform for fun but gives just enough to keep players. If server issues can be ironed out and future updates to Forms and accessories roll out with decent frequency, Deformers could become a long-played game by many. Just not me.