Guest Author - James Shea
A post-apocalyptic real-time strategy, APOX attempts to include scavenger elements but falls short in execution.
APOX can basically be thought of as "Mad Max: the strategy game". Everything's meant to establish this: soldiers are "survivors", combat vehicles are cars and trucks with armor and guns welded on, and base buildings are improvised trailers. Resource collection is based on capturing ammo dumps, oil derricks, and scrapyards and then transporting their materials to your home base.
The main problem I have with the game is that despite this premise everything is very basic and standardized. APOX is a normal RTS with a scavenger-based aesthetic, but you're not actually doing a whole lot of "scavenging" or "collecting" except in the sense that you are sending units to resource collection points to gather materials, which makes it the same as any RTS where you have to collect gold or ore or anything else. All the buildings, for example, are made out of scavenged parts like truck chassis or tents or something along those lines, but it's premade that way. You don't have to actually find a truck chassis to turn into a hospital, you just build one from a menu.
Apart from the scavenger concept (which doesn't really work), the game isn't that great. The unit selection is pretty simplistic, and while infantry units have some unorthodox options like recovering ammo, taking cover, and capturing prisoners, it's not really enough to pull the game through on that kind of thing. The graphics and sound are both really sub-par, and there's no voice acting other than the automated system messages ("Construction complete", "Units under attack", and so on). It's not a particularly immersive world, which seems like it should be important if it's trying to establish a grounded concept like "scavenging parts to make stuff".
APOX seems like an interesting game at first, but there's nothing actually interesting about it. It's a standard RTS with a post-apocalyptic setting sloppily thrown over it. It doesn't take advantage of that setting except in terms of its aesthetics. It could have been conceptually pretty good, but it ends up being "just another RTS", and it's not very good at that.
Purchased through Steam.