Prime Arena: The only way to win is to not play

If there’s a moment where you realize that the best games have some magical, unknown quality that cannot be described by mechanics, jraphics, or literally anything to do with the game, Prime Arena has mastered the exact opposite of this magical quality that makes games fun.

When the game begins, you aren’t treated to a lobby, or homescreen, or anything. It just boots straight into character select. Characters are different from each other, but nothing truly seems to make them stand out from the field of characters in most MOBAs. This isn’t unusual. Most MOBAs have characters either based on established lore from the company’s lineup (such as Blizzard’s Heroes of the Storm), or stolen from established lore from another company’s lineup (such as Valve’s DOTA2, or that other company’s League of Legends) or, ripped straight out of legends and historical religions, (like that 3rd person one nobody plays). This game, they just… put a guy in a mask and gave him dual handguns. There’s an old lady, and, she reminds me of old people, so, it’s not like it’s a terrible thing to have wholly original characters. I can’t seem to get invested in them, but, that’s probably just me.

You pick your dude, or girl dude, and get whisked away into a game, where, thanks to the incredible AI, there are bots to replace all the players that decided that spending 10 bucks on a MOBA-like wasn’t worth it. Don’t worry, they are just as challenging as other players are. But, let me explain to you why this game is different from most MOBAs.

In a MOBA, your goal is to go from your base, to your enemies base, and destroy their… whatever they call it in your MOBA of choice, well of souls, tree, ancient, base… whatever. In this? You just have to kill the other 30 players. Like PUBG, except like a MOBA. The world is full of creeps or whatever, but they don’t creep. It’s like jungling in your standard MOBA, except you don’t start near the level 1 enemies, they’re just randomly everywhere.

So, the goal is to survive. Don’t die, and you win.

The jraphics are basically Warcraft 3 on low settings. The sounds aren’t anything to complain about, but, they aren’t anything I’d write home for either. This is usually what I say about most game’s audio, but slightly more negative because I’m already pretty “bleh” about this whole game.

Everything I’m going to say for the next little bit is going to make this game SOUND cool. Please listen carefully.

Game begins, you run around the world slaying monsters, while other players (AI) are moving in to finish you off and be the champion. While you hold on by the skin of your teeth, just barely slaying the jungle’s fierce enemies, an enemy comes upon you, who you promptly turn and face. Because you’re a person, you hit all the buttons in the right order and kill them. This process seems like a rush, but, it might as well be a coin flip if you’re going to win, and you better not be fighting those enemies with a hero when that enemy shows up, because 2v1 is dangerous!

That being said, if you’re playing as smartly as you can, you aren’t going to win every game, but, you’re not going to be challenged, it’s going to just be a dog shit situation when you lose. The lack of time to get to know your character before all hell breaks loose is just annoying, and you’ll never really figure out what your moves do, but, you don’t really have to. You just hit buttons as your cool downs are over, because… pretty much every move works to your benefit and to damage your opponent.

Overall, I hope this game changes for the better. Right now, it definitely feels like a cheap knock off of a combination of two genres filled with cheap knock offs. The game honestly should be free to play, and, they could throw some different skins in to make money on it. Right now, it seems like an aggressive attempt at generating money from a community that isn’t interested in paying 30 dollars for a game they aren’t going to be happy with. Not when they could Brawlhalla or DOTA for free. See, the base game is 10 bucks, and, it’s alright for 10 bucks, but, it’s ANOTHER $19.99 to unlock more than the weekly rotation, and there’s no in-game currency option to unlock the rest. So… I’m gonna have to give this game an officially poor review. (At this current juncture, maybe they’ll turn it around in a few months because it’s early access, they need to get to work though, because this is EXACTLY the issue with early access games.)

Maybe I’m just being a dick here, but this is EXACTLY what we don’t want out of the professionals that brought us the Blitzkrieg and Heroes of Might and Magic series. It’s just a poorly made executive decision that hopefully will be rectified. If I cannot earn the characters in the game, and I’m going to pay for them, at least give me a demo, and then let me unlock the characters by paying for the game. Don’t do this half-assed “If you pay ten bucks you might get 30 minutes of enjoyment, but, for another couple tenners you’ll actually get what you thought you were paying for.”

I mean, you can read in the description that you’re getting the weekly rotation characters only, (and actually 3 permanent unlocks) but, there’s no way to unlock the other characters without real money. It’s just a scammy way to run a business.

Check out the game on Steam

Developed and published by: Nival

Disclosure: We received a copy of this game for free, but, you guys should get it for free also, with microtransactions for cosmetics, and the ability to unlock characters using in-game currency earned from playing the terrible game.

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