Eximius: Seize the Frontline is a competitive multiplayer shooter with heavy real-time strategy influences. At least that’s what it was supposed to be. In the absence of any other players, the only game I was able to play was a singleplayer skirmish with bot-controlled allies and enemies. Rather than the intense multiplayer action, I mostly played a resource management strategy game.
Tragically, a nightmare of a launch hurt both the developers and the potential of building a player base. After working on Eximius: Seize the Frontline for 8 years, Ammobox Studios decided they needed a publisher to help market and release the game. The publisher they went to, TheGameWall Studios, promised them customer support and marketing activities. However, when the game launched not only did TheGameWall Studios not uphold their end of the deal, they also kept all the revenue the game made and didn’t give the developers a single cent. Ammobox Studios eventually had to issue a DMCA takedown against their own game on Steam in order to stop the thieves from making any more money.
Eximius: Seize the Frontline plays like a strategy game since the player is actively discouraged from trying to shoot anything. During most of the gameplay, players will be looking at the map. Controlling the production and management of units is much stronger than anything you can achieve with your guns. The player can’t control anything for 30 seconds when they die, which is incredibly detrimental. This forces the player to play extremely passively and only shoot things from the safety of their base.
The game is still enjoyable despite the lack of players at least. The shooting mechanics are surprisingly solid, but the game punished players for actually using them. The 4 AI controlled teammates are the most powerful weapons you have, but unfortunately, you can’t control them very well. You have to support them in order to win, which can be frustrating at times. Helping your AI teammates is perhaps the worst part of the game. Having real players would both eliminate this problem and add layers of depth.
If there were other players, I imagine there would be many strategies players could employ to turn the tides in their favor. By myself, however, the only winning strategy is to use small troops of soldiers to capture points quickly at the beginning of the game and then kite the units around the point to interrupt any attempts to reclaim them.
I truly believe that Eximius: Seize the Frontline could have been a break-out hit. Beneath the awful legal situation, the core components of the game are solid. The game was fun for the first few hours, but eventually, the bad AI became more and more predictable leaving a dry strategy game.
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