"Fragging and Treading Across the Theatre of War"
On its iTunes page, Atypical Games’ Battle Supremacy labels itself, in bold letters, as “THE ULTIMATE WWII TANK COMBAT GAME” and that it, also in bold letters, “SETS A NEW BAR FOR MOBILE GAMING!” The ambition shows. This game so wants to be the iOS platform’s answer to World of Tanks, and it makes an admirable effort, even if technical issues and the limitations of mobile devices prevent it from fully achieving such a feat.
The World of Tanks analogy is somewhat of a fitting one as, just like that game, Battle Supremacy is all about multiplayer showdowns between players in armored vehicles across three large maps and a variety of modes. The tanks, which include real-world models such as Shermans, Panzers and KV-1s, move and fire slowly, bringing with them a nice change of pace from the regular, fast-paced type of online shooter, one where careful planning, positioning and timing mean the difference between a tank becoming king of the battlefield or repeatedly ending up a burning heap.
As they go about rolling over hills, firing off shells, landing frags (or “kills”, for those who aren’t hip to shooter lingo), and earning XP for new tanks and upgrades, players are free to engage in a number of competitive modes, in addition to a single-player campaign filled with missions that also include brief fighter jet, patrol boat, and patrol car segments to spice things up.
Each of the seven tanks in Battle Supremacy performs differently enough from one another to suit a number of play-styles, while the maps, with their various forests, hills, villages and towns, provide plenty of unique settings to slug it out in. Dynamic stage elements such as destructible barriers, houses, and trees provide them with a pleasant sense of believability.
For a mobile game, the online component is handled well in some ways, not so much in others. It’s impressive how the game manages to get players into a match quickly. A tap of a button and they’re in within seconds. On the downside, there seems to be no way to create a match for other players to join (and if there is, either it’s hard to find or I failed to notice it), and more often than not the game drops a player in the middle of a battle that can be anywhere from a few minutes in to almost over.
Meanwhile the touch-based control scheme, though easy to grasp, is far from perfect. It’s far from precise, which hurts when trying to hit a moving target from a distance, and it’s far too easy to accidentally fire off a shell when trying to position a tank’s turret. When that leaves one unable to fire for several seconds as enemy tanks start hitting back, it’s utterly frustrating.
Worse yet, Battle Supremacy feels incomplete in some ways. Apart from the wonky, undercooked business of joining an online game, the game shows some odd signs of cut development corners. These appear mainly in the campaign mode, where ally tanks eventually stop and wait for the player to reach the next phase of a mission, enemy fighter jets don’t attack, and player-controlled planes can only be destroyed by collisions with certain parts of the environment. Though not as deal-breaking as they could be, it’s hard to claim that this game “SETS A NEW BAR FOR MOBILE GAMING” when crashing into a mountain isn’t enough to destroy a comparatively-flimsy fighter plane.
Thanks to these issues and underdeveloped aspects, Battle Supremacy misses the target in trying to become the ultimate mobile WWII game, but engaging gameplay, solid settings, and… halfway good online features do prevent it from being a waste of money. The game does feel a bit incomplete at times, but if future updates work to patch up the kinks in its inner workings, it just might be able to live up to Atypical’s grand vision.
GameDynamo's Score for Battle Supremacy (Mobile)
A writer, journalist, and aspiring storyteller, Peter Grimm has been gaming since the days of the Nintendo 64, and reporting on the goings-on in the World of Gaming since late 2011. His base of writing operations is located within the void between Here and There, or so he would have you think.
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