G.I. Joe: War On Cobra
Hello Everyone, Vanity May here! I love mobile gaming. It’s my preferred way of gaming. Figured I’d start a weekly series in which I recommend (or don’t recommend) a game to download. There’s an entire library of titles out there but as you know, the App Store does a fairly poor job at highlighting games to play. That’s why we’re here and why this Reddit is a wonderful resources.
Anyway, this week we’re playing G.I. Joe: War On Cobra, a “competitive multiplayer strategy (defense) game”.
What it is:
It’s G.I. Joe meets Clash Royale—sort of. It’s G.I. Joe meets a tower defense strategy game—if you played one, you’ve played them all but if you love your G.I Joe franchise, you really can’t go wrong here.
It’s been a while since I’ve played a game with sessional updates and so on. When you play a golf game that isn’t really about playing golf and it’s so addicting that you can’t put it down, can’t blame me for not branching out but here I am.
That being said, this is a good game. It’s fun. It’s playful. The look is what you’d expect from a cartoon series, the sound design, soundtrack and battles feel as though you actually are at war with your enemy. You have a choice between the alliance of the heroes and the villains, which adds a lot of content, choices and play styles as you collect cards, build & upgrade your base and defend yourself against PVP battles where the other players attempt to steal your hard earned resources.
If it sounds like a lot, it is but I never once felt overwhelmed by what the game had to offer and all the ways to approach playing this game. In fact, one of the recurring complaints with this game is something I actually think helps this—the cool down times. Eventually, you’re going to hit a wall with this game, usually when it comes to updating your base which involves different forms of currency and the higher the update, the longer the cool down times are. Because you’re able to switch between your alliances as you please, when one base is updating, you can switch to the other and continue where you left off. You share some resources between the two but for the most part when you play as Joe or Cobra, whatever you earn stays within that alliance.
I think that’s clever and allows for a lot of flexibility in terms of choices on loot boxes you open, missions you play and PVP battles you go up against. In my time of playing, which adds up to around 4 hours total, I never felt like I hit a paywall with this title. Yes, it’s definitely there and the developers try their hardest for you to pay for advantages and resources but I never felt punished for being a free-to-play player and I never felt as though the opposite team was at an advantage because they paid for a rare card that I didn’t have. I feel as though there’s a good balance here, which isn’t something easily found in this genre of gaming.
Sometimes this game feels like a single player experience and honestly, it probably would be better if that were the case. The way the PVP part of the game works is that you can invade other players bases and take their resources from them. You’re given “tickets” which are the amount of times you can do this alongside earning badges, oil, and other forms of currencies, which you can use on your base, upgrade your cards and so on. The first mistake here is limiting how often you’re allowed to invade other bases and how often you receive awards from doing this since this is how you move forward in the game.
The second mistake is how lacking the PVP aspect is. It’s not as though you are matched against another players in real time and the two of you are racing against time to figure out how to out smart the other player. You’re put into a “match”, you select what cards you’re going to use and begin the battle—the only competitive part is you deciding who you’re going to use because the other player has already set up their base leading up to these matches. If it sounds confusing, it’s not—it’s completely one sided is what I’m saying. You get to see how other players set up their bases, which is neat, but other than that, it really doesn’t feel like it belongs here.
There are solo player missions that feel more is at stake and poses more challenges than actual players you face. Maybe because at the end of the day, there’s not a whole lot of players, which leads me to my last criticism—overall of the game feels empty. I am resourcing, upgrading and doing “secret” missions which are basically timed events more than I am facing other players, which can go either way for a game that is pitched as a PVP multiplayer strategy game but none of this ruins the experience.
Do I recommend this game? Definitely. Do I recommend spending any money on it? Definitely not. You don’t need to. There’s a whole free-to-play game here that never feels as though it’s pushing you to do more than what you’re willing to put into the game. I have heard and played games that are much more predatory than this, a lot more selfish. I only wish that this game felt more active in its delivery but there is plenty here to enjoy.
Hope y’all enjoyed this write up. I’ll be back next week where we’ll discuss an early Apple Arcade title, Way of the Turtle. Until then, happy gaming.