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Game Info:

Raid on Coasts
Game Title: Raid on Coasts (Early Access)
Developed By: Outlaw Coasts
Published By: Outlaw Coasts
Released: August 12, 2017
Available On: Windows
Genre: Real-time strategy
ESRB Rating: None specified
Number of Players: Single-player
Price: $4.99

First off, my thanks to Outlaw Coasts for the review key for this Early Access review.

Raid on Coasts is a military strategy game based on a "what if" where the Americans increase their military presence in the Middle East and this triggers a war with Russia and is set around either American defense or Russian attack of a coastal base area. The goal is to secure all bases as the Americans, or to capture them all as the Russians; no more, no less. This is an Early Access game, and given the game's scope, it's a decent concept given its apparent budget title design.

The gameplay is as follows: if playing as the Russians, your advance naval forces need to secure the beachheads, then land troops to take the nearest villages for forward bases, after which you need to capture the other areas and eliminate all American resistance. As the Americans, you need to secure all bases and defeat all Russian attackers. Both sides have access to some basic troops which you need to use for the initial goal, then you need to use the resources from captured bases to call up enough troops to fulfill the rest of your goals for victory.

Raid on Coasts
Highlights:

Strong Points: Good concept for a military strategy game
Weak Points: Highly unfinished features and poorly developed user interface
Moral Warnings: Violence and some blood

The game uses a stripped down commander GUI much like the one used in Command and Conquer Generals (where you could produce several units in a queue menu), while the base capture mechanic is very similar to the one used in Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War (where units defend a point they capture until it becomes their territory after a set timer). This is meant to be a quick match game, so this is sufficient to the needs of either side and allows for quick deployment of forces. It's rather bare bones so far being its an Early Access title and has a lot of balance issues, but it is playable, if barely so, for both sides, though all you can do is build some basic units after capturing a base.

Graphics are not much more advanced than one would see in a fairly decent Flash-based game set in a top-down perspective for units. It does have nice water and shadow effects that should run nicely even on integrated chipsets, and the level of detail is manageable in case it has slowdown. Sound is confined to generic gunfire, explosions, and brief voice clips for both sides, though the American voices sound more British than American, and both sides voice clips sound a bit muffled though understandable. None of it is remarkable, yet it's perfectly serviceable as is.

While incomplete from a gameplay standpoint, it IS rather stable; no crashes or other anomalies occurred during play. Controls, however, feel incomplete, as map scrolling is done with the keyboard while the mouse moves units. It would be better if the mouse integrated all of the map scrolling and unit movement; the current setup is not very intuitive. The UI also is only marginally helpful, as it very poorly highlights captured bases, while uncaptured bases have no indicators for various troop movements for either side and lack information on deployed reinforcements. The last of these is rather galling, as you have no idea where either is deployed unless you scroll around the map. If all the above were fixed, this game would feel far more feature complete.

Raid on Coasts
Score Breakdown:
Higher is better
(10/10 is perfect)

Game Score - 64%
Gameplay - 12/20
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 6/10
Stability - 5/5
Controls - -2/5

Morality Score - 85%
Violence - 2.5/10
Language - 10/10
Sexual Content - 10/10
Occult/Supernatural - 10/10
Cultural/Moral/Ethical - 10/10

Since this is a war game simulation, Raid on Coasts is going to have violent content of moral concern, and while detail is rather low, a brief blood stain is visible where defeated troops are visible before disappearing and it's still quite obvious where humans have killed one another, even if the low detail graphics and top-down perspective makes them hard to recognize as human beings. Language is not an issue, though I may not be aware of any profanity in the Russian voice clips if any. It is doubtful there is, though; it's mostly stock acknowledgments of commands. Sexual content is nonexistent in any form, and being a military strategy game in a realistic setting, this has no occult or supernatural elements.

Authority clearly derives from an established chain of military command on both sides, and both sides are following lawful orders to fight only enemy combatants. There are no signs of actions taken against anyone who is a civilian or otherwise an innocent, and objectives remain consistent with those of any war involving the capture of key military objectives.

That all said, obvious violence issues aside, this is a highly unpolished gem of a game, and while the developer is to be commended for indicating they wish to resume development of this title, I could not recommend it due to its highly unfinished nature as it is at present, nor could I recommend it on moral grounds to anyone who objects to killing human beings in a war.

About the Author

Daniel Cullen

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Christ Centered Gamer looks at video games from two view points. We analyze games on a secular level which will break down a game based on its graphics, sound, stability and overall gaming experience. If you’re concerned about the family friendliness of a game, we have a separate moral score which looks at violence, language, sexual content, occult references and other ethical issues.

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