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Fray Review

Fray is a multiplayer tactical turn based strategy game set in a cyberpunk futuristic world published and developed by Brain Candy on Steam. There are not enough cyberpunk titles in the industry so this is what peaked my interest and made it stand out. While I am typically against multiplayer only titles I remained positive hoping that the unique atmosphere and gameplay would keep me interested. Because this is a multiplayer only title this will be a relatively short review.

The gameplay is turn based having two stages. The starting stage were you give your squad of four orders such as moving and attacking. The Resolution stage is when the units act out their orders. Depending on the unit and weapon you may or may not do damage during this stage. There are factors that change the outcome such as weapon, firing type, skills, and environment. During the Resolution stage, if the enemy runs behind a car they will avoid damage depending on how long it took to get behind the car. Guns have a firing type of precision and spread shots. Both have their uses but there is not much incentive to switch.

You can unlock a variety of weapons and skills upon leveling up the different classes, Tank, Shadow, Sniper, Medic, Assault, and Support. Each class is easily identified and what they do by the names. The Tank soaks up damage, Assault dishes the damage, Medic heals the damage, Support provides protection against the damage, Sniper dishes precise damage, and the Shadow deal covert damage. Each class also has their own weaknesses and strength against different classes. Through experimenting a Medic is essential on every team while the Support is more of a luxury rather than a necessity.

As you win (or lose) matches you gain EXP for kills during the match as well as corporation loyalty. Corporation Loyalty plays into the setting of the game with waring corporations that specialize in weapons manufacturing. Whoever wins the war is the corporation that has the most loyalty points. You get something for losing but it is not much. There is a massive skill tree available for every class and as you level up more abilities and skills become available.

This is the part when I say this game is incredibly unbalanced and unfair to new players. Because of this level up system the higher the level, the better equipment and stats. To a new player who is level one they will be losing a lot. What is the purpose of playing a game if you are just going to lose all the time? Everyone is on one server so a level 11 can join a level 2. When you combine this with connectivity issues, problems with finding matches, and freezing you get a game that may as well be in beta. That is what I felt like when playing this game.

The tutorials told you how to play the game in a paragraph or two. Essentially you have to read a manual to figure out how to play and it is off putting when you have to spend 30 minutes reading just to learn how to play. A series of videos would be a welcome addition or even an interactive tutorial. While the idea is there for Fray. It just seems to be poorly executed and many problems still exist. As time goes on and more patches are added the game will hopefully get better.

I give Fray a 6.5/10. The game is good, but there are too many problems regarding matchmaking and a lack of informative tutorials that hinder it from being a great game.

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