H.A.V.E. Online: MMOTPS Hands-On Preview
Hands-on impressions of the upcoming third-person shooter that mirrors the aesthetics of Team Fortress 2 with casual-style shooting mechanics.
Insrea Interactive and Triforce Team’s third-person MMO action game, HAVE Online, is still going through the testing phases over in Taiwan but before the game becomes available to European or North American audiences as MicroVolts, you can find out exactly what the game is all about right here at Bright Hub.
HAVE Online is an extremely slick hybrid that takes on semi-class-based qualities while being a fast-paced shooter; it also takes a slightly different approach to the standard shooting mechanics. The game is actually very affording to casual gamers and is aimed at a very broad audience. Added to this, melee combat and with team tactics are much more essential in the standard playing mechanics than most other shooters out there.
What Guns Do You Have?
Given that my Taiwanese and Chinese dialect is a bit rusty, and that’s an exaggerated understatement, I can’t entirely explain why the game is called H.A.V.E. Nevertheless, the basic premise revolves around toy action figures who come to life and use a bunch of stylish weapons to battle and kill each other. No worries, though, this isn’t like the movie Dolls, it’s very light-hearted and shares a great deal of visual and gameplay similarities to Valve's Team Fortress 2.
The weapons are very unique in the game, and include just about every weapon type necessary to completely and utterly dispose of an opponent. Every player automatically comes equipped with every type of gun right at the start of the game. The weapon cache kicks off with a melee weapon, and work its way up to a rifle, a shotgun, a sniper rifle, a rocket launcher a minigun and a grenade launcher. Each gun serves a purpose in various situations and there’s no such thing as settling into one specific gun depending on the amount of players in a match and the stage being played.
Weapon customization isn’t so much a heavy factor of H.A.V.E. Online so much as it is having the right weapons in your inventory. Similar to games like Mercenary Wars and War Rock, the weapon setup in H.A.V.E. revolves around picking the right weapon that can be switched to during a time of need. Players who may prefer relying on rocket launchers will probably find it more convenient to upgrade their rocket launcher as opposed to buying a new shotgun or rifle. And the way the shops are setup all the weapon types are available and players can choose which category they plan to upgrade.
Apparel For Killer Action Figures
Buying new weapons is just part of the customization process included in this third-person shooter. Similar to Battlefield Heroes or S4 League, players can outfit their chosen character with various parts, clothes and accessories. So far, the game includes four main character classes, two of which must be unlocked as gamers level. Each character type offers something unique in style and appearances but don’t seem to change much when it comes to actual in-game playability.
The options for outfitting one’s character is quite extensive and includes hats, helmets, skirts, shirts, pants, boots, sunglasses and even jetpacks. Players who aren’t merely content with changing the accoutrements of their character can also modify certain physical structures of their action figure as well.
Style And Substance
The one thing that really struck me with H.A.V.E. is how well the game is structurally designed to play out so smoothly. Gamers who are used to clunky shooters with cumbersome cover mechanics or shoddy shooting can forget all about that once the game boots up because the developers have made sure that H.A.V.E. runs at 30 plus frames per second, consistently, and it suffers from almost zero lag. In result, the game plays as smooth as it looks.
Another thing that was a bit surprising is just how stylishly cool the game looks. As mentioned, it borrows character designs from Team Fortress and Battlefield Heroes, but it all works like a real charm. The style and the gunplay combines for a real noteworthy experience that I wasn’t expecting.
Playing Rough In The House
Considering that the game puts players in the role of toys, it’s not surprising that all the stages revolve around toy-like atmospheres. Now, this doesn’t mean there are all kinds of Babes in Toyland-type scenarios, instead there are a lot of household-esque maps that include both outdoor and indoor scenarios.
It’s funny because snipers can use the inside of a sink for cover, or the top of a desk as a perch, while support gunners can rely on mouse holes or doll houses as a place to launch suppression fire from. The maps are uniquely designed and offer a lot of ins-and-outs that up to 16 players can make use of.
The size of the stages is definitely not an issue, hopefully they can add a few more to the cache, though, as there were only three playable stages available as of the writing of this preview.
So When Can We H.A.V.E. Online?
A North American release hasn’t been set for H.A.V.E. Online, so far. Although, given the way gamers around the world are just eating up all things MMO, don’t be surprised if Gamigo or Alaplay picks up H.A.V.E. Online and offers it to a global audience.
Right now the game has some serious potential and hopefully the developers can flesh out the content and extend some of the options for the stages and weapon choices as well. But all those who were curious about the game can rest assured that H.A.V.E. Online is a real contender in the MMOTPS category despite its casual themes.
If you're looking for more information on third-person shooter games in the MMO category, be sure to check out the full listing at the Bright Hub MMO Action Game Directory.
Official H.A.V.E. Online Website