My first stop during this year’s Gen Con was The Continuum, a recently-released strategy title that is heavily influenced by some of the more popular tabletop miniatures wargames. Since it’s a wholly-electronic game, though, The Continuum is able to get much, much deeper than most tabletop skirmishers, something die-hard number crunchers are bound to eat up.
As a bonus, The Continuum is completely web-based. This means there’s no lengthy download or continuous stream of patches. Just log in, grab a starter pack and perhaps a few boosters, and begin building an army. The Continuum is a collectable game, meaning players buy randomized boosters of units to increase their forces, although some of the top players on the leaderboards have managed some respectable achievements without purchasing a single booster. Still, without a monthly fee, buying a few unit packs here and there can still be cheaper than most MMOs.
The game itself feels much like a tabletop wargame, which is a good thing. Players choose a point total to determine the relative size of the forces they’re fielding, organize their units into squads and armies, and find a challenger. There seemed to be quite a goodly amount of opponents to choose from, from all over the world, which is an impressive feat given the game has only recently launched. An incredibly detailed matchmaking system is in place to insure players know exactly who they’re up against.
As armies battle, the units gain experience, allowing them to level up and upgrade their abilities for future fights. Common units, while limited in their upgrade selection, still have an impressive amount of customizability. Rare units, in comparison, have oodles of choices, allowing players to have incredibly individualized armies at their disposal. In fact, there are tons of numbers and abilities to manage in The Continuum, and each and every one of them are right upfront for display. Hard-core gamers will rejoice, but the casual gamer might be a little put off.
There also seemed to be a very strong fan base at this point in the game’s early life, which the developers are embracing. Although still early, if this level of fan and developer cooperation continues, The Continuum will be a great fit for dedicated strategy gamers, provided they enjoy the collectable-style game.
Check out www.thecontinuum.com for more details.