Aftercharge Closed Beta Preview – A lesson in Patience

This title was previewed during a Closed Beta event on PC.

Over the weekend, the indie multiplayer title, Aftercharge, had a closed beta and four of us lucky writers had the chance to check it out and share our thoughts. Aftercharge is a 3V3 multiplayer game, one side plays as the Workonics: Robots, who, when not on the offensive, remain cloaked from the enemy and whose goal is to destroy extractors. The other side plays as invulnerable security: defend the extractors and try to take out all three Workonics without them reviving one another.

The premise at first sounded simple, either attack or defend. We jumped on our PCs and figured after a few rounds, we’d be cleaning up the competetion. Oh, how wrong we were. Defeat after defeat after defeat soon had us pondering whether this game was a game, or if it was in fact a clever torture device crafted to punish us for our previous reviews. One team member swapped out for another, and we won. We cracked it. We won again. Never had a victory felt so sweet. We won once more that night, as the cheers died down and the “GGs” were sent we knew that the streak must come to an end soon.

Aftercharge Gameplay
Downtrodden but not giving up!

Aftercharge is currently in development by studio Chainawesome Games. It’s first Alpha was back in October 2017 and the closed Beta recently went live over the weekend. The first thing we noticed, is that the game is still very much in beta. Menus overlapped each other, graphic settings didn’t save and a few other annoying bits and pieces that you’d expect from a game not yet in full release. However, the gameplay was fantastic. We didn’t come across a single bug while actually playing, and that is a testament to how hard these devs are working to release a solid multiplayer experience. Each match, whether lose or win has you earn XP and eventually level up. Each level up awards you cosmetic awards for your profile and lets you change the way your characters look.

As I mentioned earlier, the game was hard to get into. Whether by design, or our unfortunate luck, remains a mystery. The three of us somehow matched up with some absolute madmen pros, that knew every tactic and playstyle, leaving us rejoicing when we destroyed one extractor. And there’s my first critique, this was a hard game to want to play. If we weren’t all games journalists, we would have given up long before our first win. The losses were daunting and we barely learnt anything from our mistakes. Cheeky mechanics, like robots bodies’ being pushable let security teams pin you in corners or corridors with no way to be saved, meaning you could be a workonic down very early. The game could still do with some balancing tweaks, operating as the security team ends up being a pray-n-spray approach rather than the use of tactics and the Workonics feel woefully underprepared for their daunting task when facing a skilled team of spinny-shooters.

Aftercharge Gameplay 2
One of the few times Robbie managed to down someone

In its current stage, Aftercharge holds a lot of promise. Despite the pain in losing time and time again, we had a lot of fun. But. We could have had a lot more fun, and that’s why we’re going to keep an eye on this. Hopefully, we’ll see some tweaks, balancing, and fixes before the next Beta or full release.

Stay tuned to The Insatiable Gamer for all your Aftercharge news and the eventual review.

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