I do enjoy a competitive FPS game, despite being terrible at them. I also love RTS games, something I tend to be a little better at. So how will I fair playing a game that combines elements of both? Well, Eximius: Seize the Frontline allowed me the opportunity to find out. Spoiler alert: I still suck when it’s more heavily FPS based.
Eximius is an FPS/RTS hybrid that focuses on squad-based combat. The game features an intense 5v5 multiplayer experience with each team comprising 4 Squad Officers and one Commander. Each side taking up one of two waring factions. And it’s a pretty decent experience, but I do wish it had a little more, and I will explain why.
Whilst I’m happy playing FPS games like Apex Legends, I know with Apex it’s a full-on multiplayer experience being a Battle Royale. But, one thing it does really well is around the lore of the game. Everyone has a story, and with each season, new storylines are brought in with the comic strips. That’s the one major thing I think is missing from Eximius. Whilst I know it’s a multiplayer game, I feel there could be more of a story there. Doesn’t necessarily have to be a story campaign to play through, just something basic to introduce you to the lore the game. But alas there is not.
Getting over that small gripe, I still managed to enjoy playing the game. You get introduced to Eximus’ mechanics through a tutorial, that shows you the basic controls before putting you in some simulated combat scenarios to demonstrate the more detailed RTS side of things. For the most part, the basic mechanics work well, although there does seem to maybe be a little too much recoil on weapons, and I struggled to hold my automatic weapons steady, it wasn’t a major deal-breaker, because as I said earlier, I suck at FPS games anyway. So I’m used to missing my target.
The one nice thing about the tutorial is when it introduces you to battle simulations. You get targets you have to try to achieve for medals, with 3 up for grabs for each lesson. They’re not too difficult to get, things like complete it in a certain time, or kill so many enemies with headshots or certain weapons.
The one issue I did have in the tutorial though was as the game loaded the simulations, it plays a cool animation that just kept seeming to freeze as it seemed to struggle to load. It really did seem to be resource-intensive which considering the recommended specs, I should’ve had no issues. Luckily, the game didn’t crash it just loads right into the game when ready. Fortunately, this was the only time where I seemed to have such an issue and there were no drops of framerate or anything during actual games.
Once you get to grips with everything, you can then jump into games. Eximius is primarily designed for a PvP experience, and luckily queue times aren’t too bad, so there isn’t much waiting around in between rounds. But before you jump into the multiplayer action, you can get some practice in picking a map and playing against an AI opponent. It’s great for getting to grips with the game, but as I said earlier, it’s a shame there isn’t some story mode involved to bring this to life more.
When you get into multiplayer games, you’ll automatically be assigned one of the 5 roles mentioned at the start. Either the commander or one of the squad officers. If you want to shoot more and be less tactical, you can relinquish the role of the commander during the game for someone else to pick up. It’s a nice feature of Eximius that means you aren’t necessarily forced to play a role you don’t enjoy. But you will need someone to be in that commander role if you want to succeed.
But don’t worry if no one else wants the role, you can go into first-person to join the battle as a commander too, but Eximius won’t be forgiving if you ignore your duties. You’ll have to ensure you focus on base building and troop management because if you don’t when your enemies are, you’ll end up getting burned. It really is a balancing act, and I would definitely suggest going through the full tutorial to get to grips with it. Because teammates may be as unforgiving as your enemy if you jump straight in without knowing what to actually do.
In terms of the gameplay, I mentioned earlier that my aim is terrible normally anyway. But the FPS side of things in Eximius definitely feels less polished than the RTS side of things. I think I may have even enjoyed the game more as a standalone RTS experience. But it does a relatively good job of balancing the two genres and merging them together, although it will probably be a marmite type of game, where fans of either genre will love it or hate it based on the fact that you really do have to make the most of both aspects of the game to do well.
One nice aspect of Eximius is you can customise your commander to an extent, unlocking cosmetics items you can switch between before jumping into a game. Allowing players to make their representation in-game more personal and less generic, which sadly is an issue with the maps, as they don’t really differ all that much. I would like to see some more diverse environments and maybe bigger differences in level designs.
Eximius: Seize the Frontline – War, what is it good for?
Eximius: Seize the Frontline isn’t the best game you’re going to play, but it’s not the worst either. It’s nice to see a developer in Ammobox Studios trying something a little different and merging together two different genres. However, they don’t quite pull it off. Sure, it does a few things well, but the RTS side of things definitely feels better than the FPS side. So it isn’t as balanced as it could be. Add to that the fact that there is a real lack of story and no real depth to the game it doesn’t quite do it for me. It’s fun, but will it draw me back in to replay it over and over again? Probably not.