Second Wave Review – Second Wave Game Review

Second Wave Review - Second Wave Game Review

The idea of ​​creating a shooter with anime characters, although not new, sounds quite interesting. Although the problems of Second Wave were visible from the first alpha tests, the game inspired hope that after patches it would take its rightful place for fans of the genre. However, unfortunately, with the release in early access, the project turned out to be of no use to anyone. We will try to understand the reasons in this review.

The main controversial decision of the developers was the release of Second Wave in paid early access. It is still possible to understand such a move – as the team explained, this is necessary in order to collect feedback among a small number of players before showing the game to a wider audience. They also emphasized that renting servers is expensive, so they do not have the funds to invite a large number of people. In fact, there were so few players that it was completely impossible to find a match. In all this time, I only played three times with real people, and then at the very beginning. Therefore, to prepare the review, I had to play mainly with bots. It is unlikely that the situation will change in the near future, since few people will want to buy a multiplayer shooter that no one plays.

In general, this could be the end of the review, because if there are no players, then there is no game itself. However, this is not the only problem with Second Wave, since from a gameplay point of view, everything is also not as good as we would like. First of all, the characters feel somewhat nondescript. Their abilities are either overdone by unnecessary conditions, or simply boring. It often seems like the developers just churned out different skills without understanding whether they fit together or suited a particular character. Moreover, the controls are very unresponsive and crooked, which is why the gameplay only causes frustration.

Let’s take a local sniper named Shania. When you press the aim button, there is a slight delay of half a second. In general, it’s normal when you don’t get the “sniper” right away, but here it happens after a short time, without any animation – that is, you click on the right mouse button and only after a while the sight opens. In addition, if you hold down RMB while reloading, you will not automatically switch to aiming mode after it finishes. This is incredibly annoying, because in other shooters everything is implemented more conveniently and logically. I’m not even talking about the fact that to kill a target you need to make several headshots, and we’re not talking about tanks.

Second Wave Review Second Wave Game Review Second Wave Review - Second Wave Game Review

Another example is a local “Soldier 76” named Riley. Her transition to aim mode also comes with choppy animation, which sometimes makes you want to fire from the hip just to avoid seeing her. Shaniya’s problem, due to which the aiming mode does not turn on after reloading, is also present. This could probably be solved with patches, but the game has already passed many tests – were they really not enough to solve such an obvious flaw?

Apart from the overly harsh and wooden animations, the characters themselves turned out quite good. They have beautiful and well-designed models, and epic skins make you want to get them. But everything is learned by comparison, and in a similar game called Strinova, which is still in development, the characters turned out to be much more interesting. And in general, the gameplay there looks smoother, and the controls are more responsive.

Second Wave is a third-person shooter, but if you want, you can always switch to first person by pressing the V button. However, this camera looks very unfinished, as if the developers simply zoomed in on it without optimizing it for the gameplay. For example, if you go into a sprint while in first person view, this is not reflected in any way on the screen. The character does not start swinging the weapon in front of him, which makes it difficult to determine at first whether you are running or not, because sprinting is not that fast.

There is also the ability to purchase items, like in classic MOBAs, but, like everything else, it is poorly done. Not only are there few items themselves, but the developers were able to make their purchase as inconvenient as possible. You have four slots where items are purchased by selecting them through a small tree. The function seems unnecessary, since it takes time and promotes snowballing, because to get gold you need to make “kills” and “assists”. The system for purchasing skills from Paladins would be more suitable here – It is not only richer and offers many options for different situations, but it is also more convenient and intuitive.

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There are only three modes in Second Wave: “6 on 6”, “4 on 4 on 4” and “3 on 3 on 3 on 3”. Again, due to the lack of players, I mostly only played the first one (it’s the only one available when playing with bots), but I was able to check out the second one a couple of times. Only one map is available for each of them, but a small amount of content is, in principle, normal for starting early access. The maps turned out to be not so bad – they have ziplines, hills, obstacles and passages. In the main mode you can even fight bosses, but so far I haven’t seen much point in them. For such a fast paced game, they have too much health, which is why fighting them is almost always unprofitable. In my opinion, the monsters should be made weaker so that there is more fighting for them, but this is a matter of balance.

Second Wave currently sells for 1,100 rubles, although a transition to Free-to-Play is expected in the future. The developers promise that there will never be any Pay-to-Win elements, and at the moment there really aren’t any. Only cosmetic items can be purchased with real money. The game also has a “gacha” with a random reward, but only in-game currency earned through gameplay is spent on it. Skins are purchased directly for crystals. In addition, you can find hints about a battle pass, which is not yet available. Although I would like to praise the authors for not strictly monetizing, there is no point in this if no one is playing the game. The project should have been made free right away, and now there is no longer any confidence that the transition to Free-to-Play will help much. In addition, there is currently no information about the benefits that owners of the Founder’s Pack receive – essentially, you are only buying access to the game.

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Second Wave is not worth buying, if only because if you do, then you simply will have no one to play with except bots. However, even if you don’t take into account the low online quality, the quality of the shooter itself also leaves much to be desired. The game has awkward and unresponsive controls, lackluster abilities, little content, and balance issues. Of course, all this, in theory, can still be corrected in the future, but won’t it be too late by then? With several hero shooters in development, Second Wave is at risk of never finding its audience.

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

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