Executive Assault 2 is the very long-awaited sequel of Executive Assault by Hesketh Studios, but does it live up to its predecessor? First of all, I want to note that it is currently in Early Access and may or may not change upon full release.
For those of you unaware of the title, it is an RTS/FPS. You build a base and a massive army to defeat your opponent/s. However, unlike the first game, where you are on a planet’s surface, the sequel takes you to the final frontier, space.
There is no campaign yet; you can either play on your own, team up with friends or join a random server and at the moment there is only one game mode, Skirmish.
Being the Boss
In Skirmish, you verse an AI. As the CEO of (insert company name here), you can control everything from an RTS perspective or you can enter the first-person mode and directly control specific rooms in your glorious space station. It’s fantastic to run around your base and actually see things be made, my Cheese Wheels for example. When you start the game, you are given the hard decision of how you want to lay out your base; there is a limited amount of space, so choose wisely. I recommend the first room you build is the docking bay. The next thing is to research new technology. From there, go to Power Control and put research to maximum, it will noticeably speed up research time. After that, well I’m still struggling to grasp what the best strategy is.
The map can have up to nine star systems and three enemy AIs. To get to your enemy’s base, there are fracture points that let you rocket to another star system. If you’re lucky enough to choose the enemies one, you can begin your assault. Firefights are a massive part of Executive Assault 2 and making the first move is a big deal. With it being in early access, there are a limited number of ships to build and frigates are probably your best bet. They have a high armor rating to keep you in the fight. There is a cap of 50 ships to a fleet, and barraging your enemy with even half that amount is a lot of fun. However, I found ships can be unresponsive after giving orders, so be sure to monitor them or take direct control from the captain’s seat.
Threats to the Star System
Your goal when attacking other bases is to kill their CEO, and there are two ways to do this: infiltrate their station or blow up their base; I infiltrate, as destroying a station can take a very long time. To board their station, create a squad of robots and a transport ship. Then, escort them to the enemy base and dock. You will need to fight your way through turrets, robots and doors to get to the CEO, but enemies can also board you. When they do, you will need to have defenses in place. The base is already equipped with turrets and a security system. Putting the base on red alert activates the turrets. There are other defensive measures like force fields, but they will stop all research. Be sure to always have a team of robots at your base in case of an emergency.
But other CEOs aren’t your only threat in Executive Assault 2. Protesters and disasters i.e. Ion Storms can hinder you. Protesters can slow down the rate at which traders visit your stations and disasters can greatly damage your stations. There are also Infesters, which are annoying bugs that come from traders; easy to kill, but a pain nonetheless. However, you will want to take the risk of being infested. Because traders are a way to make money. As a CEO you run a business. Building an assembly line and making products is a way to do so. Traders will purchase them from you and also sell you valuable resources, like Ironite. Although, the assembly line is the one thing I’ve found which you need to be in first-person to activate.
Makings Of A Great Game
I had a lot of fun playing Executive Assault 2, but there are a lot of things that need to be tweaked and added. I even had a couple bugs which limited what I could do more than once. But like I said, it is in early access. The biggest thing that bothered me was the wait time.
Regardless of the difficulty, I was waiting over half an hour before I could even think of beginning an assault, simply because all the research needed. Unfortunately, by the time I was ready to attack, I had an armada at my doorstep. Once the enemy started attacking, it was difficult to slow them down. For an RTS, it was quite slow. Something else which was annoying, is the base restrictions. Unlike the first game, there aren’t corridors or connectors, only the set rooms. Additionally, in the design screen, you can’t zoom out past a certain point. I understand there is a size limit, but it would have been nice to be able to zoom out farther. Same with being able to easily make all the rooms connect.
In saying all of this, these factors won’t stop me playing as much as I can.
Executive Assault 2 is currently available for purchase on Steam.