Aftercharge – A Smooth PvP Experience – PAX EAST 2017

Tucked away within the mammoth halls of PAX EAST was a huge booth with a wonderful little title filled with robots, humans, and a whole bunch of competitive action. From Canada-based Chainsawesome Games comes Aftercharge, a 3v3 skirmishing game that is set to bring something new and fresh to the competitive arena.

Aftercharge is a skirmish game, where teams of 3 face off against each other in a fast-paced battle of offense and defense. In Aftercharge, the defenders, the humans, must defend energy containers from evil robots. The defenders can utilize a variety of EMP weaponry to defend themselves, though, they lack the means to detect the robots. The offenders, the robots, have the ability to don optic camouflage, similar to Grey Fox and the cyborg ninja in the Metal Gear Solid saga. Their objective to destroy the energy containers, no matter the cost. If the robots destroy all the containers, the robots win. If the humans successfully disable the robots, the humans win. I grabbed a controller and got into the action straight away with other PAX attendees and a member of the Chainsawesome team.

Immediately, I noticed how responsive everything looked and felt Visually; the game was solid and colorful while the controls felt fresh and smooth. As we didn’t exactly have a radar or scopes to find the robots, our best bet was to utilize any kind of erratic motions in the environment, as well as to pay attention to our containers. Soon enough, the enemy side struck the first blow, knocking out one of the containers. The containers also have the ability to charge the human weapons, so losing one is not good. The containers do have a durability to them, so it gives us a few moments to find them and attack at long range.

I used my rifle at medium range to disable one and attempted to destroy one long distance. However, a robot sneaked up and hit me when I was not looking. Soon, I am back in, trying to defend myself and the remaining containers. The odds are not well in our favor. I utilize some defensive devices, such as a grenade that decloaks any robot in the vicinity. It works, and I manage to down another robot. However, they can resuscitate their own if they are downed. I manage to see something not quite right and fire off my blaster again, only for another robot to slam me. It is safe to say that we are definitely not doing too good.

Soon enough, we are down to our very last container. There is a fleeting glimpse of us winning the match, as the timer is running low. We have downed some of their robots, but a few remain. We form a  perimeter and attempt to hold off the last few attackers. Several of them are seen, and I am on my last fleeting attempts, I call in an EMP airstrike. I got two of them, but one of them slips through and manages to destroy the container. The game was over. It was a good fight, but the other side prevailed. Now it was the time to attack.

As a robot, the controls were very similar, but of course, the gameplay was quite different. Robots play in a very stealth mechanic, as opposed to running and shooting. The objective is to sneak around the level and destroy the containers. From the start, we split up and go our own ways, trying to destroy the container. I immediately begin working my way on one. I came under heavy fire but managed to crack and destroy it before falling back.

As I navigate through the level, an enemy spots me and disables me before I could react. Stuck, all I could do is wait for another robot to heal me, played by a member of the dev team.  I got healed, only to once again be downed. Fortunately, another robot threw a defensive forcefield in the form of a grenade. It created a dome, blocked all incoming fire, and allowed me to be healed. I proceeded along to various objectives where the other members of the team were making more progress. One by one, we took down the containers. I maintained stealth and stayed together with the other teammates. Together, we flanked the enemy side, took out a human, and destroyed the last container with our fists of fury. We had won the match. With that, my time with Aftercharge came to an end.

Aftercharge is the third game from Chainsawesome Games, and it came out of a passion for games. Particularly, the earlier prototype for the game emerged from a 48hr game jam. Originally, the game was called ‘Electronic Panic” and was played from the top-down view. Seeing the potential to what they had made,  They refined the mechanics and felt the desire to introduce an engaging, yet accessible game into the world of esports. The result was Aftercharge.

Aftercharge will be a multiplayer-focused game, with more game modes and weapon varieties to be made over time. The game is currently targeting for a 2018 release and is asking anyone interested to sign up for early access to their builds.