The game known as H.A.V.E. Online in Asia is now coming to North America and Europe under the title MicroVolts. The bright visual style coupled with the third-person view helps MicroVolts stand out from other shooters. The game also has a a variety of game modes and cosmetic options available for players to customize their characters. Stat tracking, leader boards, and a leveling system provide players incentives to continuously improve their skills. The game’s graphics were most certainly inspired by Valve’s Team Fortress 2, as they have similar art styles.
MicroVolts Featured Video
By, Omer Altay
MicroVolts is a unique lobby-based 3D Cartoony third person MMO shooter published by RockHippo Productions. The game’s visuals were most certainly inspired by Valve’s Team Fortress 2, as MicroVolts shares the same sleek cartoony look that Team Fortress 2 popularized. The fact that MicroVolts a third person shooter rather than first person one, instantly makes the game a bit original, as there are countless free to play MMOFPS games but only a handful of third person shooter. Rockhippo Productions has the license to publish MicroVolts in both Europe and North America, so players in both regions can enjoy the game without worrying about IP blocks.
Online Toy Shooter
MicroVolts bills itself as a free to play online toy shooter. The game’s opening cut-scene reveals some mad scientist bringing toys to life through some sort of experiment. Apparently when toys come to life, the first thing they want to do is start killing each other. The game’s story isn’t too important, but it helps set the game’s tone. MicroVolts has several playable characters, with new ones being added regularly. Players begin their career in MicroVolts with access to two starting characters – Naomi and Knox; Naomi being an upbeat anime doll and Knox being a hip-hop action figure. Additional characters can be purchased with MicroPoints, the in-game currency in MicroVolts. Each individual character can be separately customized with clothing and weapons in the game’s item store.
One of my favorite aspects of MicroVolts is its great level designs. All of the game’s stages either take place on tabletops, gardens, roofs or other household areas. This actually fits the game’s toy theme, as players are supposed to be living dolls; and Since players are so small and the terrain is so large, there are countless corners, grooves and even ceiling-fans to hide in and ambush unsuspecting players.
MicroVolts plays more like S4 League and Team Fortress 2 than anything else. It plays significantly different than modern tactical MMOFPS games like Combat Arms, Sudden Attack and Soldier Front – which is a good thing, as there are already so many of these kinds of games. MicroVolts is different because it’s third person and has a unique toy theme. One thing I should mention though is that even though MicroVolts isn’t a “tactical” MMO shooter, players still die very fast; a short burst of bullets is usually enough to down your opponent. The game does have some odd latency issues, so you may have to try joining a few different games until you find one with little lag.
Most MMO shooters usually allow you to hold one primary weapon, a grenade and a side-arm at once, MicroVolts on the other hand is completely different. Players in MicroVolts can carry 7 different guns at once (one weapon of each kind) and switch between them at anytime during a match. Players don’t have to die to switch between weapons either, one moment you could be sniping and another you could be firing your mini-gun. This gives every player access to every type of weapon at all times, which makes the gameplay feel varied and unique. This actually adds another layer of depth to the game, as players will need to figure out which weapons are best in different situations. Snipers are obviously best for long distance, while the grenade launcher can be useful at destroying enemies when they clump together in choke points; each weapon has its purpose, though I feel some weapons are a bit weaker than others.
One thing I noticed in MicroVolts is that when an enemy begins shooting at you from behind, it’s almost impossible to be able to turn around and fight back, as players lose health very fast in the game; this makes sneaking up on opponents a major part of MicroVolts. Another thing worth mentioning is that it takes a while to get used to the aiming in MicroVolts. I’ve been playing FPS and MMO shooters for years, and it took me a good hour or so until I became comfortable with the shooting and movement mechanics in MicroVolts; many of the weapons have little to no recoil, so shooting an enemy from a distance with a machine gun or rifle is quite easy. One neat aspect of MicroVolts is that whenever an enemy dies, they drop a small vial of health which replenishes hitpoints once picked up; this allows good players to maintain their killing sprees, as they don’t have to wait until they die to heal up. Plus it serves as a mini-reward for killing an enemy. Other players can pick up these healing vials though, so make sure to grab them fast.
Needs More Variety
The core gameplay in MicroVolts is quite fun, but the game could certainly use more maps, weapons and game modes. Currently there are only a handful of game modes ranging from the generic Team Deathmatch to the more exotic item mode. Whichever team reaches a pre-determined amount of kills first in Team Deathmatch wins. Item Mode works largely the same way, except players are rewarded with an item after each kill. Items can be used by hitting the “F” key and have varying effects from health replenishment to temporary invulnerability.
One small complaint I have with MicroVolts is that leveling up seems to do nothing. The best way to look at levels in the game is to look as them as ranks in other MMOFPS games. I sort of wished that MicroVolts would have some neat RPG elements like BattleField Heroes, but alas, it doesn’t. Experience is earned at the end of each round; the better a player performs in a round the more experience and MicroPoints they’ll receive. I’d also like to see more appearance customization items in the game’s store. As is, each character in the game has their own assortment of clothing, accessories and other appearance items in the store. There’s currently only a handful of items, but I’m sure the game’s developer will add more items soon. Ultimately though, even with its flaws, MicroVolts is an interesting MMO shooter that’s worth the download.
Final Verdict: Good
Even with a few bugs and latency issues, MicroVolts is a breath of fresh air in the MMO shooter genre. The gameplay is fluid and the graphics are easy on the eyes. Those looking for a good MMO shooter to play should definitely give the game a chance.
MicroVolts System Requirements
OS: Windows XP / Vista / 7
CPU: Pentium 4 2.0 GHz
RAM: 512 MB
HDD: 2 GB Free
Graphics Card: GeForce FX 5600, ATI 9600 PRO
OS: Windows Vista / 7
CPU: DUal Core 2.4 GHz
RAM: 1 GB or more
HDD: 2 GB Free
Graphics Card: GeForge FX 5800GT, ATIx800 PRO
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