Cannons Lasers Rockets

Full disclosure: this game’s still in alpha, so a lot of the current problems could potentially be fixed by the time it’s ready for its official release. At the same time, however, the developers have displayed a few distressing tendencies that don’t necessarily bode well for the title’s future. I’ll just describe my experience with CLR, and let you folks be the judge of whether or not it’s worth playing or not. 

Cannons Lasers Rockets takes the traditional MOBA concept and attempts to spin it on its head, mashing it together with a third-person space combat simulator. How it works is pretty simple: each team has a base on either side of the map .There are several ‘lanes’ in each combat, guarded by massive flagships known as Defenders. The goal is to get past the defenders in order to destroy the opposing team’s base. Pretty simple, right? You’re helped along in this by strange little starships known as hornets, awakened from floating structures known as cocoons – standard minions, basically.

In that regard, Cannons Lasers Rockets actually puts another rather interesting twist on tradition. I’m not sure if it’s a glitch or not, but Hornets are hostile to whatever ship happens to get close enough. As such, awakening a cocoon on the opposing team’s side of the map will provide you with some much-needed firepower to get past the Defenders, but you could also find yourself being torn apart by your own forces. 

Once a cocoon is awakened (by shooting its shields down), the only way to rid yourself of the constant stream of hornets is to destroy it. So far so good, right? 

The control scheme’s your pretty standard WASD affair, with the mouse used for aiming and the mouse-keys and number keys used for your ships abilities. Destroying hornets, cocoons, structures, or enemy ships will net you points with which to upgrade your own ship. Again, pretty standard stuff, but with the potential to be pretty damned fun. Unfortunately, here’s where the game starts to stumble.

For some reason. battles are restricted to four ships in total. That’s two teams of two ships each, as opposed to the traditional 5v5 MOBA formula. You’d think this would make it easier for players to find a match, but that’s not the case – it took me at least twenty minutes just to get into my first game, and even once I did, the lag was a constant issue, combined with framerate drops and a whole host of mechanical glitches. Since it’s an alpha, I’m willing to overlook most of these problems. on the assumption that they’ll be patched out when the full game releases. 

One thing I’m not willing to overlook is the horrible matchmaking system and its horrendous wait times. If you’re building a MOBA,that is literally the most important component of your game, right after gameplay. If the developers can’t get that right, even in alpha, well…doesn’t really bode all that well, does it?

As if that’s not enough, the game doesn’t even do freemium all that well, either. Free players (or “trial” players) only have access to two ships, while those who shell out $15.00 gain access to ten premium vessels. Near as I can tell, there is no way for free players to unlock these without paying money. 

The problem is that beneath all these problems, there’s actually a very promising (and honestly, incredibly fun) game. I’m holding out hope that, once it’s out of alpha, it’ll be more worthwhile. For the time being, I’d recommend skipping out on this one – it doesn’t have much to offer right now. 

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