We Are the Dwarves is a real-time tactical action game created by Whale Rock Games. It follows three dwarven astronauts who are on a mission to find a new home for their dying race. The game came out on PC back in February of last year, and just recently made its way over to the Xbox One a year later. RTS games are hard to find on consoles, so lets see if this game is worth your time picking up.
The main premise of this game is that the dwarven planet in the Stone Universe has stars going out all around it, causing the dwarven race to start to dwindle towards extinction. So they send out three astronauts, Forcer, Smashfist, and Shadow, to find a new planet for the dwarves. Something happens on their mission and they crash-land into an unknown universe filled with scary crab like monsters, dwarf eating plants, and swamps so deep you’ll sink right in.
The story almost feels nonexistent in the game though. You hear the characters speaking every once in a while, and there are some cinematic scenes, but the main story idea took a back seat and it just felt like I was exploring an unknown planet. There is some diversity in the environments that you encounter, but not much. Mostly everything is swampy areas filled with crab spider things. You do find an area called the anomaly zone, and it is honestly one of the most aggravating areas I have ever had to mess with. Especially since the game does not really explain the mechanics of really anything in its game very well.
Each of the characters you can control have a different set of abilities. Forcer has guns, Smashfist has dual axes, and Shadow is the stealthy one with a bow and dagger. You only get one short explanation on the abilities each dwarf has when you are introduced to them, but it doesn’t go much deeper than that. I got to a point early on in the game where I needed to use Forcer’s shotgun to knock myself off a ledge or I would be killed by a giant crab monster. It took me dying several times before I figured out that the weapon even had the ability to do that. It’s little things like these that made the game incredibly frustrating to play at times.
Even with the game not explaining nearly enough to you about any of its controls, it does do a few things really well. I felt myself wanting to continue to explore every little area to find the collectibles to level up my characters. This game also requires its player to know a decent amount of RTS style play. Every move you make should really be analyzed carefully, and that’s why the quick pause trigger was a nice addition to help players plan ahead with each of the dwarves.
Even though We Are the Dwarves does a nice job with the RTS mechanics, the game does have a lot of elements that made me just want to stop playing all together. There are so many instant death mechanics in this game that it just became infuriating, and not fun. Sinking into a swamp because you didn’t take the fastest route to dry land is absurd to me. I am someone searching for collectibles in the game, but you’re going to constantly punish me for searching every corner? It almost made me want to give up on collecting everything.
Ultimately We Are the Dwarves is an alright RTS game for consoles. It has a decent amount of frustrating moments, but it does feel rewarding when you finally figure out that you have to do. I would recommend checking this game out on PC if you can though. Using a controller and figuring out the button configurations was a bit of a pain.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Microsoft Xbox One code was provided to Brash Games for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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