Who doesn’t want to be an Ewok? Ok, probably a lot of people and I suppose I’d rather be more partial to a Wookie. Still, I’m halfway there and closer to an Ewok in stature and facial hair. The only thing is, how can you overpower your enemies with rocks and sticks? It would help if you had an AT-AT, alternatively, Be-A Walker: Battle for Eldorado.
Ok, so it’s not exactly a Star Wars game, but it’s clear that Be-A Walker: Battle for Eldorado has been heavily influenced by the universe as well as a few other sci-fi franchises. Some of the archers bear a striking resemblance to the movie Avatar. Even the full title referring to Eldorado is most likely to be a nod to the Battle of Endor (Ewok planet) than a short-lived soap opera from the BBC. But what’s it all about? Do I get to play in an AT-AT? Sorry, Be-A Walker?
Of course, you do. That’s the selling point of the game and as you’d expect, a lot of fun. This is overpowering at its fullest, though you aren’t without weaknesses, so don’t expect this to be a walk in the park. Or forest on a remote planet in an unknown galaxy, quite far away.
The animation of the walker is pretty cool, but the controls don’t replicate the fluidity of movement. With the left stick you move, and the right stick is for aiming. Ammo here is unlimited, but each weapon has a cooldown and one of the tricks to stop you from wiping everything out so quickly. While the animation looked good when aiming, to pinpoint these tiny folk on the ground was tricky. You have a line of sight on where you will strike, and though there’s no wobble or floating of the line seen on screen, it’s quite hard to get the people on the ground in your sights. As an analogue controller, you have to move it much slower for accuracy, and when you’re being shot at, there’s a sense of urgency which can’t be performed. In this case, the best way to hit individuals is through splash damage, but this type of weapon can take longer to access. The standard guns are ok, pending you don’t overuse them or you’ll find they’ll cease up.
Occasionally the natives will get on top of the cockpit, and as you don’t have any weapons installed, you have to rock the left analogue stick back and forth to shake it off. As cruel as it sounds, it’s quite satisfying to see them splat on the ground, only to follow up with a cheeky stomp on anyone else nearby. When it comes to moving the walker, the controls take a little getting used to. They aren’t complicated as such; you hold the left analogue stick in the direction you want to go and press ZL with each movement. Thankfully there’s an automatic version in Be-A Walker: Battle for Eldorado which you can use by pressing the left joystick as a button. From here, hold the ZL button and each leg movement works in succession. You can switch back with the left stick again if you want to fine-tune any stomping on the foot soldiers below. A lot of the time, however, you can be stationary and pick off the waves of enemies.
There is a story here, though. In the beginning, you play a prologue of sorts as your brother. His legacy as a hero is fulfilled as he was able to fend off the enemy for some time until one of their chiefs throws a spear into the cockpit, killing him. Five years later, you take his place in the aim to wipe out the natives and avenge his death to some degree.
As well as a health meter, there is a gauge underneath that specifies your oxygen levels. Once these run out, it’s game over. Oxygen is replenished through stations which serve as a checkpoint or are located at the end of a mission. Here you get a briefing of how long it took, enemies killed, damage you received and some rewards in the form of credits that can be used to upgrade your walker. The two main options are to repair your walker or upgrade it with armour, air filters, energy capacity, cooling system and canons, at first, plus some skin customisations. These elements should be self-explanatory, but to summarise, the air filters increase your oxygen so you last longer, energy capacity is the amount you can fire before needing to cool off and then the cooling system speeds up that process. When you start Be-A Walker: Battle for Eldorado, you have a simple cannon, but as the prologue teases, you eventually unlock a decent arsenal such as rockets and homing missiles. If there was only a worthy upgrade to make you a lot faster, but at least you can add a decal to the front of the walker to make it your own.
Be-A Walker: Battle for Eldorado is an interesting idea, but does it last as a standalone game? Not so much. The purpose of blasting through shooting lesser enemies is fun, while still having your own handicaps not to make it too easy – energy restrictions, for example. However, it’s mostly moving left and right picking off what you can with your weapons and squashing everything else. After a while it gets a little monotonous and what with the speed of this brute, a little too sluggish.
The presentation is good, but this does feel more at home as a mobile game than a console. Granted, a lot of ports on the Switch are from mobile games, and they do work. Here, however, it doesn’t feel like the Switch is used to its potential. Graphics are simple but good. The animation on the walker, in particular, looks very nice and the soundtrack of tribal drums and the 16-bit score, while repetitive, is pretty good. In between missions are a few dialogue sections with your brief and the progression of the story. These character designs look good, and the voice acting is excellent – I wish it were used a little more in the game to break up the monotony of the actual walking. Still, with the added upgrades, it adds a bit more enjoyment to sticking this out and building your behemoth, don’t expect to go changing the world afterwards.
REVIEW CODE: A complimentary Nintendo Switch code was provided to Bonus Stage for this review. Please send all review code enquiries to email@example.com.
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BE-A Walker Review
Gameplay - 6/10
Graphics - 7/10
Sound - 7/10
Replay Value - 6/10
An interesting title that walks the walk, but an emphasis on the pace as it’s quite slow-moving and gets a little monotonous in places. That said, the upgrade system and the ability to crush people under your feet is a nice, if somewhat cruel, feature.
- Fun idea.
- Plenty of upgrades.
- Animation of walker looks good.
- A little too repetitive.
- Not that much variety in terms of gameplay, just higher difficulties.