Developer: Studio Chahut
Publisher: Playdius, Plug in Digital
Reviewed on: PC
Do you have what it takes to become the greatest strategist of a post-human world? In a world where humanity has gone extinct, that is the very question Post Human W.A.R. presents. Mankind fell extinct at the dawn of the third millennium, leaving behind a grand legacy, and equally grand piles of trash. Large cities now lie empty, inhabited only by the robots that once aided humanity. These robots have banded to form the R-PATCH, Robots for Protection of the Arts, Territories, and Cities of Humanity, determined to keep the memory of humanity alive. This determination is challenged by more than just decaying cities. Newer, intelligent species stand against the R-PATCH, determined to crush human legacy to dust, or to take it over.
Stronts were born from humanity’s rejected waste, birthed out of radioactive chemicals and wastelands. These blob-like parasitic creatures were able to take over rats as hosts, wandering out from their hovels to interact with humanity. Their arrival was only met with death, killed as any other vermine would be. Scared and vengeful, the stronts fled back into hiding, and over time their ideals split them into warring factions. Wraaks inhabited all manner of creature, mutating them into beasts capable of destroying all memory of humans. The Anthropists took over primates, wishing to continue from where humans had left off.
Post Human W.A.R. is a turn-based strategy game set in a post-apocalyptic world. Players take control over one of three factions, the R-PATCH, Wraaks, or Anthropists in an effort to lead them to victory. There’s no need for gathering resources, maintaining bases, or training troops, Post Human W.A.R. jumps straight into the action with powerful troops at your disposal. Players take turns maneuvering their troops across hex-grid maps, maximising the benefits gained from the environment and careful positioning. Before battle can begin however, you must spend Resource Points, building your army from the troops available to your faction.
There’s a decent variety of troops as well, with over 36 different units spread across the three factions. Units are divided into three types: melee, ranged, and flying. Across these types, Post Human W.A.R. creates a variety of units with different health, defence, damage, movement, and attack range. Certain units also possess special abilities, like the ability to attack twice, or my personal favourite, protection from all ranged attacks. Unit prices vary, with the cheapest being only 20 points and the most expensive as high as 150, depending on how effective they are. You don’t have to spend on all your resource points buying units however. Saving resource points lets you use them to buff units during battle.
“Post Human W.A.R.’s cartoon aesthetic adds charm to brutally eliminating your enemies.”
At its very core Post Human W.A.R. is pretty standard fare for the turn-based strategy genre. Where it does stand apart, however, is with the champion mechanic. While building your army, you can choose to denote one of your units as your champion. Your opponent does the same. The catch? Neither player knows who the other’s champion is. The advertisement of the champion mechanic was what drew me to the game the most. It promised a sort of psychological warfare that went beyond basic army building and effective maneuvering. Why? Because if you manage to figure out and kill your opponent’s champion you win the game. Just like that. No matter the number of troops dead, killing the champion is an instant win. It’s sort of a mixture of luck and tactics, but if you’re observant, you can pinpoint a few potential targets early. If playing a game of hide-and-seek isn’t your thing, then you can simply choose to reveal your champion as well. Revealing a champion grants buffs to all their stats, but also paints a giant target all over them.
Alternatively, you can choose to just wipe out an entire army to victory or venture into the enemy base to destroy their totem. If your totem is destroyed, your units take 15 damage at the start of each subsequent turn, like a doomsday clock ticking gleefully away. Units within the enemy base also gain the ‘invading’ status, somewhat boosting their attack power.
Post Human W.A.R.’s cartoon aesthetic adds charm to brutally eliminating your enemies. Within the large variety of maps present, many are quite beautiful to look at. Many of the maps feature remnants of humanity’s past, and outside of the units and voice acting, are a primary example of the game’s humor. From broken toilets to discarded boxes of energy drinks, the maps feature a variety of obstacles and tiles that can be used to gain tactical advantage. Murder-holes let ranged units hide behind them, safe from the missiles of your enemy. Tiles can either slow units down or damage them if they start a turn on them.
“The game’s humor carries over into the story, both within character dialogue and the writing.”
Units are also beautifully rendered, possessing their own personalities brought to life through their animations and voices. Post Human W.A.R.is a battleground for katana wielding monkeys and sentient dishwashers, spouting one-liners as you command them around. Certain voices tend to get a bit grating (the Polar Bear’s in particular), so it’s lucky you can adjust unit verbosity. Interaction with the game itself ties into its visuals. The already simple UI looks a little different based on the faction played, and even the cursor flips off enemy units while hovering over them.
Outside of its very focused online component, Post Human W.A.R. also features a campaign mode. Each faction has its own campaign, split over six separate missions. While the overall story isn’t anything to write home about, the campaigns do cross over each other, and do feature some interesting characters. The game’s humor carries over into the story, both within character dialogue and the writing. I mean, one of the Wraak commanders is named Kaeh’bab. He’s also a ram. Even the Wraak Chikosauruses end up as plates of roasted chicken upon death.
As a turn-based strategy game, Post Human W.A.R. is a solid title. It’s not without its problems though. While it is primarily an online game, it also requires you to be online for its single player component as well. As far as I’m aware, there’s no way to play the game without logging in at the title screen first. There’s also isn’t any significant difference between the factions. Not much sets one too far apart from the other aside from their visual designs, so if you’re looking for wide variety of units, you won’t find many here. Unfortunately, for a game focused on its online multiplayer, I haven’t been the luckiest in finding games either. The battles I’ve had have been enjoyable, even with the time taken to find matches to play. And while the human opponents I came across were a challenging bunch, the AI wasn’t most of the time.
Otherwise, Post Human W.A.R. lives up to what it promises. If you’re looking for a new strategy game to try out, I recommend the game. But if you’re looking for a much deeper experience, you might not find it here.
Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.60GHz
GeForce GTX 960M 2GB
Post Human W.A.R. is a charming and nuanced strategy game, with intriguing mechanics and a fun little story. Simple, yet deep enough in it's strategy for those that like it, Post Human W.A.R's only held back by a lack of variety. Either way, if strategy games are your thing, it's worth checking out.