In today’s game market, standalone multiplayer games are everyone’s focus. A game that can last a few years to a decade with the dev’s frequent updates and quality-of-life changes. Each passing month, big developers are bringing out new games trying to capture a huge number of players, but only a few have successfully managed to do so.
With the market having already established titles like Counter-Strike, Call of Duty and Valorant, the bold move of M7 Productions and Attrito bringing out a tactical Multiplayer FPS Game was surprising to more than a few. Zero Hour is a team-based, 5v5 tactical shooter. It takes place in different parts of Bangladesh. One team plays the role of Counter-Terrorists, the MS Unit-9 while the other consists of Terrorists. As a CT, your main objective is to either defuse a bomb or rescue a hostage while the Ts have to prevent them from doing so.
From this description and if you’ve seen the gameplay, it’s clear that the game has drawn a fair amount of inspiration from a few other popular titles like Rainbow Six Siege and Insurgency. But anyone who has played more than a few matches knows it is nothing like those. The basic mechanics of this game are difficult to catch onto, but the payoff is worthwhile. Learning the objective locations, spawn locations, maps, weapon recoil helps you greatly improve as a player. A game with such a learning process is something everyone can appreciate. Each round in this game is a lesson on what could’ve been done better to clinch a win for your team.
At the beginning of each round, there is a short prep phase to plan out that particular round. The defenders also lay out explosive traps and cameras in different parts of the map during this time. The attackers spawn with much powerful weapons but lose them eventually if they die. The defenders on the other side have less powerful weapons but can pick up good ones from the downed CTs. This innovative inventory management system is here to prevent the typical rushing tactics and to make both the teams think about each and everyone of their moves. This kind of mechanics are here to make the game not only about shooting but to focus on learning and utilizing the loadout and knowledge in your advantage as well. There’s also a way to turn off the electricity supply to the objective house hence caking the entire map in darkness to make it easier for the CTs to complete their objective. While playing in the dark, tactical flashlights are your aid which is underwhelming as something like Night Vision Goggles would’ve been more appropriate.
At Ultra Settings, the game looks pretty good but anything below that makes it look like a borderline mobile game. It isn’t anything Realistic to say but for now, it does its job.
Modern Multiplayer games are about Competitiveness and Replay-ability. If the game isn’t fun, people are not going to come back to it, it will have less playerbase, and the game will eventually die. Maintaining competitive integrity is also important for a TAC-FPS but it requires a lot of effort that usually starts with removing bugs and quality of life changes. As of now, Zero Hour is plagued with overwhelming amount of bugs and issues. Not being able to step onto stairs, clipping grenades through walls, audio bugs, and much more. Peeker’s advantage is huge, directional audio is bad, animations are very unnatural, door opening mechanics are janky (which is especially bad considering the huge amount of doors in each map). The low amount of weapons might also be disappointing for some.
But the game is in early update for a reason, it still might not be ready for a full release but the developers have laid out a roadmap on what they want to work on which includes 4 new maps and many bug fixes. The game has a really small dev team who are constantly receiving feedback from the players and working on improving them.
For the small price tag it has on it, this game is definitely worth the amount of fun it provides. There’s also the fact, that it is Bangladesh’s first dive into the Multiplayer Market and for the quality of the content that is being provided, fair to say they definitely deserve our support.