REVIEW: ‘Deployment’ Had The Potential to be so Much More (Switch)

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Deployment

In the future, governments, with all of their hubris and corruption, have been rendered obsolete. Instead, there are only corporations and artificial intelligence roaming the planet. The world seems peaceful,  but deep beneath the surface of the real-world corporations wage battle on servers and computer systems in order to gain supremacy and an upper hand in the grand scheme of the corporate economy.

This is Deployment from Whale Rock Games, the makers of We Are The Dwarves, a sci-fi fantasy adventureDeployment was released for the PS4, Xbox One, and Nintendo Switch. It offers an interesting take on cyberwarfare both online and offline. While the world and combat are intriguing, it regrettably only goes so far as the shallow depths when it could have been as deep as an ocean.

Deployment tasks you to fight on the battlefields of online warfare. Players will star as one of several classes of programs, such as gunships or cyclops and wage war in levels that focus on combat and tactical supremacy.  The game plays like a twin-stick shooter, allowing the player to move their program from an isometric perspective. The left stick is for movement and the right stick is for combat. Each program has its own combat capabilities and weapons, from rapid-fire lasers to heat beams, and even flamethrowers. How these programs move and combat each other is interesting and goes well with the atmosphere of the levels.

The sound effects and ambient music go well with the discreet nature of the warzone as well. Additionally, in team deathmatch, players will seize control of various towers to gain an upper hand in combat. There are power-ups, healing nodes, and turrets to fight the enemy team. This keeps the matches, quick, tight, and intense. After a few rounds, I found myself enjoying the multiplayer in Deployment, seeing it as something significantly different and accessible for various players. I got to spar with players on both the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, creating interesting competitiveness to the game.

Deployment sports a unique premise and gameplay mechanics, but after that, it is incredibly underwhelming. Deployment does not contain any other gameplay modes, or multiplayer modes, outside of deathmatch, team deathmatch, and offline combat with bots.

I expected Deployment to come with a single-player story or campaign, even if it ran short at four to six hours. My expectation was accompanied by the game’s synopsis in the PlayStation Store, which intrigued me. This, I feel, was a completely missed opportunity at what could have been a very intriguing and refreshing single-player campaign that could have explored a post-human world where humans are gone, but computer systems and their A.I remain. It could have lead to questions and perspectives about artificial intelligence and androids on a planet devoid of human life.

Additionally, there isn’t even a regular arcade mode, endless wave mode, or boss rush mode, leaving the gameplay in Deployment extremely underwhelming and limited, thus making the overall package a disappointment. This is further compounded by the fact that the studio’s previous effort, We Are The Dwarves, features a sizeable adventure that players could experience in co-op. If Whale Rock Games could have taken level assets from We Are The Dwarves and adapted them into the futuristic world of Deployment, there could have been the opportunity for a stronger game.

Deployment is unique and a solid idea. The game’s presentation and gameplay are well refined and designed and as I picked it up on sale for $3, it provides a good amount of enjoyment and entertainment, especially for those unfamiliar with twin-stick shooters or multiplayer games.

Still,  Deployment feels like the multiplayer component for a larger game. And when there are plenty of other games at $5 to $10 that offer so much more content, it’s difficult to recommend. I can see casual players playing Deployment if the game is on a deep sale, which is not a bad purchase at all.  Deployment is a neat, bite-sized game, that had the potential to be so much more. Hopefully, the next game that Whale Rock Games puts out corrects these mistakes. They are a talented indie team that just has to aim higher.


Deployment
  • 6/10
    Rating - 6/10
6/10

TL; DR

Deployment is unique and a solid idea. The game’s presentation and gameplay are well refined and designed and as I picked it up on sale for $3, it provides a good amount of enjoyment and entertainment, especially for those unfamiliar with twin-stick shooters or multiplayer games.