Brass Tactics Arena is the free version of the upcoming real-time strategy game Brass Tactics from Hidden Path Entertainment, the studio behind the Defense Grid franchise and Age of Empires II HD (2013). Available today on Oculus Home for free, BT Arena is definitely looking to hook you into getting the full paid game with its unlimited online gameplay and bite-sized campaign.
Update (12:30 PM ET): The link to download ‘Brass Tactics Arena’ is live. Check it out here.
While more of a demo than a game unto itself, casual and hardcore RTS players will likely appreciate the chunk of content available in the free Arena version, which includes competitive and co-op play, and player vs. AI on single map. For comparison, the full paid game boasts 20 maps and 3 AI personalities, each with four difficulty settings. One of those AI enemies is played by Aidan Gillen, aka Lord Petyr Baelish of Game of Thrones fame.
With dozens of units and upgrades to outfit your tiny army, it’s easy to see from BT Arena that the full game won’t be pulling any punches in the balance department; and it’s definitely a game of balance. You’ll be swooping around the map trying to see what the other player is doing while physically conducting troop movements, creating units, and upgrading buildings—all while trying to crush the enemy. Because you can’t hotkey to home, or parts of your sprawling node-based fortresses, multitasking is a significantly slower experience than traditional PC RTSs, but this actually gives you more time to choose the right units for the right job.
Check out our latest hands-on with Brass Tactics to learn more about the base game. We’ll of course have a review out next week in time for launch that will go into greater depth.